credit cards

4 burning questions about credit scores

Having one credit card with a low credit limit could harm your score if you charge up a high balance on it, but your score could also suffer if you charge high balances on all your cards. Dornhelm says his company's research has shown that people with balances on a number of cards are more likely to mismanage their credit. "As such, there can be an impact to your score of having a large number of credit cards that have high balances on them," he says.

Don't go nuts
Credit management decisions shouldn't come down to the credit score alone. "The most important thing is spending patterns and tendencies," says Hardekopf. "The credit score is a far second."

When you obtain cards that meet your financial needs, concentrate on paying on time, keeping your utilization down and applying for new credit sparingly. Good credit management should save you money and help you build a better credit score.

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