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How many Credit Cards do I need?
by Jennifer Tarzian
Using a credit card has become a very common way for a family to pay for the items it needs and wants. According to, a firm that tracks the credit industry, the typical American family of four carries about $8,100 in installment debtmos
Using a credit card has become a very common way for a family to pay for the items it needs and wants. According to, a firm that tracks the credit industry, the typical American family of four carries about $8,100 in installment debtmost of it in credit cards. At 18% interest, that costs them nearly $1,500 a year or $125 a month they cant spend or save for anything else.

How many credit cards do you currently have?

 Make a list of all of your bank cards, travel and entertainment cards, department store cards and gas cards. Are you surprised at how many you actually have?
 Now list beside each one, who issued the credit card.

 Now list your credit limit next to each credit card.
 Now list your credit debt associated with each credit card.
 Is your total debt more than 25% of your total credit line? If so, you are using your credit cards more than you should and getting more credit cards is not the answer.

 Now list the annual fees associated with each credit card.
 Next, list the interest rate next to each credit card.
 Now, add up all of the annual fees for all of those credit cards.

 Now, for each credit card, multiply the debt on that credit card by the amount of interest rate for that credit card. Then, total that up for all the credit cards.
 Add that figure to the total amount of annual fees you are paying on all your credit cards.

 That is the amount of money you are paying out each year for the privilege of having all those credit cards.

Jennifer Tarzian, of says one question that gets asked often is What are the advantages to having credit cards? We hear all about the disadvantages, but what are some reasons why I might want a credit card?

Credit cards can help you build a positive credit history. This can enhance your ability to receive a private student loan, buy a car, rent an apartment, get a job, and buy a house.

Security in emergencies; Im sure you know all about Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans and devastated so many families. Most of them were caught unaware and those that could afford to, had to scramble to find hotel accommodations for their families, food, and other necessities. In a disaster like that one, having a credit card would be essential to protecting your family and for your own survival.

Reduced need to carry cash or checks; If you are robbed or just lose your wallet, you cant call and cancel cash. A credit card or even a debit card can help you avoid carrying large amounts of cash, especially when travelling.

Enhanced personal responsibility and independence. For young parents, college students, and others just getting started, having credit cards can help you make ends meet and gives you a sort of independence and even prestige and respectability.

However, only one national card like a "Visa" or a "MasterCard" is necessary to receive these benefits. If the stores where you shop already accept the major credit cards, you do not also need a credit card for their store. This can lead to you spending more than you can afford.

At , Jennifer Tarzian offers help in choosing credit cards, how to reduce credit card debt, how to prevent identity theft, what to do if your credit card is stolen, and a lot more.

She advises young parents to beware of too many offers you get via mail, email, and by phone. Credit card issuers often tempt consumers into carrying more debt than their income justifies. Then, when the customer is drowning in debt -- stumbling to make even the minimum payment -- they will pile on late fees, jack up interest rates and begin what often becomes a crescendo of collection calls. So be very careful. You only need one or two credit cards if you plan to control how much you owe.

The site is not responsible for any content in it. E-mail: alldir[at]gmx[dot]com
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