Why do credit sites recommend I get another credit card?

I’ve worked hard to get my credit score into the excellent range using only one credit card. I pay monthly before the due date. Why do credit sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame keep suggesting I get another credit card to improve my score even more? What is the impact on a credit score when applying for a new card?

Submitted by Rick D.

Congratulations! You have very positive habits around your credit and debt management. I’m impressed that you pay your bills on time, and many times ahead of the due date. Plus, you only have one credit card and you pay it off every month.

You have maintained excellent credit history (35% of the credit score) and a low credit card utilization rate* (30% of your credit score). Clearly this is sufficient to maintain a high credit score. Length of credit makes up another 15% of your score. Plus, types of credit and inquiries represent 10% of the score each. If you apply for credit, it’s possible that your credit score may dip if you have too many inquiries in the last two years. (Two years is the most inquiries can stay on your credit report by law.)

Don’t feel pressured to apply for credit if you don’t need it. Most lenders advertise to get more loans out to build their loan portfolios. They often use sites like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and others to market their loan products. When I was a loan manager at a credit union, my job was to find platforms to sell our loan products. However, it appears your credit and debt are under control. As you indicated, you work hard to maintain that control. So I advise you to continue practicing positive financial behavior and habits!

*Credit utilization rate is the amount of money you owe divided by your total credit limit for those credit cards. Example: You owe $30 and you have a $100 credit limit. That equals a 30% utilization rate.

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