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There is no limit on the number of credit cards you can have

Dear Experian,

How many credit cards can I have? I have eight credit cards. I opened all of them within the last year (total $6,500), plus a loan for a car ($16,000). I am a housewife. My husband pays all my bills on time, but he keeps asking me to get new credit cards. I wonder if it’s damaging my credit history or my credit score. Also, is it shown on my credit report if I apply for a credit card and I do not get approved?

– ARY

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Husbands and wives each have their own credit report

Dear Experian,

My husband and I are thinking about purchasing a car. I just printed out my credit report from Experian. Should my husband check his as well? Should we buy a copy of our credit scores as well before we shop for a car? Since we live in a community property state, do we share a credit score? Also, how will purchasing a car affect our credit score? We will be buying a pre-owned vehicle. This is the first time I’ve gotten a copy of my credit report.

– YPE

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The effect of fraud security alerts on credit scores

Dear Experian,

I was recently notified by a college that I attended that the admissions office computer files had been hacked into and that I should notify all three major credit bureaus to flag my credit history in case of identity theft. Does this “flagging ” of my credit affect my FICO score?
– LBS

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Updating your address when you move

Dear Experian,

I recently purchased a house. My address has been changed with the bank, DMV, USPS, etc. However, I tried to get a new cell phone and was told you have not updated my address despite your website saying I don’t need to notify you when I move. Please update my address within your system so that I will no longer be restricted by information not matching up.

– JHG

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Responding to credit score factor that says proportion of balances to limits is to high

Dear Experian,

Recently, I was told that my proportion of balances to credit limits is high. If I keep making payments to my credit card and keep my statement balance below 20% of my credit limit, will that help?

– ATD

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Spouse’s credit file must be frozen separately with each credit reporting company

Dear Experian,

My credit report is frozen. Most of my accounts are joint with my wife. Is my wife’s report automatically frozen as well, or do I have to freeze hers separately?

– CPT

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When negative information will be removed from your credit report

Dear Experian,

If the account status information says the item will be moved from negative to positive on a certain date, what determines when and why that happens?

– AJH

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Freezing your children’s credit histories

Dear Experian,

I have two young children (both under the age of four). Because I have heard of even young children being the victims of identity theft, I am considering freezing their credit files until they are old enough to have their first credit cards. What is your opinion on this? Is it possible for a parent to freeze the credit of a minor? Would you do this for your own children?

– CJT

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Sharing the security code on your credit card

Dear Experian,

I purchased something by phone recently and was asked for the security code on the back of my credit card. I thought it was strange, but she said she needed it to complete the transaction. I heard on the news that you should never give that out. Is that true?

– EGX

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Collection agency can try to recover 10-year-old debt

Dear Experian,

My son has an account that was delinquent and charged off over 10 years ago. Yet, this evening we received a call from a credit agency looking for him regarding this debt. This is ridiculous! They said that they can continue to try to contact him no matter what. This debt is over 10 years old. What rights does my son have?

– NES

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Our policies for Ask Experian:

The information contained in Ask Experian is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation. Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Posts reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Experian policy. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future post.