Do you think you have too many credit cards? How many do you have? Three? Maybe 5 credit cards? Maybe you have 15 credit cards and think you have the world record for credit cards in possession? You would not even come close to the amount of credit cards that Walter Cavanagh has, in fact he has $1.7 million in various lines of credit, thanks to having a whooping 1,497 open and currently standing credit cards. This man takes credit card hunting to the extreme, but it is a wonder how he keeps track of all the account statements and fees.
This man made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1971, for having the most credit cards, and he has a title as well, which is “Mr. Plastic Fantastic,”. He has held the record every single year since 1971. He also owns the largest wallet in the world, which clocks in at an amazing 38 lbs, the wallet also stretches out 250 feet, and accommodates upwards of 800 credit cards.
Walter Cavanagh began his quest on a lark in the 1960s, due to a casual bet. Walter Cavanagh stated that “Me and a buddy in Santa Clara, Calif., made a silly bet: the guy who could collect the most credit cards by the end of the year would win dinner. I was fresh from the Peace Corps and I got 143 cards by the end of the year. My friend gathered 138.”
You would think having that many credit cards would hurt his credit score, but according to Walter, his credit score is nearly perfect. Despite owning so many cards, he claims to actually only use one of them, and that he pays off his balance in full each month, which is a sure fire way of keeping your credit score intact. He does say however that the length of his credit report is insanely long.
Weather or not all of the cards are truly open is a matter of debate. Walter says he assumes they are open unless he is told differently, and since he only uses one, I suspect that one or more, likely more of these cards are in fact dormant, closed accounts. He also says he has only ever been denied a credit card once, from Newberry’s, and that he still does not have one from them, stating They said I had too much credit,”. If only we could all be so lucky as to have the problem of having too much credit, and a nearly perfect credit score, and 1.7 million in open lines of credit.
The moral or lesson of this story is that you do not have to close out old accounts. In fact keeping older credit cards open can actually help to improve your credit score, due to age of accounts, as well as increasing your over all credit limit, and lowering your credit utilization. The next time you fear opening up a new line of credit, thinking that having to many credit cards will hurt your credit score, you only merely need to think of Walter Cavanagh and his 1,497 credit cards to know otherwise.
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