Can too many credit cards hurt your credit score?

A lot of things that can ding your credit score. One of the worst is paying your bills late.

What about having too many credit cards? Will that hurt your score?

"Surprisingly, probably not," said Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education at Credit.com. "Generally, what they're looking at is behavior and the age of the credit history, rather than the exact number of cards. So, the older your cards, the better."

If you check your credit report once a year - as you should at annualcreditreport.com - and you see a whole bunch of old credit cards listed that you don't use anymore, you might be tempted to close those accounts. That will hurt your credit score.

So what does Detweiler recommend?

"If you're not using the card, go ahead and just leave it there, unless they're charging you an annual fee or there's a co-signer who might run up a debt that you'll be stuck with," she said. "Just leave it alone, don't worry about closing it out."

One caution: If you have a lot of accounts with high balances that could hurt your credit score. Try to find a way to pay down that debt. You'll save money on the interest and you could see your credit scores go up as well.

More Info: How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?