This article is from the Credit cards and Consumer Credit FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Adams) with numerous contributions by others.
This may create a problem -- actually, two problems.
Many lenders look at your total credit limit on each account to
determine whether they want to give you additional credit. If you
have ten Visa cards with a $5000 limit on each, and five have a zero
balance and the other five have $100 each, your actual debt is $500.
Some lenders may evaluate you on the basis of $50,000 of debt
because you could go out tomorrow and charge that much.
Merely applying for many accounts can also create a problem; see
"What are 'inquiries' on my credit report" in section 8, "Getting
and reading your credit report."