First of all it is correct that you don't want to get new credit cards before you apply for a mortgage. It is seen by the bank as you needing a source of credit (debt). The biggest problem is if you have a lot of credit cards the bank sees it as debt. It doesn't matter if you pay it off every month they look at the credit line. The question to them is if you charged them all to the limit can you pay them and your mortgage. What we did was to cancel a bunch of cards and reduce the line of credit on others. The big problem is that we opened a credit card during the loan process- to get miles of course. This explanation was not easily received by the loan officer. The best advise would be get to know a loan officer and get the details of their particular company. Over lunch seems to get the info flowing better.