How Much Does A Credit Score Drop When Applying For A Credit Card
Theres no set number of points for each inquiry. But things such as your credit history and recent credit activity can determine the number of points an inquiry will have. If your credit profile is healthy, you dont have to worry much because the impact a single inquiry can have on your credit score is relatively small.
Hard inquiries often last on your credit report for two years, but if you pay your debts on time, your credit score has a chance to rebound within a couple of months. Plus, credit scoring models like those from FICO and VantageScore no longer count hard inquiries in score calculations after one year.
In addition to other factors, such as and payment history, your length of credit history can influence your credit score. When credit scoring models examine your length of credit history by looking at the average age of your accounts on your credit report, your credit score may go down slightly.
How Closing A Credit Card Can Hurt Your Credit
When you close a credit card account, you instantly reduce the amount of credit available to you. This can negatively impact your credit score because it will likely increase your credit utilization rate.
That’s why it’s usually best to keep credit card accounts open, even ones you haven’t used in a while. By leaving accounts open, you increase the amount of available credit you have in relation to the debt you owe. Consider adding a small recurring monthly payment, such as a streaming service or gym membership payment, to a card you haven’t used in a while to keep the account active.
Keep in mind that while it’s usually best to keep credit card accounts open, if you are paying high annual fees for cards you’re not using or are finding it too hard to resist using a card that’s burning a hole in your wallet, your credit score won’t necessarily take a big hit if you close an account. If you pay off your balances every month and have other cards with a long credit history, the effect may be minimal. Also, if you’ve paid your bill on time every month, your closed account can remain on your credit report for 10 years, so it will be a while before the closed account affects your length of credit history.
It’s The Oldest Account On Your Credit Report
The length of time you’ve had credit is a factor in your credit score, so it’s a good idea to keep older accounts open. A high average age for your accounts can improve your score, so keeping your oldest account open has a positive effect on your score.
For example, if you have four cards that have been open ten years, five years, four years, and one year, the average age is five years . If you close the account that’s been open 10 years, the average age drops to 2.5 years .
You should try to keep your oldest account open unless you have a compelling reason to close it.
Also Check: Why Is My Fico Score Lower Than Credit Karma
Should You Carry A Credit Card For Emergencies
It would be best if you didnt have to use a credit card for an emergencyand instead had enough money in a liquid account, such as a savings account, to use in such a situation. However, if you are away from home while on vacation and dont have the ready cash to cover a car repair or some other unexpected expense, then a credit card can definitely come to the rescue.
Other situations, such as an unexpected medical bill or a job loss, can often drain any emergency savings. Having at least two or three credit cards can be a useful thing in times of crisis.
Ideally, these cards should have no annual fee, a relatively high credit limit, and a low interest rate. However, if you turn to credit cards when youve lost income, exercise extreme caution so that you dont take on unmanageable amounts of credit card debt.
Apply For A Lot Of Credit Cards Or Loans
Why it hurts you: Maybe youre interested in shopping around for the best deal and want to see who will approve you for a card. But think twice before going on a mass application spree. An analysis of your new credit makes up 10% of your score, according to FICO, and multiple credit inquiries drag down that score.
You dont want to go out and apply for a bunch of different accounts, said Bruce McClary, vice president of public relations and external affairs for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and a former consumer credit counselor. It may send a couple of messages. First, it tells the lender that you went to a bunch of places and got denied for some reason. Or the possibility exists that you opened an account in each of those places, which can signal financial problems.
Each time you apply for credit, a hard inquiry is generated on your credit report when a lender checks to see if you are creditworthy. Each hard inquiry drags down your score. Paying on time with a new card quickly erases the damage. But as noted above, when you apply for multiple cards at once, lenders view this as risky behavior.
So apply for new credit cards strategically. If you get rejected once, figure out why before you apply again. If you have mediocre credit and have your heart set on a high-end card, its not going to happen. Either settle for the card that fits your credit standing or work to improve your credit so you do qualify.
You May Like: Does My Budget Affect Credit Rating
Your Credit Mix May Improve
- Diversity in credit reports can be good for your credit scores. If you only have installment loans, for example, adding a credit card can boost your scores by adding a revolving account.
- If you already have other credit card accounts open, adding another one to your report wont improve your credit mix but it wont hurt it either.
Should You Apply For Multiple Credit Cards At Once
Simply put, no. This is a bad idea. It might make sense to apply for more than one job at a time, but thats not the way to go with credit cards. You should pursue credit cards strategically.
Of course, this doesnt mean you cant have more than one credit card. Youll just want to take your time and space out your acquisitions. If you get rejected for a card, pause to figure out why and then take steps to address the suspected weak spots. Once youve had time to improve your credit, consider trying again.
Recommended: How to Apply for a Credit Card
Also Check: How To Remove Things From My Credit Report
How Applying For A Credit Card Can Help Your Score
So you applied for that new credit card and you were approved. As noted above, your score may take a dip, but the impact will likely be minimal. This is because you will have simultaneously increased your available credit, which could negate any losses from the hard inquiry. This result is especially pronounced in the case of a consumer with a limited credit history or a thin file as it is known in the credit business.
Because the thin file has fewer data, any change will likely have a more pronounced effect. Let me illustrate: Lets say you fill your bathtub with water, then add a few drops of red food coloring. The change in color would be virtually invisible as the dye will be fully diluted by the large volume of water. Now lets do the same thing but this time with only a shot glass of water. The color change from the dye in a small volume of water will be much more pronounced. The same effect applies to your credit report and, thereby your score. More data means less scoring impact fewer data, more scoring impact.
I recommend you add the new debt service amount and due date to your monthly payment calendar. Payment history is the No. 1 factor in FICO scoring, so be careful here. More than one consumer has fallen into the trap of forgetting about a new credit obligation in the beginning.
Does Having More Credit Cards Help Or Hurt Your Credit Score
Having multiple credit cards can helpbut can also hurtyour credit score. It all depends on how well you manage the cards that you have.
No matter how many credit cards you have, the same rules apply: Keep your balances low, and always pay bills on time. While the number of cards that you carry likely wont affect your score in itself, you should avoid applying for several new credit cards at one time. Over time, if managed properly, more cardsand thus a higher credit limitcan help you improve credit scores.
Also Check: Is 710 A Good Credit Score
How To Protect Your Credit Score When Applying For Credit
Theres no need to be afraid of applying for credit. Follow these strategies to keep your score in top shape:
- Watch out for surprising hard inquiries. Obviously applying for a new car loan will generate a hard inquirybut other, less apparent actions can also result in hard inquiries. For example, lenders generally submit hard inquiries when you request a credit limit increase, and rental car companies may also submit a hard inquiry if you pay with a debit card.
- Think ahead. When youre applying for a major loan, every point on your credit score could make a meaningful difference in the amount of interest youll pay. Consider holding off on other credit applications in the preceding months to protect your score from unnecessary hard inquiries.
- Stay within the window. Make sure all rate shopping is completed within a short timeframe.
- Take advantage of soft inquiries. Many online lenders allow you to check your rates or see estimated loan offers with just a soft inquiry, enabling you to gather information without hurting your credit score. Be sure you know which type of inquiry will be submitted before providing any personal details.
- Monitor your credit report. Use Upgrades Credit Health tool to regularly watch your credit profile, and periodically check your credit reportavailable from each major reporting agency once a year for free. If you spot an unauthorized hard inquiry, you can file a dispute with the reporting bureau.
If Your Application Is Declined Because Your Identification Information Couldn’t Be Verified
Make sure your name, address and other information provided on your Apple Card application is correct. If you find inaccurate information, re-enter the information as needed.
If you are asked to verify with an ID, follow these steps:
After you complete these steps, submit your application again. If your application is declined again for the same reason, contact Apple Support.
Your credit score won’t be impacted if you’re declined, or don’t accept your offer. Your credit score might be impacted if your application is approved and you accept your offer.
You can apply for Apple Card again, but you might receive the same decision.
If you want to receive a different decision on your application when you apply again, you should review your credit report to see if you have conditions that might result in a declined application and then check for these common errors in your credit report.
*If the information on your ID doesn’t match the information you entered for your Apple Card application, try to apply again after you update your ID.
You May Like: When Are Settled Accounts Removed From Credit Report
Why Your Score Might Improve Over Time
There are also two factors responsible for a much larger portion of your credit. These aren’t affected by new credit card applications:
- Payment history: Your record of on-time and missed payments. Makes up 35% of your FICO® Score.
- The amount you owe on your credit accounts compared to your combined credit limits. This is 30% of your FICO® Score.
READ MORE:What Is a Credit Utilization Ratio?
If you’re doing well in these categories, then your credit should be fine.
A new credit card can even help if your credit utilization ratio is too high. Let’s say you have one credit card with a balance of $5,000 and a credit limit of $10,000 — your credit utilization would be 50%, on the high side. If you open another card with a $10,000 credit limit, it would cut your credit utilization in half, and almost certainly raise your credit score.
How To Avoid Mistakes When Applying For Multiple Credit Cards
- Wait a minimum of 90 days between opening new card accounts, even if you are trying to get sign-up bonuses or other rewards. Otherwise, your credit score may be negatively impacted.
- If you have multiple credit cards, pay off your balances in full every month to keep your credit utilization ratio as low as possible.
- If you manage your credit well, having multiple credit card accounts is not necessarily bad since it decreases your credit utilization ratio.
- Do some strategic planning before applying for multiple credit cards. If you already have a good travel card, for example, you might want to open another credit card account with a lower interest rate or a 0% promotional rate that allows balance transfers.
Managed correctly, credit cards are valuable tools when used for emergencies and to rake in sign-up bonuses, cash back, and loyalty rewards.
Also Check: What Is A Good Credit Score To Buy A Home
Knowing When To Apply
Applying for a credit card can hurt your credit score in the short term which is why you should avoid making new applications in the six to 12 months before applying for a major loan like a mortgage or auto loan.
As long as you’re responsible with your credit card and your other financial accounts, your credit score can rebound from any points lost with a new credit card application. And remember, while there’s a chance your credit score could be impacted by a new credit card application, there’s no guarantee that will happen.
You Want To Upgrade To A Rewards Card
If you’re planning to close an account because you want to upgrade to a different card, ask the issuer to transfer your account to the new card instead. Balance transfers don’t usually incur direct changes to your credit score, but opening a new card may. This could be an increase or decrease in score depending on the circumstance and other factors in your credit history.
Tips On Managing Multiple Cards
Having an array of credit cards can allow you to earn the maximum available rewards on every purchase that you make with a credit card.
For example, you might have a Discover it Cash Back card to take advantage of its rotating 5% cash-back categories so that in certain months, you can earn 5% back on purchases such as groceries, hotels, restaurants, and gas . You might have another card that always gives you 2% back on gas. Use this card during the nine months of the year when Discover isnt paying 5% cash back on gas.
Additionally, you might have a card that offers a flat 1% back on all purchases. This card is your primary card for any purchase where a higher reward isnt available. For example, you might be able to earn 5% on all clothing purchases in October, November, and December with your Discover card the rest of the year, when no special bonus is available, you would use the 1% cash-back card.
Another consideration is store-branded credit cards that can only be used for purchases in that particular store or on their website. Opening a new store credit card that offers a significant discount on those purchases can be a huge benefit if youre doing a lot of shopping in one place for example, back-to-school shopping, holiday shopping, or a major purchase like appliances for your home. Getting such a card and paying it off right away can be advantageous to get the discount, but it may also be a good idea to close the store card afterward if it is no longer needed.
A Hard Inquiry Vs A Soft Inquiry
Every time anyone runs a credit check, it will create a single inquiry. All hard inquiries and soft inquiries show up on your credit report. But not all inquiries hold the same weight in a credit check, and not all of them will negatively impact your credit score.
A soft inquiry will appear on your credit report when someone runs a credit check for reasons unrelated to a direct application for credit. Soft inquiries can result from a lender or credit card issuer checking your credit report for pre-approval on lending services. Checking your own credit report will appear as a soft inquiry as well.
Soft inquiries dont affect your credit score and do not qualify as a risk factor when lenders check your credit report. Hard inquiries have the most significant impact on your credit score as they only occur with legitimate credit card applications. A hard inquiry affects your credit score, whether your credit card application is approved or denied.
Don’t Miss: Does Acima Report To Credit