- Centurion Member
- Posts: 362
- Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:10 pm
- Location: Baltimore
Hi there, and welcome to the forums!
You really didn't do too much damage by the inquiries themselves. Really, the string of inquiries themselves will be a more adverse factor to your lenders' respective decisions than the effect they have on your credit score itself. In other words, the recent inquiries will have a small but definite short term effect on your credit score. The less recent inquiries you already have, the more of an impact a new inquiry will have, and vice versa. Even though each inquiry only gives you a small ding on your credit score, lenders will see a cluster of new inquiries as a high risk factor, often overriding your high credit score. Exceptions to this include shopping around for auto loans and mortgages. I've personally gotten to a point where my credit score doesn't even care about new inquiries anymore -- I believe I have 20 in the past 2 years on my Equifax report, and at least the last one had literally zero effect on my FICO score. This is not something I would recommend in the least, but it's certainly not worth the reaction that people on other credit forums would surely have (burning at the stake, angry mobs, punting babies, etc.). That being said, inquiries are only one piece of the broad spectrum of factors that lenders use in processing applications, and it's very rare that you'd be declined for inquiries alone.
Also, don't ever be afraid to check your own credit. You can check it as many times as you want to with absolutely no affect on your score. Checking your own score falls into a category of inquiries called "soft inquiries." Other examples of soft inquiries include when a landlord checks a prospective tenant's credit and when banks pull your credit strictly for marketing (pre-approved) offers. The inquiries that ding your credit score are called "hard inquiries." These only occur when you are requesting new credit -- applying for a new credit card or other loan, and in most cases requesting a credit line increase.
Finally, the important thing to keep in mind with inquiries is that they only hurt your score temporarily. As they age to 6 months they have less of an effect on your score than they did when they were brand new. At 12 months, I'm pretty sure they no longer affect your score. And finally at 24 months they drop off your credit report altogether. Also, if you get some good results from the inquiries such as new accounts opened with healthy credit lines that drastically decrease your overall credit line utilization, you could easily see a positive effect on your score that more than offsets the negative effect of the inquiry.
The other thing that I wanted to mention is that new inquiries will show up on your credit report immediately. I thought I could take advantage of delays in reporting by applying for a couple things the same day, but sure enough the second application had the first application's inquiry listed right at the top of my credit report, even though I had submitted the apps less than a half hour apart from each other.
I know that's a lot of information. If you feel anything else is unclear, please feel free to ask.
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