Does applying for multiple new credit accounts hurt your credit score more than applying for just a single new account?

Yes, applying for many new accounts can often damage your credit score more than applying for a single new account. There is no set number that is too many, but the fewer you apply for the better it is on your credit score.

Applying for one new credit card may have a small impact to your score, but applying for several can have a much more serious impact. It’s best to research the features and terms of each card and then only apply for the credit card that offers the features you want.

Will accounts that are not on my credit report affect my score?

Your credit score presents a fairly accurate picture of your credit history, but not every account is recorded. Certain things, like your good history of rental and utilities payments are not listed on your credit report. Positive information from your landlord, cable, and cell phone providers is not reported to the credit bureaus.

Will my credit scores change much over time?

No, in general credit scores do not change that much over time.

There are a variety of factors that impact changes to your credit score over time, such as:

  • • Your current credit profile – your history of managing your credit will affect how a particular action impacts your score. Something like opening a new credit account will have a much greater impact on someone with a limited credit history than on someone with a more established credit history.
  • • The change being reported – the “degree” of change being reported will have an impact. Someone who pays their bills on time and continues to do so will not see much change to their report over time. However, if this same person files for bankruptcy there would be a serious impact to their credit score.
  • • How quickly information is updated – there can be a lag between when you perform an action and when it is reported by the creditor to the credit bureau. It’s only after the credit bureau has received the updated information that it will have an effect on your FICO score.