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How Long Should You Wait to Apply for Another Credit Card?

Credit Card

When you're looking for a credit card, it can be tempting to apply for several at once. You may find cards with rewards programs that fit your lifestyle and credit needs in different ways. Try to avoid the temptation to apply for every card you like. Can you apply for more than one at a time? How long should you wait to apply for another credit card? These are questions that are frequently asked. It is the wise consumer that finds the answer in advance of submitting applications. Before you apply for dozens of cards in a single day, educate yourself. We've consulted experts on the matter. Here is what we learned.

How long should you wait between credit card applications?

This is a question that doesn't have one straightforward answer. It depends on a variety of factors. It's common knowledge that making too many applications close together can lower your credit score. This is perhaps the most essential consideration to make. Nerd Wallet's experts recommend spacing out your credit card applications for at least 90 days in between them. If you don't, you might lower the chances of being approved. This is the minimum amount of time that you should allow to pass. Ideally, you should wait for at least six months before you apply for another credit card.

How long do credit card inquiries stay on your credit report?

The Simple Dollar explains that the hard pulls on your credit report that are made from applying for credit cards can stay on your credit report for a long time. They can show up for up to two years. However, if you let the six months pass, it looks better to lenders. If they see that there is adequate spacing in between the gap will help your case.

How do multiple credit card applications hurt my credit score?

Every time you apply for a new credit card, the action is recorded and sent to the major credit reporting agencies. These credit inquiries do drop your credit score by a few points. When numerous hard pulls show up on your credit report, it's a red flag. When they're close together, you may discover that your score will drop significantly. Some credit card companies automatically reject applications that are made within 6 months by the same person. Your FICO credit score reflects ten percent based on new credit. When a new credit card inquiry is made, you receive a dip in the score. It can rebound quickly unless there are a lot of inquiries. This makes lenders suspicious that you may be planning to take on a hefty amount of debt and this could make you a poor credit risk for them.

What if you're denied a credit card?

The Motley Fool has some tips to help increase your chances of getting approved. If you apply for a credit card but you're denied, it's time to take a look at your credit standing and consider waiting until you can raise your score or applying for a card that you are better qualified for. The Fool recommends a waiting period of at least 3 months in these situations. The three to the six-month rule can give you time to find out what is on your credit report and to make sure the reports are accurate. If you continue to apply for more cards, your credit rating will only go down.

How to apply wisdom to credit card applications

It's important to know where you stand with your credit score. If you have not yet applied for a credit card, look for cards that you have a good chance of being approved for. Some cards have more strict requirements than others and they're hard to qualify for. Don't take a hit on your credit by applying for a card you're not eligible to receive. Instead, read through the requirements for the cards that most closely fit your needs, make sure that you meet their criteria, then apply for the one that offers the best deal. Limit yourself to one application.

How the banks view inquiries

When lenders are processing applications for credit, they look at the number of inquiries that have recently been made. It can take between three to six months for your application information to clear so it doesn't count against you as an indicator of risk. The more inquiries you have, the less likely you are to be approved by some of the more desirable credit card companies.

The rules can be bent

If you do choose to apply for several cards in one day, you may be accepted for at least some of them. Some cardholders have done this and been approved for most cards, but if you were to repeat this a few weeks later, the odds are that you would be turned down for more than would approve you.

Final thoughts

The more you know about your credit score and your financial situation, the better your chances of getting approved for a credit card. Before you make a single application, take the time to research the facts. Don't waste your time or your precious credit scores on cards that you are not eligible for. Instead, choose a card that will be the most useful, that you are fairly certain that you will be approved for. It can take some time to review the various available offers. If you don't find a card that meets your needs that are within your reach, keep looking because new offers are made by credit card companies all the time. Use wisdom when it comes to managing your credit score. The best way to avoid the common pitfalls that many credit card applicants make is to arm yourself with knowledge and to proceed with caution.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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