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Too Much New Credit Bad for Scores

While it's true that the FICO scoring model rewards consumers who responsibly use various types of credit, applying for too much all at once will likely have a negative effect on your credit scores.

"New Credit", which includes the number of recently opened accounts and credit inquiries, accounts for about 10 percent of consumers' overall FICO scores. So whether you're a credit newbie or an experienced user with a well-established credit history, applying for several credit cards, auto loans, or other financial products all at the same time is generally not a good idea. To maximize your scores, it's best to plan ahead and gradually build your credit mix over an extended period of time.

The FICO model isn't meant, however, to deter consumers from shopping around for the best terms on financial products. Multiple credit inquiries from auto or mortgage lenders within a short period of time are typically treated as one single inquiry and will have little effect on your credit score.

on Sun, 2010-05-30 17:00