If it’s a single hard credit pull, the drop will be slight. However, a string of hard inquiries could signal to lenders that you are taking on too much debt. The effects of a hard credit pull on your score, according to a representative of TransUnion, can last up to 12 months.
Every time you apply for a new line of credit, a hard inquiry is pulled on your report. This type of inquiry lowers your score temporarily. Applying just to see if you get approved or because you received a pre-qualified offer of credit is not a good idea.
You should also refrain from applying for several credit cards within a short time frame, or before taking out a large loan like a mortgage.
If you do need to apply for new credit, research your likelihood of approval to ensure you’re a good candidate before applying. If possible, get a pre-approval or pre-qualification, as in many instances these result in a soft rather than hard credit pull. Soft pulls don’t affect your credit score You don’t want to risk lowering your score for a denied application.
When you shop for a mortgage, auto, or personal loan, you can keep hard inquiries to a minimum by making rate comparisons within a short time period. Applications for the same type of loan within a designated time frame will only appear as a single hard inquiry. According to FICO, this span can vary from 14 to 45 days.