WalletHub, Financial Company
It’s best to apply for a credit card about once a year, assuming you need or want a card in the first place. And you shouldn’t apply for more than one card at the same time. If you apply more often, the repeated hard inquiries on your credit history will hurt your credit score. Creditors will also see you as desperate to borrow, making you a greater risk and less likely to be approved for a loan or line of credit.
What you should know before applying for a credit card:
- How applying for a credit card affects your credit score: Every time you apply for a credit card (with only a few exceptions), the issuer will do a hard pull of your credit, which temporarily lowers your credit score. Normally, this isn’t a big deal, because your score will bounce back after a few months of responsible credit use (e.g. paying on time, low utilization, etc.).
However, hard pulls become problematic when there’s a bunch at the same time. The damage is more significant and lasts longer. And that can wind up costing you a lot of money if you need the best possible credit score in the near future.
- Careful planning is important: This holds true in terms of both which card you apply for and when you apply. If you’re rejected for a card, one option is to wait until your credit score rebounds before trying again. And you can track your credit score for free on WalletHub. Alternatively, you could apply for a card with lower requirements.
- Credit card options: People with limited or damaged credit may want to consider a secured credit card. They require you to make a security deposit that acts as your credit line. This collateral also gives secured cards the highest approval odds of all credit cards. As long as you can fund the deposit and make minimum payments, your chances are decent no matter what your credit score is.
If you’re not approved for a secured card, there are other ways to get your hands on credit. For instance, you can become an authorized user on someone else’s account or try to find a cosigner to apply with.
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Valerie Prine, Member
Maximum once every 6 months. Any more than that, and your approval chances go down.
Clayton Pitts, Member
6 months between credit card applications could increase your chances of getting approved. If you apply more frequently, the banks view you as risky.
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