It is not bad to apply for credit cards every so often, as long as you apply for the right cards and manage any accounts you open responsibly. But it is bad for your credit score to apply for too many credit cards too quickly. Each time, there’s a hard inquiry into your credit that can temporarily take your credit score down a notch. The effects can last up to a year and are most significant when you apply for several credit cards in a short period of time. It’s also bad for your wallet to apply for credit cards just to rack up debt making unnecessary purchases that you cannot afford.
In addition, it’s worth pointing out that credit card companies sometimes have rules regarding how many accounts an individual can open in quick succession. For example, Chase is rumored to have a so-called “5/24” rule” that prevents applicants who’ve opened five credit card accounts (from any issuer) in the past 24 months from being approved. That is unconfirmed, however.
Your best bet is to do your research ahead of time and then apply. If you’re unsure whether you’ll be approved, most major credit card issuers state the minimum credit accepted for their card offerings online. So, whether you have excellent credit, fair credit, bad credit, or no credit, you can find a card that’s right for you, without seriously damaging your credit score. Most major issuers also let potential applicants check to see if they pre-qualify for their cards without any risk or credit-score impact.
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