Buying a car will not hurt your credit. When you apply for a car loan, your application will probably be sent to multiple lenders. A new inquiry will be added each time a lender reviews your credit report, but with newest credit scoring systems those inquiries are merged into one. Some systems don't count the inquiries for auto loans at all. In any case, the credit score impact will be minimal.
Buying a car will actually improve your credit if you keep up with your car payments on time and as agreed. Of course, failing to pay on time will hurt your credit.
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