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Is it good to apply for cards at once?


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Is it good to apply for a couple of cards at once, or is it better to spread your applications over a period.

e.g. If I want to apply for a store card and a major cc, should I apply for them around the same time, or is it better to do them say 3-4 months apart.

Which has the lowest impact on your score?

I'm asking because I'm wondering if I should apply for a Target store card now, or apply for it when I apply for my next major CC (No plans as of now for at least 6 months). My last account was opened 5 months ago.

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IMO, its a matter of what you are looking for. If you are looking to rebuild your credit after trashing it, then maybe its best to get a few tradelines all at once and get them to age. Also, if you have no large purchases on the horizon (ex: automobile or real estate), then apply all at once and absorb the short term damage to your score. It won't matter to you. Your tradelines will eventually age and increase your score while your inquiries will no longer hurt your score and will eventually fall off.

If you care about short term score reductions, then spread them out. One every six months or so shouldn't hurt at all.

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IMO, its a matter of what you are looking for.

I don't foresee a large purchase soon (auto 3+ years, home 5+ years).

Though I want to have an exceptional score by the time I purchase my house.

Right now I'm looking for a good rewards card a few months down the line.

I have 2 cards (out of 4) I don't use because they don't have a rewards program.

I've only had them for a year or so and wish to eventually cancel them to make room for better ones.

The 2 'good' CCs I use I PIF.

My only baddie is a 30 day late electric bill, though my scores are in the higher 600s because my auto loan is < 6 months old.

If you care about short term score reductions, then spread them out. One every six months or so shouldn't hurt at all.

Really? The 'newness' of the account wears off in only 6 months?

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Really? The 'newness' of the account wears off in only 6 months?

Are you asking about "newness" in the eyes of FICO or a creditor? That would depend on what else is in your CR and how a creditor views "new credit". For meticulous lenders, 6 months can still be deemed to be "too new"; it just depends on the creditor. For FICO, it's not like you can expect to magically see this significant increase in your scores when an account turns 6 months old. FICO may give you brownie points for the account turning 6 months old, but those points could be canceled out if you apply for new credit @ that time. (As you gain points for aging, you may lose points for a new inquiry or even high utilization, for example.) There's just too much in FICO scoring for the average consumer to figure out. That's why focusing on it is just pointless (unless you're applying for a mortgage or auto loan).

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"I'm asking because I'm wondering if I should apply for a Target store card now, or apply for it when I apply for my next major CC (No plans as of now for at least 6 months). My last account was opened 5 months ago."

If you don't have low scores, then I wouldn't worry so much about a handful of applications for credit. The inquiry dings a few points but that fades pretty quickly. And your purchases are pretty far off- so who really cares anyway!

My suggestion is (assuming you have no derogatory accounts & decent income) to apply for the major rewards card first and then Target right after. Target is usually an easy approval, and the major rewards CC may not be. Some of the major credit cards are picky and some are not. In my case, I was denied for a BP gas card and approved for a $2500 platinum (but not rewards) card from a major CC company the same day. Another example is that after I bought a house, Lowe's shot me down for a credit card and then the following week Circuit City (via Chase) gave me $1200 limit w/ 0%apr for 24 months. Everyone has their own criteria.

There is a website that actually gives you guidance as to whether or not you'd be likely to get approved for specific credit cards based on previous experiences. I can't remember the name of it, but there may be a link above.

Good luck.

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