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Does Applying for a Credit Card Hurt My Credit?

October 12th, 2022 | 6 min. read

Does Applying for a Credit Card Hurt My Credit?

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Short and sweet? Yes, your credit score will decrease when you officially apply for a credit card. But don't worry - The drop is temporary and the score increases after a couple of weeks and the benefits of having a credit card far outweigh the initial drop in score. By that time, you could be using your credit card responsibly where the lender reports your positive credit card activity to the bureau. In turn, that positive activity will boost your credit score even higher  


Hearing that your credit score is impacted simply for applying for a credit card - or any type of tradeline - can seem scary since your credit score can affect where you live, the type of loans you could receive, and the interest rate that comes with it. I get it. We have members here at Skyla asking the same exact question when inquiring about credit cards.  

Let's do a deeper dive as to why your credit score decreases and what you can do once you get your credit card because at the end of the day, having a credit card can help increase or improve your credit history and scoring, so you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

here’s what we’ll cover:


Credit-Score-Iconwhat happens to my credit score when applying for a credit card? 

When you officially apply for a credit card your credit score decreases by a few points. Typically, the impact on your credit score lowers by five points, but the exact impact may vary from case to case. Either way, the drop in your score is temporary, and will naturally bounce back after a few weeks.


Why does it ding my credit?

When you submit your application to the lender, you’re giving the lender permission to do a deep dive into your financial background which is a hard inquiry or a "hard pull". This is where the lender will run your credit report where they can view the list of credit accounts and the type of accounts you have, the credit limit on each of those accounts, your payment history, and more. Lenders conduct a hard inquiry on your financial background to see that you are not a risk or danger to lend money to before agreeing to lend you additional credit.

If you're concerned about a drop in credit score, you should be more concerned if your credit score drops due to a late / missed credit card payment which affects your score by 60-100 points. On top of that, you must pay a late fee and your credit card interest might change. Yikes. 


how does having a credit card help my credit

Being a credit cardholder has so many benefits to your credit score if you use your card responsibly.

  • Adds to Payment History: Your history of on-time payments makes up 30% of your credit score. By building a consistent payment history with your credit card, you’ll be able to maintain or grow your credit score easily.
  • Adds a Revolving Credit Line: The mix of accounts you have, such as revolving credit (automatically renewed as debts are paid off like a credit card) and installment credit (fixed payments that are made over a certain term, like an auto loan or mortgage) make up 10% of your score.
  • Contributes to your Amounts Owed: The amount of available credit you’re using on revolving accounts (i.e. credit cards) is heavily weighted. You want to keep your overall use below 30% of your available credit for the best score in this category.

You can read more about what you should know about credit scores below:

Learn More About Credit Scores


Checklist-Iconthings to do to increase and maintain your credit score

When your credit score drops due to a hard inquiry, that inquiry is temporary. Here's what you can do to help increase your credit score after applying for a credit card. 

  • Keep Balances Low: On revolving credit, such as a credit card, make sure to keep your balance low. You should also try to keep your utilization under 30%.
  • Pay On-Time: Missed or late payments can have a major negative impact on your score. A 30-day late payment could decrease your score by 60 points.
  • Get Current: If you’re behind on your payments, get current and try to stay current. Your score should increase the more you’re on time.
  • Be ResponsibleCredit cards and installment loans help build credit, but lenders need to see a score that reflects responsibility. Don’t open a line of credit unless you’re confident you can manage it.

You can do more things to improve and maintain a good credit score which we’ve outlined here. 


Credit-Cards-Iconwhat should i think about before applying for a credit card?


You can expect to see good things in your credit report and an increased credit card with responsible credit card activity. But to be a responsible credit card holder, there are things you need to be mindful of. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start applying for a credit card:

  • Are you an impulsive spender? 
  • If you had a credit card, do you know your spending limit? Do you have a budget in place? 
  • Do you know your credit score? How often do you check your report?   
  • Do you know what kind of credit card you want - rewards, the annual percentage rate, secured or unsecured? The APR you could qualify for?  
  • Are you prepared to pay for fees like interest and annual fees? 

These are the questions to ask to get you ready for a credit card.  To help you understand how they work here's an article sharing what you need to know  -  from credit card terms, tips before getting a credit card, the types of interest credit cards charge, and more. Check it out!   

Read Now


If you have any questions or comments, our Customer Service Representatives are here for you. You can send an email, give us a call at 704.375.0183, or visit any of our branches





As the Content Specialist and author of the Learning & Guidance Center, Yanna enjoys motivating others by uncovering all that's possible in the world of finance. From financial tips and tricks to ultimate guides and comparison charts, she is obsessed with finding ways to help readers excel in their journey towards financial freedom.


more resources for your credit card journey

What's the Most Important Thing to Understand About Credit Scores?

Need help understanding your credit score? Here’s what’s most important about credit scoring and the steps to take to improve it.

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What You Should Know Before Getting a Credit Card

Don’t know what to expect when getting a credit card?   Here’s what you need so you can properly prepare and enjoy your credit card today.

17 min. read

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