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ThePantangler

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How long should I wait before applying for another credit card?
I have had one credit card for over a year now, and have just been approved for a new one. I understand that to have a great credit score, I will need multiple lines of credit open. How long should I wait before applying for another card to avoid negatively impacting my score?

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No matter the length of time, a new card will always initially impact your score. The trick is to space out the hard inquiries enough that you don't look desparate to lenders, and, honestly, it takes time. I've been going with "every 6 months" as my rule, it is frustrating and slow, but since hard inquireies start to impact your score less and less over time (before dropping off after 2 years), it can be okay (at least with some lenders) to have more than the usual number of "2" inquiries, as long as they are spaced out. If you can, try and get a CLI for your first card (which will increase your available credit and lower your utilization and/or allow putting more on the card, which lets you put a higher number for that question lenders love to ask about your "monthly spend") and wait for both that increase and the new card (and an on-time payment!) to show up before considering a new card. I would also recommend waiting 6 months as well. It's painful and slow, but there are no shortcuts. But, on the other hand, since hard inquiries only last 2 years (typically), then there is only so long any "mistakes" in this regard will last.

Either way, patience is key.

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