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I got a credit card 5 months ago, How long should I wait to get another card?
I have a credit score of 661. I got a card five months ago. Is it safe to apply for another card this soon?

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Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for two years.  If you have more than 2, it will probably 'ding' your credit.  I wouldn't suggest it yet.

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I've been going with "every 6 months" as a kind of plan to build up history up front (my oldest card right now is 1 year 4 months and an average age of 10 months). While hard inquiries do stay on your report for two years, they have a tendancy to mean less and less over time, at least with the Vantage Score model. I've actually noticed that after about 6-9 months, the impact a single inquiry has is practically nothing (and, I've actually seen my score jump by over 20+ points when this threshold is reached).

Personally, I'm trying to see if I can "get away with" shortening this period from 6 months to 3 months, and getting more accounts earlier on (to help buffer my average account age), and while it might cause a bigger hit to my score, that "repairs" over time. My main concern is either a lender declining based on "well, you just got one 3 months ago, and you have less than 2 years of history", which would still give the hard inquiry without the benefit of increased available credit or account.

In the end it depends on what your goals are (and your specific situation). If your current card is your first one and, like my situation was, and you had to get a secured card because no one let you get an unsecured card without any credit history, then you might want to wait 6 months while building history with your current/first card (just to avoid getting declined for not enough history). The more money you can back the secured card with, the better; in my case my second card was with the same lender and they matched the limit on the secured card on the new unsecured one. It was a major plus. so since you've had this one for 5 months, you are about in the range that I went with. Though it is important to note that every situation is different. If you already have a bunch of declines from several issuers before you were able to get the card you have, it might even be better to wait longer until those inquiries are impacting your score less, as that might help to get better rates and credit limits from a new lender.

Either way, after 2 years, hard inquiries drop off, if you feel you can afford the hit to your score/profile, it shouldn't be too big of a problem in the long term, as long as it won't impact any short-term plans (like getting a house or apartment, as they can also do a hard pull as well).

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