Do lender inquiries hurt my score?

Because of the way they're counted, lender inquiries will only hurt your credit score if they're spread out over several months. Inquiries that happen within a 14-day period are treated as a single inquiry. In other words, if you went to 35 different lenders during a 14-day period, all of the inquiries would, together, count as just one. Only auto and mortgage inquiries are counted this way. Multiple inquiries from places like credit card companies are all counted individually.

This is one of the reasons we recommend that you do your "lender shopping" in a short time frame. In addition, the market changes from day to day, so taking weeks or months to find a lender doesn't make much sense.

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