Q: From reading your website I know that credit pulls will damage my credit score, but how many does it take to really make a negative impact?

A: Even one hard credit pull can negatively affect your score. It isn’t something to worry too much about, however, since a single pull will only affect your score a few points; generally around 5. Each subsequent pull can drop it a few more points, but there is a limit to how far it will drop, since credit pulls, also known as credit inquiries, make up only 10% of your credit score.

When you shop around for a good rate on the same type of loan, these credit pulls will often be grouped together. For example, if you check with one car dealership to see what your interest rate would be, then check with another a few days later, this will usually count as one credit inquiry instead of two, and will only drop your score a few points.

Thankfully, these applications for new credit do not stay on your credit report for long, especially when compared to bankruptcies. While a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years (depending on the type), a credit pull will only stay on there for 2 years, and will only affect your credit score for 1 year.