A lot of inquiries
This is similar to soliciting a lot of new credit. When lending standards tightened, a lot of borrowers, especially subprime borrowers, were having trouble getting credit, says Sweet. That meant that they had to apply multiple times to try and get what they wanted.
And, with the VantageScore at least, that "actually influenced the impact of inquiries -- they are more important than they used to be," she says.
With the FICO score, the impact of inquiries has remained about the same, according to Ulzheimer. Every time you allow a potential lender to pull your credit report, your score can take a small hit. The exact impact varies with the consumer, the score and the number of inquiries.
And if you're applying for a home, auto or student loan, you can minimize the damage by making all of your applications within a two-week period. When you do that, the score bundles all the similar inquiries and treats them as one. Unfortunately, there is no similar grace period for credit card applications.