While it’s true that a hard pull can hurt your score a little bit, they’re not that big of a deal. Hard pulls and new lines of credit only account for a small percentage of your score, and they’re very low impact. Plus, hard pulls are typically scrubbed from your credit report after about 2 years.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t let hard inquiries on your credit keep you from applying for credit cards, other loans, or even apartments. I can’t recommend that you go crazy with applications, but a few hard pulls over the course of a few months or a year aren’t going to be the end of the world. The impact on your credit score is minimal, and it’s much better to focus on making on-time payments and keeping utilization low than it is to focus on hard pulls.
Sam is a Kenyon College alum and is head of content at Fizz. He's been a go to personal finance resource among his peers since getting his first credit card during his sophomore year of college. He hails from Washington, DC, loves all things aviation, and currently lives in Los Angeles.