Why Applying for a Credit or Debit Card *Usually* Impacts Your Credit Score


When you decide to apply for a credit or debit card, you probably know that it might affect your credit. If you try to apply for too many of them in a short period of time, you could end up harming your credit to the point that you could start getting denied for additional cards, home loans, car loans, or other borrowing requests.

But there are some cases where you may not see an impact to your credit score. It’s important to understand the differences, and why some credit and debit cards impact your credit score more than others. Here’s what to consider when you’re trying to decide whether you want to apply for another credit or debit card.

What is a Soft Pull?

Most people are concerned when they find out they’re going to have a “pull” on their credit report. Usually, it shows up as an inquiry and can temporarily lower their credit score for a little while. It’s usually not a big problem, but if the person’s trying to do something big like buy a house, for example, the additional credit card and pull on the credit report could cause a problem.

A soft pull is different from the standard way of checking a person’s credit (known as a hard pull). Soft pulls on a person’s report aren’t as detailed, but they also don’t show up on the credit report and won’t lower the score. That’s why applying for a card usually impacts your credit, score, but it won’t always have an impact.

Why are Credit Cards More Significant?

Credit cards are more likely to impact your credit score than a debit card will, as well. Some banks do check credit scores for debit cards, but not all of them do that. With that being the case, you can expect your credit card to show a hard pull on your report, but your debit card may not show that, or may only have a soft pull. That’s largely because credit cards aren’t tied to bank accounts the way debit cards all, so they mean more risk for a bank or other lender.

What Will Improve Your Chances?

If you want to improve your chances of getting a credit or debit card, the best way to do that is to take good care of your credit. The more you protect your credit score, the more it will rise and help you look like a good risk to a lender. A debit card’s going to be tied to your bank account, so making sure you’re not overdrawing that account is another good way to present yourself as a better risk for any bank or other lender you might apply to.

Keep in mind that your credit score won’t always be impacted by applying for a debit or credit card. However, it’s usually better to assume that you’ll see an impact. That way you can decide if the application is worth the “ding” to your credit. This is especially true if you’re trying to do anything big with a lender. It also applies if you’re working on getting your credit score to a specific level.

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About the Author: Michelle Dakota Beck has worked as a professional freelance writer since the 1990s. During that time she has written everything from product descriptions to full-length books. Her areas of specialization include real estate, home services, legal topics, relationships, family life, and mental health issues. You can find her on WriterAccess.


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