How Do New and Old Accounts Affect the Credit Score?
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How Do New and Old Accounts Affect the Credit Score?

Vartika Kothiwal

Table of Contents

Out with the old, in with the new. Easier said than done.

Probably holds true for renovating your home, revamping your wardrobe or celebrating a makeover.


But does it still hold true when it comes to getting a new credit card? Maybe. Basically, your credit card behavior determines your credit score. And a good credit score leads to a solid credit history. Which in turn determines a lot of highs and lows you encounter in your life - buying a new home, a new car, even something as basic as getting yourself an iPhone. A credit score therefore is an essential factor in establishing your financial credibility in the eyes of lenders.

How much does opening a new account affect credit score?

10% of your credit score comes from the New Credit category of your credit report. However, it is best not to have too many accounts and inquiries as they can indicate increased risk, which in turn can hurt your credit score.


Want to know the importance of a good credit score and its benefits? Click here.

Will opening a new credit card hurt my credit score?

If you are making timely payments on your current credit card but require more, you can apply for a new credit card. When you apply for a new credit card, the lender checks your credit report. This credit check is called a hard inquiry which can appear on your credit report for 24 months. If your payments aren’t timely, some hard inquiries can hurt your credit score for up to 12 months, but others may be ignored.


Soft inquiries appear on those credit reports that you check yourself or when a lender targets you for a pre-approved offer of credit. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score.

“Opening several new credit accounts in a short period of time can signify greater risk—especially for borrowers with a short credit history” - Rob Kaufman

Note: Inquiries on your credit report can remain up to 2 years, but credit bureaus like FICO include credit checks made in the last 12 months in determining the score.

So, now that you have answers to questions like ‘How much does opening a new account affect credit score?’ and ‘Will opening a new credit card hurt my credit score?’, it’s essential to know the kind of questions that a credit scoring model can ask you, which are:

  1. How many new accounts appear on the credit report?
  2. What’s the open date of those new accounts (if any, are present)?

The road ahead

It’s okay to have questions like ‘Will opening a new credit card hurt my credit score?’ and ‘How much does opening a new account affect credit score?’ However, it is advisable to apply for a new credit card only when you need it. If you wish to avail a reasonable offer, it is safe to apply for new credit as long as you don’t go overboard and follow credit principles to the T.