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Will applying for a financial product lower my credit scores?

Browsing offers on Credit Karma does not affect your scores, but applying for a financial product (such as a loan or credit card) can.

If you see an offer you like and decide to apply, you submit your application to the specific lender. When you apply and the lender reviews your application, they’ll check your credit before making the lending decision. This typically causes a hard inquiry, which may lower your credit scores by a few points regardless of whether you are approved or declined.

The good news is that even though hard inquiries usually stay on your credit reports for about two years, their effects tend to wear off over time. Read more about hard and soft credit inquiries and why they matter.

Keep in mind that Credit Karma can't know for sure if lenders will approve or decline your application. However, you might see pre-approved offers and approval odds which may help you narrow down options when selecting your choices.

What if I apply for multiple financial products at the same time?

A single inquiry could have a negative effect on your credit, and multiple hard inquiries in a short period of time may set off a red flag for lenders. If you’re shopping for a loan or mortgage, some credit scoring models may allow for some level of shopping around.

However, this rate shopping adjustment is only adopted by some credit score models and usually only applies to auto loans and mortgages. So if you’re applying for a dozen credit cards over a month or two, you’re likely to still incur a bunch of hard inquiries. You can read this article for more information about this: Will rate shopping hurt my credit score?

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