New Credit and Your Scores

Limit Your Activity

Fair Isaac puts 10% weight on this category and the emphasis is on the potentially negative impact of new credit activity. If you are in our credit repair program you may need to open new accounts, but you should limit your credit activity to the things that are needed for credit repair.

Underlying Logic

Remember that there is logic behind the treatment of all credit activity. New credit along with credit inquiries, which are normally a precursor to new accounts, represent a potential threat to the stability of your budget, and hence your ability to meet your obligations. FICO will lower your scores as a warning to prospective lenders that you may be facing a period of financial stress.


A single credit inquiry will lower your score by between one and five points. The impact of each inquiry will depend on the overall content of your report. The more established and stable your credit, the less impact an inquiry will have.

New Accounts

The impact of a new account is also dependant on the overall content of your credit. If your credit is limited a new account will cause more of an initial drop in your scores than if you had well established credit. Time, combined with responsible debt management, will cause the negative effect of inquiries and new accounts to fade and soon vanish.

Inquiry Exceptions

There are two exceptions to FICO’s normal treatment of inquiries. You can have as many mortgage or automobile loan inquiries as you wish within any 45 day period of time, and the combined inquires will only count against your score as a single inquiry. This is intended to accommodate intelligent interest rate shopping.