12-28-2012 12:35 PM
My impression is that over 5 there's little additional impact.
But remember, your score is the first step in being considered by a lender. I've seen posts where a person with a decent score was rejected for "too many recent inquiries". Barclays is said to be notorious for that.
Personally, I've reached the point where I don't need new accounts so don't choose to incur inquiries. In th three years from BK7 I went from maniacally applying to making no applications except for my mortgage (over a year). Now I'm gardening and hope to reach zero inquiries before I make another app.
I agree with the above. I don't worry as much about the impact inquiries might have on my FICO score as I do about how those inquiries will look to a prospective creditor. I don't want to appear to prospective creditors that I am willy-nilly applying for credit.
I don't know, however, if I will ever get too passive to not jump on a good introductory offer. This year, for example, the NFL card was offering $400 introductory statement credit after a $1k spend. Our daughter had a college class she signed up for that was a bit over $800. With a few tanks of gas we easily went over the $1k spend. We got that $400 credited back to pay for that class. I really don't need any more credit cards, but I also won't give up free money.
Keeping the inquiries low helps us qualify easily when something like the above deal becomes available.