I pulled all three CR's tonight and built a spreadsheet with all of my INQ's, detailing where each one falls off at 24 months and also when they age > 12 months. It really was an eye opener to see the data presented this way - makes me wonder why I apped this month (blaming the Mayans for now).
According to the AMEX letter I just received confirming my BCE approval, I was given a "less favorable rate..." and listed among the reasons why I'm likely to soon be featured on Cops was "too many INQ's in the last 12 months". The letter also claimed to reference TU but if that's true then there were only 2 INQ's. Since I see all three CR's took an INQ I guess that means they saw six. So basically AMEX told me three things:
1, Your CR was sketchy enough to pull the all three CR's.
2, Six INQ's across all three CR's is too many in a year.
3, Welcome back to the AMEX family (scratches head).
So what's the magic INQ number (and don't say zero)?
I think it's a YMMV across lenders. At my not-so-brite-credit-days I had 30+ inquiries each on EQ and EX, and 10 or less on TU, and most all were less than a year. Even with the high inquiry count I was still being approved for CCs, and denied for others with one of the many denials listed due to inquiries. Fast forward, I went cold turkey and had 1 inquiry reporting when I app'd for a CC once. I was denied due to too many inquiries. Every lender has their own standards and rules.
+1. Also, depending on what information is in your credit report(s) could also trigger multiple reports being pulled on an application. Some contributors here have been pulled by all three reporting agencies for Chase or Amex cards. Personally, I have never been checked on more than one cra for any credit card I have obtained.
The very fact that FICO and the CRAs have a different interpretation of the value of inquiries to creditors in determining risk shows their subjectivity.
FICO has concluded that inquiries lose their risk-predictive value when older than one year. The CRAs view the potential value to their clients as extending for two years.
Creditors wont see their impact in the FICO scores they review after one year, but can still chose to consider them of value in their determinations.
It's hard to put a "magic number" on a totally subjective determination.