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I'm thinking of buying a car but I have a low credit score (649). I have a bank account that I've been using for the past five years so I thought I would apply at that bank first, get a quote and then try a credit union. I know a hard check will cause my score to dip but I've also heard that within a fixed timeframe (2 days or something?) multiple checks count as one - is that true?

Also, any tips for getting a good loan with that kind of credit score would be greatly appreciated. It's a used car and I plan to get it from a dealer.

Thanks, Craig

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Based on the information from Fair Isaac Corporation:

Will my FICO score drop if I apply for new credit?

If it does, it probably won't drop much. If you apply for several credit cards within a short period of time, multiple inquiries will appear on your report. Looking for new credit can equate with higher risk, but most credit scores are not affected by multiple inquiries from auto, mortgage or student loan lenders within a short period of time. Typically, these are treated as a single inquiry and will have little impact on the credit score.

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