I know this will depend on personal factors, but let's aim for a rule of thumb. They say not to apply for credit anytime before asking for a loan, and this question is not specifically for that question, but it would help answer exactly how long before. The real question is the FICO score point differences between the decrement for a hard inquiry for a credit card and the increment for a every month that maximum credit building strategies will add to the score (in terms of credit usage out of available credit and payment times). Not sure if it is the FICO or the credit report I should be concerned about after a credit card application. Please confirm.
Hard numbers would be nice, but I will settle for a ratio. The ratio being (1 hard inquiry : 1 month of maximized credit building).
BONUS: Will I have to wait twice as long if I apply for two credit cards in the same day (as is usually suggested)?
** The question primarily pertains to a credit card application, but if the answerers want to prevent the need to ask a similar question for personal loans (auto is the likely the most common), in terms of the credit recovery ratio rate.