I monitor my (Experian) credit and see some factors are helping and some factors are hurting my score, which is borderline "Excellent". Of the 9 line items reported, one is, "The number of inquiries was also a factor, but effect was not significant". I have not been applying for credit recently, so now I wonder.

How far back are inquiries considered? Several years? One year? One month?

And within whatever time frame is correct, at what number does it not hurt at all?

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    Which service are you using to see your credit score? – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Mar 6 '18 at 16:41
  • Experian reports this. – donjuedo Mar 6 '18 at 17:09
  • Just to be clear, when you say “Experian reports this,” are you reading this on experian.com, or is this a credit score from another service based on Experian’s credit report data? – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Mar 6 '18 at 17:11
  • usaa.experiandirect.com is the web page, so I take it that is first-hand data. – donjuedo Mar 6 '18 at 17:19
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    Most (all?) of the reporting agencies will include details of hard inquiries on your report for 2 years, and scoring models will typically factor those inquiries into your score for a period of one year, with the overall effect diminishing throughout that year. – CactusCake Mar 6 '18 at 17:32

There are different credit scores, and each has its own secret formula. Based on this page from USAA, I believe that the credit score you are seeing through USAA is VantageScore 3.0. This is different from the more famous FICO score (which is used by most lenders) in a number of ways. One key difference between the two is how recent credit inquiries affect your score.

According to credit.com, deduplication is different between the two. When you are shopping around for a mortgage or car loan, you may have multiple credit inquiries in a short amount of time. Deduplication is the process by which the credit score detects this activity and considers it all one inquiry. The article claims that FICO uses a 45-day window for deduplication, but VantageScore only uses a 15-day window.

Credit inquiries remain on your credit report for 2 years, but according to this article on Experian.com, credit inquiries only affect your FICO score for a maximum of 1 year. I haven’t found any articles that report the length of time that inquiries affect your VantageScore.

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