Typically people who apply for multiple credit accounts in a short period are considered “desperate” and the multiple inquiries will drop your score 5-50 points, depending on the number of banks accessing your report.
Those inquiries will remain on your credit report for two years.
You can regain those points by not requesting any new credit accounts until prior inquiries drop off.
The largest factor in credit scoring. If you are maintaining all of your monthly payments, you are increasing your score in small increments over time. Being late on one payment can reduce your credit score by as much as 100 points!
The ratio between the total loan or credit limit amount and how much remains owed factors greatly into your credit score. Additionally, the more accounts you have open, with balances, will lower your score.
New credit is not bad, when it is done in moderation. Opening one loan account every couple of years for a vehicle or a new credit card every 2-5 years, reflects well on your credit. You can experience a slight decrease in your credit initially, but it will return and continue to climb within six months, on average.
Everyone reaches a point in their lives, prior to understanding full financial freedom and planning where a single payment might be paid late on an account. Once the account is paid in full, with no remaining payments, contact the banking institution and ask that they remove the one late payment. This isn't always agreed to, but when it does, your score can jump 25-100 points!
I have referenced MyFico.com a few times throughout this slide presentation. This is the ONLY credit monitoring site I will ever recommend. Not only is it secure, their credit scores are almost always spot-on with every lender I have ever used. Definitely worth the investment to monitor your score through them! :)