Q: Does it hurt your credit each time you open a bank account? Is it better not to have too many accounts?
A: Opening an account (bank, credit card, etc) often involves a credit inquiry. For checking accounts and self-checking your credit that’s a ping, or soft inquiry into your credit. Those stay on your credit report for only 3-4 months, so if you were applying for lots of accounts over a few month period, it might look sketchy. But in a long game (1year +) it’s fine. If you’re applying for credit (a loan, a credit card) these may be hard inquiries into your credit, which are also ok as long as you don’t overdo it. Shopping around for a good rate on a personal loan or mortgage is also a good practice.
Having multiple accounts is ok, but it’s best if you’re using them, even irregularly. So if you have a few credit cards open and don’t use them all regularly, it’s a good practice to cycle through using them (and paying off what you use each month). This will actually improve your credit score.
Pro tip: do NOT close credit accounts, especially if you’ve had the card for a long time. Length of time you’ve had credit available to you factors into your credit score as well, as does the total amount of credit available to you. Better to leave an account open and use it very sporadically.
Finally, remember that it’s a best practice to look at your credit score and report annually, so you know what’s happening in there. Services that provide this for free include Credit Karma, and AnnualCreditReport. And remember, since you’ll need to provide a SSN to get these reports, only use websites that have https <–with the S for ‘secure’.