If you’re looking for a great rate on a loan, you may be worried that too many hits may drop your score. Although too many credit inquiries can damage your credit score, there are ways to prepare yourself for the best possible outcome so that your score doesn’t have to suffer greatly.

The first best step to ensuring that your credit score doesn’t drop is to do your own research first. Before allowing institutions to run your credit, learn more about them. Check out the lender’s website to learn about the terms commonly offered to those with similar credit profiles as yours. This way you can better identify your options before you start applying for credit.

The second best step is to only apply for one type of credit account at a time. So, if you want to get a new mortgage, it’s best to wait a while before getting a new auto loan. Getting too much credit at one time may make lenders think you are going to act irresponsibly.

Most importantly, be sure that your credit health is in great shape. This way a few hard credit inquiries won’t be detrimental to your credit score.