Q0: The number of inquiries on your credit report impacted your score, but their effect was not significant.
If a lender runs a credit check when you apply for credit, an inquiry is reported to the credit bureaus. This can lower your score a small amount, in this case the drop was not significant. The VantageScore credit score model takes rate shopping, e.g., for a mortgage or car loan, into consideration. All inquiries for mortgages, auto loans and major credit cards that appear in your credit file within a 14-day window are interpreted as a single inquiry. Another time inquiries never count against your score is when you check your own credit or obtain your own credit score.
Apply for credit only when you need it. If you are approved for credit, the small score drop from making an inquiry will disappear within a short time and the score will quickly benefit if you make on-time payments and manage your new account in a responsible fashion.