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It really depends on how much credit you are seeking in multiple areas. For example, if you apply for several car loans in a short period, such as 2 weeks, then generally it will be merged eventually without affecting your credit. However, if you are seeking a mortgage, car loan, and credit card all at once then this can affect your credit score as the banks see this as possibly living beyond your means.
Subprime loans are for borrowers who have past and/or present challenges in their credit history. Typically interest rates tend to be higher as the bank sees a greater risk of the loan not being paid back.