Can applying for credit cards hurt your credit score, if you have no credit?

I’m a student who is trying my very best in this economy to build credit. I have heard recently that you should apply for credit cards carefully, because every time you get denied, it hurts your credit score… Is that true? I wonder how it can if it is currently non-existent? The irony is that I have been denied twice (currently waiting on a third application), due to not having enough credit history. But I digress…

Thank you in advance for any answers.

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