The Market

How much will mortgage shopping affect my credit score?

By Leigh Kamping-Carder  | November 20, 2014 - 3:59PM

Under federal law, mortgage lenders have to run your credit history before issuing a loan, but the mere act of checking your score can lower it. So should you worry that shopping around for a mortgage will wreck your credit? Not really, according to Zillow.

Credit checks related to home loans make less of a dent “because the bureaus know consumers shop for these big-ticket items,” Zillow writes, referring to Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, the three big credit reporting agencies. “The bureaus’ scoring models are coded to ‘de-duplicate’ multiple mortgage inquiries, since the end result of those inquiries would be one mortgage.” In other words, if several banks look up your score, it will only count as one check, while multiple checks from credit card providers will count separately. 

That said, the safest bet is to get your mortgage shopping done within two weeks, Zillow advises, since some lenders use credit scoring models that will only “de-duplicate” checks that occur within a 14-day window. Other lenders use models that expand the timeframe to 45 days, but you won't know which model your bank is using.


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