Rate Shopping for a Mortgage Loan

When you apply for a mortgage loan, the lender will typically pull your credit report to assess your creditworthiness. This is known as a hard credit inquiry and can have a temporary negative impact on your credit score. However, when shopping for a mortgage loan, it's possible to limit the impact on your credit score by completing all of your rate shopping within a short period of time.

The specific length of time that you have to shop for a mortgage loan without negatively affecting your credit score will vary depending on the credit scoring model used by the lender. However, the general rule of thumb is that you should aim to complete all of your rate shopping within a 14- to 45-day window.

During this period, multiple hard credit inquiries for mortgage loan applications will typically be treated as a single inquiry for credit scoring purposes. This means that your credit score will only be impacted by one inquiry, rather than multiple inquiries.

To ensure that your credit score is not negatively affected by rate shopping, it's important to work with a mortgage broker or lender who understands the importance of limiting the number of hard credit inquiries and completing all of the rate shopping within a short period of time. Additionally, you can monitor your credit score and credit report during the rate shopping process to ensure that there are no errors or inaccuracies that could impact your ability to secure a mortgage loan.