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Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be complicated and time-consuming. If you’re planning to buy a house, you might not want to go through that process again and again with numerous lenders, but you should. It could pay off in the form of significant savings over the life of your loan.

Reasons to Request Several Quotes
Lenders offer mortgages with a variety of terms. Mortgage points, also known as discount points, are fees that you can pay upfront to lower your interest rate and save money each month. The mortgage points, as well as interest rates and fees, all vary by lender, often substantially. Borrowers who shop around typically save thousands of dollars. The more quotes you get, the more information you’ll have to help you make a decision.

Getting multiple quotes can also give you leverage to help you negotiate. If one lender makes an attractive offer, but with a higher interest rate and/or fees than a competitor, your preferred lender may be willing to match the other company’s offer.

When and How to Apply for Mortgage Quotes
To complete the pre-approval process, each lender will take a careful look at your employment, income, debts and credit history to decide whether it would be willing to loan you money and, if so, how much and under what terms. Mortgage interest rates change frequently, so it’s important to conduct your research within a relatively short period of time, choose a lender and act quickly.

A mortgage broker can make it easy to apply for mortgage pre-approval from several lenders. You can give a broker your information once so he or she can submit a series of applications on your behalf. Another option is to contact lenders yourself, either online or by phone, and request quotes.

Would Shopping Around Hurt Your Credit Score?
A hard inquiry, or a credit check that a company makes to decide whether to loan you money, can have a small negative effect on your credit score. If you shop around for a mortgage or auto loan and get quotes from several lenders, however, those will be treated as one event and will only impact your score once.

The two largest companies that design credit-scoring systems are FICO and VantageScore. FICO treats multiple hard inquiries for a mortgage as one event if they occur in a 45-day period, and VantageScore treats them as one event in a two-week period.

Compare Lenders to Save Money on Your New Home
Many home shoppers don’t request multiple mortgage quotes, either because they don’t realize how much money they could save or because they feel overwhelmed by the thought of contacting several lenders and comparing numerous sets of facts and figures. It’s an important step that can yield substantial savings and is worth the relatively small amount of time that would be required. Request quotes from several types of lenders, including banks, credit unions and online institutions, so you can get the best deal possible.