Shopping for a home loan means getting your credit pulled. There’s no way around it.

Without taking a look at your credit report, most lenders won’t be able to complete your pre-qualification, much less pre-approve you to purchase a home.

Granting lenders permission to pull your scores—yes, they need your permission—constitutes what’s known as a “hard inquiry.” To be sure, a hard inquiry can ding your credit.

But if there is a hit, it’s typically just a handful of points. Hard inquiries on your credit can be a troublesome sign. But the major credit bureaus also see the value of comparison shopping—and that’s why they cut home buyers some slack.

Let’s take a closer look at how shopping around for a mortgage will affect your credit and the smartest ways to limit the impact. Continue....