The main reason why I write at Mortgage Porter, is to try to answer questions about the mortgage process. A lot of my “content” comes from questions that my clients (people I’m helping to get preapproved to buy a home or refinance a home).
Recently, one of my clients asked me:
“How many times will my credit needs to be pulled during the whole process from preapproval to closing?”
Here’s my answer:
Credit reports are valid for approx. 90 days. So if we run your credit today and you find a home and close the transaction within 80 days, it’s probable your credit report will be ran just once.
If you don’t find a home in time to close before your credit report expires, then a new credit report is pulled. The new credit report will then be valid for another 90 days. This is why preapproval letters are typically valid for about 90 days, due to the credit report “expiring” and no longer being valid.
A “soft pull” is done just prior to closing. This is to verify no new debts or major charge-ups have taken place with your credit. In the event your credit has changed, per the soft pull, your loan would need to back to underwriting to factor the new debts and payments. This is why you want to avoid getting new credit or charging up your credit cards during the mortgage process.
Sometimes home buyers may delay starting the preapproval process to avoid having their credit pulled too many times. However, I typically recommend starting the preapproval process as soon as you start thinking about buying a home. This allows you to have time to improve credit scores, if needed, or work on potential issues.
So it is possible to buy a home or refinance and just have your credit report pulled once (hard pull) and very possible, if it takes a few months to find your next home, that your credit report may be repulled.
I’m happy to help you with your mortgage needs, whether you’re buying or refinancing a home in Washington state.