Valid points, Steve. Still, what I stated before is accurate: The first inquiry will lower your score slightly. After that, the score won't be lowered by the next three inquiries if they are from the same type of creditor (i.e.: mortgage inquiry, auto loan inquiry) within a 30 day period. There are lots of other things that can cause your credit score to decrease that have nothing to do with credit inquiries such as increasing the balance on your credit cards, too many or too few credit accounts, collections, etc..., but based on the original question, the score won't decrease (after the first inquiry) until there are more than four "same category" inquiries within a 30 day period. In other words, the bureaus are not penalizing you solely for shopping for a new mortgage loan. All other issues you discuss are very valid. There are many "used car salesmen" in the mortgage business. Work with someone you can trust or with a lender recommended by a friend. I can't believe the horror stories I've heard from clients of mine who had been the victims of bait & switch tactics from unscrupulous loan reps.