Hi 3 Ring Circus,
From what I recall and to the best of my knowledge,.....
if you are looking for a home loan, you can run your credit score by up to 8 companies for a 2 month window.
the whole credit score loss of points is based on the type of loan. auto loan, or home loan. Credit cards is a different story. It is wise to get 3 or 4 direct lenders to quote you rates, and get pre qualification. www.southern-california-home.com/qualifyforasoutherncaliforniahome.html has links to four national direct lenders online.
I wish you the best of luck in your home search.
So Cal Homes Realty