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If you’re thinking about buying a house, you’ve probably heard the term “credit score.” This 3-digit number tells a bank how likely it is that you can pay back your loans, and it’s based on things like the amount of debt you have, loans you’ve had in the past, and your repayment history. The higher your score, the more likely it is that a bank will lend you money. You’ve earned your score by taking good care of your finances, so you want to be careful about anything that might take away from it. And one thing that can subtract points from your score is a credit inquiry. “But wait!” you say. “Aren’t I supposed to get pre-approved for my mortgage before I start looking at houses? And doesn’t a pre-approval count as a credit inquiry?” Good question, but when it comes to pre-approval, your credit score is safe. Here’s why.