getting multiple mortgage pre-approvals damage my credit rating?
I'm looking for some advice as I start to plan my purchase of a new home down the road. I don't understand very much about getting the mortgage process started, so hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.
I want to know if getting multiple pre-approvals for a mortgage is going to ultimately hurt my credit rating. The reason I ask is because my plan is to go to different banks to see what each bank can offer (low/competitive rates, features like lump sum payments, etc) when I move forward with a pre-approval. If I don't use it within the 90 or 120 days, I can just let it expire. Is it wise for me to do this in case I buy a house in the near future?
The other option I was thinking was to just make appointments at different banks to speak with them to get some information about their mortgages, but not actually go through with any pre-approvals. However, with this option, I feel that they won't be able to give me a good rate because I won't look seriously interested (because I'm not actually going through with a pre-approval).
A little help?