I was rather frustrated that, at the end of the process - there were 9 hard pulls on my credit! Apparently the finance guy at the dealership was shopping the loan around to get the best rate/terms.
In the process, two declined, a few made counter-offers, and finally found the loan that got the terms I needed (Compass Bank).
My understanding is that those 9 pulls will not all count against me (all related to a single purchase). True or false?
But the big question - The dealer showed me my credit report with "FICO" - 701. Yet when I started to get letters from the various finance institutions, there were two scores (though supposedly pulled from the same bureau) - TU. A couple listed the score (701), another couple listed 680.
I am curious how the FICO score (at least indicated that they were FICO scores) would be different? Were they using a different scoring system?
Welcome to the forums!
It's very normal for a dealership to run your credit multiples of times to find that rate. IMO, always consider applying at a CU somewhere and that avoids the inquiries.
The inquiries aren't a big deal. It's true that FICO will lump auto loan inquiries together for scoring purposes if pulled within a certain time frame. That time frame is anywhere from 14-45 days depending on which FICO score is pulled when checking credit after these inquiries. So, you can app 100 times in a 2 weeks period and FICO ignores 99 of them. Same applies to mortgage and SL inquiries too. Also, FICO will not score that one inquiry until the window expires so that way your score isn't potentially dinged when you go from lender #1 to #2.
The lenders that pulled your credit are likely using different types of FICO scores. Many auto lenders will use an automobile-enhanced FICO score which weighs your past car borrowing experience. Other lenders will use a classic FICO (non-weighted) like what is used by mortgage lenders, some CC-issuers, etc. The could also be using older or newer versions of these scores which could cause differences. If these lenders provided score ranges it's possible to figure out which score was used.