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I should have been a bit clearer, I want to find out how much I will be approved for and my thoughts are a "pre-qualify" is a rough estimate and a "pre-approval" would be more accurate. I would like to find out how much of a mortgage I would qualify for even though I don't plan to buy until spring. Should I just seek to get pre-qualified then instead to see what I can expect to get?

They can do quite a bit without a credit check. That will get you a rough estimate and preserve your FICO.

If they do a credit check, since you are initiating it, I believe it will be a hard inquiry which will knock your FICO. Over 6-9 months the impact will lessen, but why risk it at all?
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