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If that failed, I think I would apply for the loan through the bank, apply for the credit card, then apply for the loan through the builder's lender. This way, the lowest score would be with his lender.

I don't quite understand what this "credit card" strategy is all about, and how it would be a good thing. You're assuming that by applying for a credit card, your credit score will be lowered (why would you strive for that?) and that a lowered score would somehow serve you. Please explain this a little more, because it sounds convoluted to me and you may end up shooting yourself in the foot.

Catherine Coy
Mortgage Broker
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