Short answer - No.
In the mortgage world, this is the equivalent of using the internet instead of going to a doctor for a medical diagnosis. Here's why:
1) It's not always the same score. If a mortgage company, an auto loan company, and a credit card company all pull your credit on the same day, you can expect to be told 3 different scores. The reason being that there are different equations and different score models depending on type of credit you are applying for.
2) It doesn't usually show everything that a mortgage credit report does. Typically, the free online credit report monitoring sites only use 1 of the 3 credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax). Oddly enough, creditors are not required to report to any of the credit bureaus. This is a choice each creditor makes individually. As a result, they may report to 1 of the 3, 2 of the 3, all of them, or none of them at all. Each credit bureau produces a different score based on the data they are given. If we are missing some of the data, we could easily make a mistake when qualifying someone for a home loan.
3) We can't run credit simulators using it. Running a credit simulator allows us to see what changes could be made quickly (within 30 days) to potentially increase your score. We can only run a credit simulator if we are able to pull your credit report ourselves.
4) We can't run our automated underwriting software without our own credit report. This software evaluates your loan file and lets us know if your file preliminarily meets the rules or guidelines for your selected loan program. This can also tell us if an appraisal will be required for your transaction.
5) We can’t give you a pre-approval letter to write an offer on a house without having our own credit report. Any reputable loan officer or mortgage company would have high reservations around providing you a pre-approval letter without pulling scores from all 3 credit bureaus, getting a full loan application, and having your financial documents. The reason for this is that the pre-approval letter states that we have reviewed all of these items.
We know you are worried about a hit to your credit score. If you aren't ready for your credit to be pulled, that is completely fine. Please be transparent about why you don't want your credit pulled. Sometimes, we can offer suggestions or help you set a target date!
If you are thinking about buying a home in the near future and want to learn more about your credit score, please reach out!