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The Loan Estimate: What it tells you about a mortgage offer

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Change is good. It's Holden again. Even better when it saves you money.

The old Good Faith Estimate and TILA documents have been combined to create the new Loan Estimate form, an easy-to-understand summary of the mortgage offer you are considering.

Three simple pages will map out everything you need to know about your monthly payments, interest rate, closing costs, cash to close, comparing 2 or more loan offers, accuracy of the estimate, and hidden traps.

So, out with the old and in with the new!

How much is this mortgage going to cost me? How much would the closing costs be for this mortgage? And how do the closing costs compare with other loan offers?

You'll find the answers to those and other questions by reading and comparing the Loan Estimate, a 3-page document that summarizes the details of a loan offer, including:

  • Loan amount, interest rate and estimated monthly payments.
  • Itemized closing costs and how much cash you'll need at closing.
  • Your total costs in the first 5 years of the loan.
  • The annual percentage rate (APR) and total interest percentage (TIP).
  • How much late payments will cost.
  • How often the payments can change, and by how much (if it's an adjustable-rate mortgage).
  • Whether the loan is assumable, and other important elements.

Is your credit mortgage-ready? Get your free credit score at myBankrate.

Guide to the Loan Estimate

Each of the following questions will take you to a brief description of where to look on the Loan Estimate to get an answer.

How much will my payments be for this mortgage?

How much will my payments be for this mortgage?

Here's where can you find the estimated monthly mortgage payments on the Loan Estimate.

What's the interest rate on the mortgage?

What's the interest rate on the mortgage?

See how the interest rate calculation is presented in the new Loan Estimate.

How much will I pay for mortgage closing costs?

How much will I pay for mortgage closing costs?

Mortgage closing costs appear twice in the Loan Estimate. Here's where.

How much cash to close?

How much cash to close?

How much cash will you need at closing? See how to find out on the Loan Estimate.

How do I compare loan offers?

How do I compare loan offers?

The Loan Estimate helps borrowers compare loan offers. See how to do it.

How accurate is the mortgage Loan Estimate?

How accurate is the mortgage Loan Estimate?

See where the mortgage Loan Estimate has to be exact and where it has wiggle room.

Will this mortgage trip me up?

Will this mortgage trip me up?

The Loan Estimate will show you if there are any risky features in this mortgage.

Is this an adjustable-rate mortgage?

Is this an adjustable-rate mortgage?

Can the interest rate change? The Loan Estimate shows you if it can and when.

Has my mortgage rate been locked?

Has my mortgage rate been locked?

The Loan Estimate shows you if you've locked your interest rate and how long it will remain at that rate.

More on the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure

our the Loan Estimate form for mortgages

Tour the Loan Estimate form for mortgages

This step-by-step guide to the 3-page Loan Estimate shows you where to find crucial information for your home loan.

The Loan Estimate: Where to find answers to your mortgage questions

The Loan Estimate: Where to find answers to your mortgage questions

Questions about a mortgage offer? Here's where to find answers on the Loan Estimate.

How to use the mortgage Closing Disclosure

How to use the mortgage Closing Disclosure

Here's how to use the Closing Disclosure to get the mortgage that you were promised.

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