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Key takeaways

  • A closing disclosure is a set of documents that contains the finalized details of your mortgage.
  • Mortgage lenders are required to furnish the closing disclosure at least three business days before the closing.
  • You can correct errors on the closing disclosure before the closing, but the loan amount and interest rate can't change unless there's a change in circumstances.

The closing disclosure is the last document you’ll receive before you close your home loan. Review this detailed five-pager carefully to ensure all of the information is correct before closing day.

What is a closing disclosure?

A closing disclosure is a legally-required, five-page statement of your final mortgage loan terms and closing costs. It contains details about your loan term, monthly payments, fees and closing costs.

Your mortgage lender must provide you with the final details of your loan in the closing disclosure at least three business days before closing. That gives you time to compare the final terms and costs with the information you have previously been given on your loan estimate, the three-page document you received when obtaining the mortgage offer.

Compare the closing disclosure with the loan estimate to see if anything has changed. If anything is incorrect, surprising or unclear, you have time to ask the lender to clarify before the closing.

Why are closing disclosures important?

The closing disclosure presents the borrower’s final opportunity to review the terms of their mortgage, ask questions and understand what they are committing to. Importantly, it also informs the borrower of the exact amount of money they’ll need to pay at closing and how much they’ll pay in total over time for the mortgage.

In addition, the closing disclosure holds the lender accountable to the fees they quoted (with some exceptions — more on that below) and to minimize delays with the closing.

What is the three-day rule for closing disclosures?

The closing disclosure three-day rule, formally referred to as the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage rule or TRID (the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule), went into effect in 2015. This regulation includes a requirement that you receive your closing disclosure at least three business days before closing.

By giving you three business days to review your closing disclosure, you’ll have time to check all the numbers and bring up any questions before the closing. Take advantage of this time to look over all the terms of your mortgage loan, and talk to your lawyer, housing counselor or loan officer if you have questions.

What is included in the closing disclosure?

Loan terms Check the figures and take note whether these amounts can increase after closing: the loan amount; interest rate; monthly payment, including principal and interest; prepayment penalty, if any; and balloon payment, if any.
Projected payments These add up to your monthly mortgage payment and include the principal, interest and private mortgage insurance (if applicable), as well as estimated escrow and estimated taxes, insurance and assessments, both of which can increase over time.
Costs of closing This section shows your upfront costs, sometimes called “settlement costs.” It includes loan costs, any lender credits and the amount you’ll be required to pay at closing.
Loan costs This section includes charges such as an application fee, an origination or underwriting fee and any points. It also notes any items to be paid by the seller. The loan costs are categorized as “services that the borrower did not shop for” — including the credit report and appraisal — and those that the borrower did shop for, such as the settlement agent fee and title search.
Other costs These include recording fees, transfer tax (if applicable) and insurance premiums due at signing.
Calculating cash to close This table breaks down your costs at closing, including any deposits you’ve already paid, credits and anything that has changed since your lender gave you your loan estimate.
Summaries of transactions This provides a detailed look at your costs, including the home price, your closing costs and the seller’s costs.
Loan disclosures Here you’ll see legal language describing important characteristics of your loan, such as assumption, demand feature, negative amortization and escrow.
Loan calculations This disclosure shows the total amount you are agreeing to pay over the life of the loan, including interest charges.
Other disclosures This includes more details such as the appraisal, missed payments and other aspects of your loan.
Contact information This includes details on how to reach all the parties involved in your loan.
Confirm receipt Signing this page at closing indicates that you’ve received it.

Sample closing disclosure

This sample closing disclosure from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a helpful illustration of what your closing disclosure will look like. There is an interactive checklist on the right side of the document. If you’re not sure what to check, use the prompts for each section of the document to guide you.

How to check your closing disclosure

With your most recent loan estimate handy, go through each line of the closing disclosure and compare the two documents, including:

  1. Review the spelling of your name.
  2. Verify the property address.
  3. Ensure that the loan description and amount match the description and amount on the loan estimate.
  4. Double-check the loan type, interest rate, monthly payment and other terms.
  5. Confirm you understand all of the fees, and check if any new fees have been added.
  6. Look to see if your lender will be using an escrow account, and make sure you understand how it works.

What can and can’t change on the closing disclosure

Some costs on the closing disclosure are allowed to change, while others cannot. Lenders can’t deliberately understate your costs and then raise the prices at closing time.

In general, if any of the following was changed from your loan estimate or looks unfamiliar, contact your lender and ask for an explanation.

  • Loan information: The majority of the time, this section should match your loan estimate. If it doesn’t, ask your lender why.
  • Loan amount: Note that the loan amount can change, for example, if your closing costs were rolled in.
  • Interest rate: If there is a change from the loan estimate and you locked your rate, ask your lender for clarification.
  • Estimated total monthly payment: This can change; be sure to ask for an explanation from your lender, if so.
  • Closing costs/cash to close: These can also change.
  • Services borrower did not shop for: Ensure there are no new services that were not on your loan estimate.
  • Services borrower did shop for: If there are new services listed here, ask your lender for an explanation on how these were chosen and why they were included.

Note that some closing costs cannot increase, such as fees paid to the lender or mortgage broker, or fees for required services that you did not shop separately for, or that you paid for from an affiliate of your lender or mortgage broker. Transfer taxes cannot increase, either.

Note: If there is a “change in circumstances” which requires a new loan estimate, these costs can change by any amount. A change in circumstances could be when you decide to get a different type of loan, put down a different amount, your home doesn’t appraise at the expected value, your credit file changes or your income documentation isn’t as expected.

Other closing costs can increase without limit, including prepaid interest, insurance premiums, initial escrow account deposits and fees for some third-party services.

There is a third category of closing costs that are permitted to increase by up to 10 percent. These include recording fees and some fees from third-party service providers. If there is a change in circumstances, these costs could increase by more than 10 percent.

If you’re concerned about how to afford closing costs, you can try negotiating with your lender or consider a no-closing-cost mortgage.

Closing disclosure FAQ

  • Mortgage lenders are legally required to provide the closing disclosure within three business days of the closing. If you haven’t received this document by that deadline, contact your lender immediately. Do not move forward with the closing until you receive and review the disclosure.
  • If anything on the closing disclosure looks incorrect, notify your loan officer and title company to fix it before the closing. The document might need to be redone — which could delay the closing date — so it’s important to contact them immediately.
  • While you can compare loan estimates from multiple lenders, you’ll only receive one closing disclosure from the lender you ultimately decide to work with.
  • Your loan is approved, or deemed “clear to close,” before you receive the closing disclosure. Be aware, however, that if you make a major financial change (like quitting your job or opening a new line of credit) around this time, your lender could still deny your loan.
  • Once you’ve signed the mortgage closing disclosure, the mortgage terms are locked in. You can’t make further changes to your loan or payments unless you refinance or seek out relief options through your servicer.
  • No. When you sign the closing disclosure, you’re acknowledging that you reviewed the information in the document. You can still back away from the home sale, but you’ll likely lose your earnest money deposit and any amount you’ve already spent on costs like the home inspection.