Your mortgage statement contains important information about your balance and payments.

What is a mortgage statement?

A mortgage statement is a document containing the latest details about your loan, including your monthly payment. Your mortgage lender or servicer is required by law to send you statements for each billing cycle.

Mortgage statements are typically issued once a month via mail; you can view them any time on your lender’s or servicer’s website, as well. You might have the option to receive them electronically, but as a practice, you might want to stick with paper statements, as it’s often easier to spot errors on a hard copy versus email.

What is included in a mortgage statement?

Your monthly mortgage statement provides a snapshot of your outstanding loan, including the remaining balance, the maturity date (when the loan will be fully repaid) and other information. It also breaks down some of your payment history. Here’s an overview:

Courtesy of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau/Illustration by Hunter Newton/Bankrate

  1. Account/loan number: This is the number associated with your loan. You might see it displayed when you log into your servicer’s website. If you contact your servicer for any reason, you’ll need to provide this number.
  2. Payment due date: Most mortgage payments are due on the first of the month. If you’re set up with auto-payments, this due date serves as a reminder of when those funds come out of your bank account.
  3. Amount due: This is the full payment due on the due date, including principal, interest, escrow and any fees.
  4. Current payment due: This section itemizes your monthly payment so you can see exactly how much you’re paying for the loan versus escrow and any fees.
  5. Contact us: This section lists different ways to get in touch with your servicer.
  6. Account information: This section typically includes your contact information, the balance left on your loan, your interest rate and when your loan term ends (known as the “maturity date”). It might also indicate a prepayment penalty, which is a fee you’ll be charged if you pay off your loan early. Most mortgages don’t impose a prepayment penalty.
  7. Transaction activity: This section provides dates and descriptions of the activities in your account from the last month, including when payments were received.
  8. Past payment breakdown: This section presents your payment history from the last month, as well as so far this year (“year to date”).

What to do with your mortgage statement

If you’ve been paying your mortgage for some time, you might not think twice about tossing your statements, but they provide valuable information about your loan. Next time you receive a statement, take the time to review the following for accuracy:

  • Balance and interest rate
  • Escrow payments
  • Any fees
  • A delinquency notice

Unless you have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), your interest rate shouldn’t change. If you do have an ARM, your statement shows how long your current rate is in effect.

The balance or outstanding principal, however, continues to change as you pay down the loan. You can use this information from your statement to help guide decisions around accessing your home’s equity, refinancing or selling your home.

If you don’t auto-pay your mortgage, keep an eye out for any late fees listed on your statement, too. Most lenders allow a 15-day grace period before they charge a late fee.

In addition, review the escrow payments. These go to an escrow account that covers your homeowners insurance premiums and property taxes. Since premiums and taxes can fluctuate year to year, your monthly payment might go up or down (likely up) over time.

If you’re behind on your mortgage payments by 45 days or longer, your statement will also include a “delinquency notice.” If this is the case, contact your servicer right away to explore relief options.

How long to keep mortgage statements

Some borrowers keep their mortgage statements for a few years, but because you’ll likely be able to access them online, it’s OK to dispose of them if you don’t want the paper trail. However, don’t ever get rid of:

  • Closing documents, including the mortgage note and title information
  • Deed to your home
  • Form 1098, the IRS loan interest document you’ll need when it comes time to file
  • Appraisal documents
  • Home inspection and any home warranty documents
  • Property survey

These should be stored in a safe place for as long as you own the property, even after the loan is paid off.

Separate from your mortgage statements, you’ll also receive an annual escrow account statement. This contains estimated escrow payments, so hang onto it — it helps you understand whether your account might have a shortfall or if you’ve overpaid. Another pro tip: Compare the property taxes paid on the statement versus what the tax collector indicates was paid on its website. Sometimes, there can be discrepancies if your servicer changes.

Ways to pay your mortgage

You can pay your mortgage in several ways, but you’ll most likely do it via auto-pay, online or by mailing in the payment. The downside with mailing, of course, is the risk of your payment arriving late. Give yourself ample time to send the check.

Some lenders allow you to pay in-person at a branch location or over the phone, as well. Your statement will outline the acceptable methods of payment.

One way that won’t work: credit cards. The major card issuers don’t allow you to make mortgage payments with plastic, and your lender likely won’t agree to it, either.