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What do I have to do to apply for a mortgage loan?

Applying for a mortgage loan is a process. The first step is to request a Loan Estimate.

To receive a Loan Estimate, you need to submit only six key pieces of information:

  • Your name
  • Your income
  • Your Social Security number (so the lender can check your credit)
  • The address of the home you plan to purchase or refinance
  • An estimate of the home's value
  • The loan amount you want to borrow

Although you're not required to provide documents in order to get a Loan Estimate, it's a good idea to share what you have with the lender. The more information the lender has, the more accurate your Loan Estimate will be.

It's a good idea to request Loan Estimates from several lenders. That way, you can compare your options and choose the best loan for you and your family. Each lender is required to send you a Loan Estimate within three business days of receiving your six key pieces of information.

Once you're ready to choose a loan offer, you need to notify the lender that you are ready to proceed with the loan application. If you don't notify a lender that you'd like to proceed within 10 business days, the lender may revise the Loan Estimate or close your application as incomplete and you may need to start over. The 10 business days are calculated from when the lender delivers the Loan Estimate to you or places it in the mail, whichever is earlier.

Once you've notified the lender that you would like to proceed with an application, the lender may ask you to provide additional information and documents to verify the information you have already submitted. The lender processes this information and may follow up with you to request additional information or clarification. Once the lender has received all the necessary information, the lender approves or denies your loan application.

Note: You won't receive a Loan Estimate if you applied for a mortgage prior to October 3, 2015, or if you're applying for a reverse mortgage. For those loans , you will receive two forms – a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and an initial a Truth-in-Lending disclosure – instead of a Loan Estimate. The rules for a GFE are different – lenders may require additional information beyond the six items listed above in order to provide you with a GFE, but they still may not require any documentation. If you are applying for a HELOC, a manufactured housing loan that is not secured by real estate, or a loan through certain types of homebuyer assistance programs, you will not receive a GFE or a Loan Estimate, but you should recieve a Truth-in-Lending disclosure.

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