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What is a Good Faith Estimate? What is a GFE?

A Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is a form that lists basic information about the terms of a mortgage loan for which you've applied. If you applied for a mortgage before October 3, 2015, or if you are applying for a reverse mortgage, you will receive a GFE.

The GFE includes the estimated costs for the mortgage loan. The Good Faith Estimate provides you with basic information about the loan, which helps you:

  • Compare offers
  • Understand the real cost of the loan
  • Make an informed decision about choosing a loan

The lender must provide you with a GFE within three business days of receiving your application or other required information. You can be charged a credit report fee before receiving a GFE.  But, you can't be charged any other fees until you get the GFE and indicate that you want to proceed with the mortgage loan.

Tip: You don't have to take the mortgage loan just because you receive a GFE. You can shop around and get multiple GFEs before choosing a loan or a lender.

Note: If you applied for a mortgage on or after October 3, 2015, you will receive a new form, called the Loan Estimate, instead of a GFE for most kinds of mortgage loans. 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 receive a Truth-in-Lending disclosure

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