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What documents should I receive before closing on a mortgage loan?

You can expect to receive various types of documents:

Federally-mandated documents
These documents inform you of the key terms, provisions, and costs of your loan. They outline your key rights and responsibilities as a borrower, and record the transaction between you and your lender.

Federally-mandated documents include:

  • The Loan Estimate is a form that lays out important information about the loan you applied for. The lender sends you a Loan Estimate within three business days of receiving your application. Visit our interactive sample Loan Estimate with tips and definitions.
  • The Closing Disclosure is a form that lists all final terms of the loan you’ve selected, final closing costs, and the details of who pays and who receives money at closing. Your lender sends you a Closing Disclosure at least three business days before closing. Visit our interactive sample Closing Disclosure with tips and definitions.
  • The Notice of the Right to Rescind if the loan is not used to purchase a home, for example, a refinance or home equity line of credit. This notice informs you that you have three business days from the lender’s fulfillment of certain conditions to cancel your loan and provides a form for cancelling the loan.
    • Tip: If the lender fails to give you two copies of the right to rescind or accurate Truth-in-Lending Disclosures on the Closing Disclosure or Final Truth in Lending Disclosure, you have the right to cancel the loan for up to three years.
  • The Initial Escrow Statement, which lists the estimated taxes, insurance premiums, and other charges the lender anticipates paying from your escrow account during the first year of your loan.

Contractual documents include:

  • A promissory note, which describes what you are agreeing to. It provides you with details regarding your loan, including:
    • The amount you owe
    • The interest rate of the mortgage loan
    • The dates when the payments are to be made
    • The total amount you will pay
    • The length of time for repayment
    • Whether and how the payment amounts can change
    • The place where the payments are to be sent
  • A mortgage or security instrument, which explains your responsibilities and rights as a borrower. The mortgage grants the lender or servicer the right to foreclose on your home if you fail to make payments as you’ve agreed.
  • State and local government-mandated documents: These are documents that fulfill state and local government requirements, generally for the purpose of collecting information and protecting you.
  • Lender documents: These are documents added by the lender, for example, an affidavit of occupancy.

The CFPB has resources to help you review your closing documents:

Tip:  Ask your lender to provide a full set of all the documents in advance, at the same time that you receive the Closing Disclosure. That way, you’ll have more time to review them all.  

Note: You won’t receive a Loan Estimate or Closing Disclosure 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 Truth-in-Lending disclosure – instead of a Loan Estimate. Instead of a Closing Disclosure, you will receive a final Truth in Lending disclosure and a HUD -1 Settlement Statement. 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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