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

Before closing on a mortgage, you can expect to receive documents required by state and federal law and contractual documents.

You can expect to receive various types of documents:

Documents required by federal law

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. 

These documents include:

  • The Notice of the Right to Rescind for loans 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.
  • 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: This 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:

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.