Loan Estimate

By now, you should have 4 loan officers who are appropriate for you. GREAT JOB!!

It’s time to pull the trigger and get some real quotes, but not just estimates of quotes, quotes that are real and most importantly, complete.

IMPORTANT: When you get a real quote, a loan officer pulls your credit (that’s why you’re ready to go with all your documentation and mortgage loan officers who can actually help you). You have 30 days to shop around between loan officers without credit dings.

Why the Loan Estimate is so important

In 2012, it became law that loan officers must give mortgage clients their quotes in a specific format. This format is easy to read and complete so that you have all the information you need, in an understandable format.

The problem is, most loan officers don’t produce the document, called the “Loan Estimate” until after you’ve already picked an offer! Which means that you’re making a decision based on incomplete or confusing information.

Without the Loan Estimate, you won’t be aware of the details and fees. It’s also really important to know, because it has estimated closing costs. Very important!

It’s essential that you get your mortgage quotes in the Loan Estimate format.

Here’s a script to request it:

You: Thank you for the mortgage quotes. I would like to apply for approval and need a copy of the Loan Estimate. 

Loan officer: That’s a form you get only after you get approved! I’ll email you updated quotes right now instead. 

You: I read on the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) web site that I can request a Loan Disclosure form when I submit my application. I will need this form from you in order to proceed with my loan. It is important that I get this.

Loan officer: Well, okay. This is a very unusual request, but…

You: Please send it ASAP so I can review. Thank you!

This is an example of what the Loan Estimate looks like (download an example in PDF form):

Make sure it is legible

I’ve gotten copies of Loan Estimates that are barely legible, that are faxed or in incredibly small print. Don’t settle for a Loan Estimate that isn’t readable! Ask them to resend you a legible copy.