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Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation

Each depositor insured to at least $250,000 per insured bank

Additional Tips to Help You Get the Best Loan Terms

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Shop, Compare, Negotiate

Once you have decided on the type of mortgage you want, there are several steps you can take to get the best price for your mortgage.

Loan Estimate

Loan Estimate Sample - PDF 270Kb

Federal law requires the lender or broker to mail or give you a Loan Estimate within three business days of getting your application.

“Application” means that the creditor has certain key pieces of information, such as your name, social security number, and the property address. But the lender cannot require you to provide verifying documents before giving you the Loan Estimate.

You can use the Loan Estimate to help you understand the potential costs and terms of loans you are considering. Here’s some of the key information you can find on the Loan Estimate:

You can use the Loan Estimate to shop among mortgage lenders and save.

While some closing costs may increase without limits from the Loan Estimate to the time you close the loan, there are legal limitations on when, and by how much, other closing costs can increase.If the APR increases by a certain margin above what was previously disclosed, the lender must provide a corrected disclosure at least three business days before the loan closing.

Keep your Loan Estimate so you can compare it with the Closing Disclosure, which provides you with more details reflecting your final loan terms.

Qualify for a Loan

Lenders use certain criteria to qualify you for a loan, including your income, debt, and credit history.

Once you find a home, you can request a pre-approval. In some circumstances, it is advisable to get pre-approved before you buy, for example, in areas in which houses stay on the market only a short time before they are purchased.


Pre-approval is a commitment from the lender to lend you money. The pre-approval process lets you know how much of a mortgage you can obtain, and tells sellers you are prepared to buy a home.

To obtain pre-approval you need to assemble financial records and fill out an application. You will usually need:

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