Request a Loan Estimate.
Contact the lenders you are considering and tell them you are ready to request a Loan Estimate. You don’t need to provide written documentation yet (though it’s always a good idea to share what you have). You just need to provide six key pieces of information to begin your loan application:
- Your name
- Your income
- Your social security number (so the lender can check your credit)
- The address of the home you plan to purchase
- An estimate of the home’s value (typically, the sale price)
- The loan amount you want to borrow (the home price minus your down payment amount)
Ask each lender for the same kind of loan with the same features.
You want to be comparing apples to apples when you get your Loan Estimates. At this point in the process, you should already have a pretty good idea of the kind of loan and features you want:
- loan type
- rate type (fixed or adjustable)
- loan term
- down payment amount / loan amount
- points / credits
- rate lock period
If you’re unsure about any of these options, click the links above for specific information, revisit our Explore loan choices phase for a step-by-step overview, or have a more exploratory conversation with lenders.
Share information about the property taxes and condo or HOA dues for the home you plan to purchase.
Your Loan Estimate includes an estimate of these costs. If they are escrowed, they are included in your total monthly payment. Your total monthly payment is an important number, because it helps you decide whether a loan is affordable for you. To get the most accurate estimates, share any information you have about these property-related costs with your lenders. The seller or a real estate agent is usually the best source for this information.