The Federal Government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a Home Loan Toolkit, a step-by-step guide through the mortgage purchase process, for consumer use. This is a must use tool for real estate professionals to create realistic expectations for their clients and customers.
This toolkit helps consumers to:
- Calculate affordable monthly mortgage payments;
- Understand the importance of credit scores to obtaining better mortgages;
- Pick their mortgage type;
- Choose the best down payment amount;
- Shop with different lenders;
- Understand and know about issues that may arise;
- Choose a mortgage closing agent; and
- Understand the overall closing process.
This Home Loan Toolkit has fillable text fields, buttons, and list boxes, allowing consumers to update the toolkit as they work through the process. It is designed to be much easier and more accessible version of the existing Settlement Cost Booklet that is currently provided to consumers and should be used in connection with the new (and simpler) Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms that will be effective on August 1, 2015.
Though creditors are required to provide the toolkit to all potential homebuyers, the CFPB encourages that real estate agents understand and provide this toolkit to their clients as well. The more informed the parties, the smoother the real estate transaction will go.