The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued Your Home Loan Toolkit: A Step-by-Step Guide. The toolkit is designed to help potential homeowners navigate the process of buying a home. As the press release notes,
The toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to help consumers understand the nature and costs of real estate settlement services, define what affordable means to them, and find their best mortgage. The toolkit features interactive worksheets and checklists, conversation starters for discussions between consumers and lenders, and research tips to help consumers seek out and find important information.
* * *
Creditors must provide the toolkit to mortgage applicants as a part of the application process, and other industry participants, including real estate professionals, are encouraged to provide it to potential homebuyers.
The toolkit asks many of the important questions that homebuyers have:
- What does affordability mean for you?
- What kind of credit profile do you have?
- What kind of mortgage is right for you?
- How do points work?
- How do you comparison shop with lenders?
- How does a closing work?
- How do you read your Closing Disclosure?
- How do keep your mortgage in good standing?
That being said, it remains to be seen whether this toolkit will actually help potential homeowners. It is important for the CFPB to design an effectiveness study to see how the toolkit performs in practice.