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Consumer issues / Your credit

Resources for improving credit, avoiding predatory lenders, and ensuring that your home is healthy and safe from hazardous materials and environmental concerns.

Once you’ve selected a lender

Once You’ve Selected a Lender, Get the Fees in Writing

A “Good Faith Estimate” of all loan charges must be sent within 3 days of application. Ask the lender for blank copies of the forms you’ll sign at closing, when the loan is final. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation. By law, you can inspect the settlement statement (also called the closing disclosure) one day prior to closing. Write down any questions you want to ask.

Never Sign Anything if the Lender

  • Tells you to falsify any information on the loan application or suggest you make up information that you may be missing (for example, income, expenses, or down payment).
  • Pressures you into applying for a loan for more money than you need, or one that has monthly payments larger than you can afford.
  • Promises one set of terms but gives you another with no good reason for the change.
  • Tells you to sign blank forms or forms that aren’t completely filled in. If an item is supposed to be blank, draw a line through the space and initial it.
  • Pressures you to sign something that you do not thoroughly understand.
  • Promises to give you money if you use them.
  • Promises to fix your credit.

For more information about Predatory Lending, go to

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