What is the Good Faith Estimate (GFE)

To Do Lists and Other Helpful Information

The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) provides an itemized summary of approximate costs you would face at closing with a particular loan. It also specifies an average monthly mortgage payment. Please see our section on What It Costs to Close for more detailed information on all the costs that the GFE will estimate.

Since the GFE is a standardized form, it allows you to compare loan offers from different lenders. Because loan programs vary in so many details, this form provides your best chance for a true comparison of the overall consequences of different loan programs.

Keep in mind that the GFE is an estimate. The costs you pay at closing could end up being very different from the figures you see on this form. That’s because the lender does not control many of these costs. In addition, lawyers’ fees, closing costs, investor charges and other factors could change during the time between when you receive the GFE and the actual moment of closing.

Here is what the GFE should contain:

What to Conclude?

The GFE provides the best means for comparing loan offers from different lenders. Place the most emphasis on the estimates of charges which are actually controlled by the lender. Don’t assume that the costs you pay at closing will exactly replicate what you see on the GFE. Instead, use this form as a tool for deciding which loan program will be best for you.

Interpreting GFE’s is another area where we can help you understand the data in order to find your most advantageous loan opportunity.