The mortgage lender must honor the terms of the Loan Estimate for ten days. If you wait more than ten days after receiving a Loan Estimate to give your intent to proceed, the lender can change the terms.
What does "intent to proceed" mean?
Think of intent to proceed as your commitment to a lender. It means you applied for a mortgage, maybe with a few lenders. Then, you compared Loan Estimates and chose one of the lenders for your home loan.
After sellers accept your offer to buy their home, you can apply for the mortgage.
Apply with a lender. Some homebuyers contact more than one.
Review the Loan Estimate. The lender will send you a three-page within three days after applying. For more info, check out our Loan Estimate Explainer.
Accept the offer by giving the lender your intent to proceed.
How do I notify the lender of my intent to proceed?
Give the lender clear notice that you want to move forward with the loan by calling, emailing, or texting within ten days of applying. Otherwise, the lender might not know you want the loan and cancel it mistakenly.
Clear notice can be a phone call, email, or text message to the loan officer handling your loan. By contacting the loan officer directly with your intent to proceed, he knows to start working on it immediately.
Most lenders include a form with their Loan Estimate. Signing it signals to the lender that you accepted their deal and want to move forward. I shared a copy of our form below.
Remember that the form's purpose is to communicate your intent to proceed so everyone is on the same page. You can still cancel the loan at any time until you sign the loan agreement at closing when you buy the home.
It's up to you to decide which lender you'll use for your mortgage. So you don't have to tell a lender to cancel your loan application. Instead, the lender will cancel it automatically within 30 days unless they hear back from you.
We understand that buying a home is a big financial step. And we're here to make sure everything goes smoothly.