A mortgage can be a wonderful new part of your life. It enables you to be a homeowner and enjoy all the perks of home ownership. It’s also a serious responsibility and should be tracked each month. That’s where the mortgage statement comes in handy. It is a document that’s typically mailed to a borrower each month that provides a snapshot of the current state of your mortgage. Use it to easily keep track of how much you still owe before you own your home free and clear. In addition to the monthly documents, you should also receive an annual account statement for each mortgage you hold on your property.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
View your mortgage statement online by logging into your account and clicking to view your most recent statement. You may also opt to receive statements via email with most mortgage companies. Alternately, your mortgage company will likely offer the option to receive paper statements by default, where you can review a hard copy of your monthly mortgage statement every month.
View Your Mortgage Statement Online
Most mortgage companies offer customers the opportunity to keep track of their mortgage online. If your bank or lending institution offers this feature, it should be easy to find your mortgage statement on their online menu. For a bank mortgage, when you log into your account, there should be a “view my statement” button or a designated section on the bank's homepage. Simply click on the statement section, and you should be able to view your current statement. Most companies also let you review past mortgage statements online that go back at least a year.
Keep Your Monthly Mortgage Statements
Unless you request only online statements, your mortgage company will probably mail you printed statements every month, too. It usually arrives at least a couple of weeks before the next payment is due. The paper statement should be straightforward and detailed, offering information that is also in the online statement, such as the amount that is due each month and your simple or actuarial interest.
Check Your Current Status
Always glance at the property address on your mortgage statement to ensure that the address for the house secured by the mortgage is listed properly. When you receive your mortgage statement each month, verify that the last payment received date matches the date you paid the company. You can also find the current amount you owe on the mortgage. When you compare the amount owed the previous month, you can get a clearer picture of how much closer you are to paying off the mortgage each month. If you have a good interest rate, it can be encouraging to see the amount that’s being applied to the balance.
Understand the Account Information Section
The account information section of your mortgage statement is sometimes called the loan information section. It will provide the essential data you need to track your mortgage. The principal balance that’s listed will state how much you currently owe on the loan. This amount will not include the future interest or other financial charges that may accrue as you pay off the mortgage. Keep in mind, the principal balance shown is not the total amount you would need to pay to close the account and own the house with no further payments.
The escrow balance should also be listed in the account information section of your mortgage statement. It states the amount that’s now in your escrow account. Since the escrow account is typically set up to collect money that’s needed to pay bills on the property, you need to pay special attention to how much is available in the account. Make sure that you have enough money in the escrow account to cover upcoming needs. Bills that are paid from an escrow account include premiums for private mortgage insurance, flood insurance, homeowner’s insurance and other types of insurance and property taxes.
The account information section will also provide information on the interest rate you are currently being charged each month. If you have a fixed-rate loan, the single interest rate should stay the same for the duration of the loan, which is usually 15, 25 or 30 years. If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, your interest rate may adjust periodically, so you need to pay close attention to the current rate each month.
Look at the Payment Summary
The monthly payment summary on your mortgage statement can offer insights about the monthly progress you’re making on your account. It will provide a summary for the month. It will also show you the payment that’s due in the current month. The amount due should include the amount you need to pay for the principal, interest and escrow account.
This section will also state any past due balances and late charges been added to your account. Late fees can add up, so be sure to pay those as soon as possible. If you are going to have a difficult time making your monthly payments by the first of the month, you should contact your lender to negotiate a different due date. If you change the due date to later in the month, you may avoid late fees moving forward. The due date should be listed on your mortgage statement, so always verify that it is listed correctly to avoid late charges.
Assess Your Transaction Activity
Your year-to-date payments may also be listed on your mortgage statement. If so, they offer a glimpse into how you well you are managing your mortgage. It will show you how much you’ve managed to pay during the past year on the total principal of your account. It will also show how much you’ve paid in interest and how much you’ve put in your escrow account for your mortgage.
Other transaction activity will also be listed on your mortgage statement. It will show you how your funds have been allocated to the principal and interest on the loan, taxes and insurance.
Look at the Big Picture
Your mortgage statement allows you to assess the big picture. Buying a home is the largest purchase most people ever make. And taking on the accompanying mortgage is a huge commitment. You need to be well-prepared to make the monthly payments for several years. Unfortunately, many people take on more than they can handle. If you see that you are always struggling to pay your mortgage, you should consult with a financial advisor who may recommend a second mortgage or modifying your existing loan to make payments you can more comfortably afford.
Contact Customer Service With Issues
Your monthly statement should include the contact information for the customer service department of the mortgage company. It's generally the direct line to the department that can help you with any issues or questions about your loan. Keep it handy in case you need to get answers in a hurry when you don’t have your mortgage statement available. If you’re viewing your mortgage statement online, there may be a direct link to a chat or email where you can get answers fast. If you don’t see the customer service information on the front of your paper mortgage statement, check the back, since some companies list the customer service details there.
Request Extra Copies
Your mortgage company should provide you with extra copies of your mortgage statement if you need them. If it is a local company, you can go in person to request them. Keep in mind that you will need to bring a photo ID and may need to verify your identity.
Robin Raven is an experienced journalist and author. She has a BFA in writing from the School of Visual Arts and loves to write about personal finance. She has contributed to USAToday.com, The Huffington Post, The Nest, Grok Nation, and many other publications.