If you take a loan to buy a house, the name of the mortgage company on your closing paperwork likely won’t be the name on your payment booklet five years later. In fact, your mortgage can change hands multiple times over the course of a 30-year loan, making it tough to keep up with who actually has your home loan at any given time. To find out who owns the note on your home loan, you can use one of several mortgage lookup tools or contact your mortgage servicer to get the information.
Your Mortgage Lookup Options
Soon after you close on your home, you’ll probably find it changes hands. There’s a reason for that. Lenders make money selling mortgages off to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which both specialize in keeping the real estate market strong by buying up mortgages in bundles. They may either hold those mortgages in their portfolios or sell them off as mortgage-backed securities.
To find out whether your mortgage is owned by a lender, you can look at your most recent escrow statement, pick up the phone and call your last known lender or check the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Servicer Identification. There’s also a Freddie Mac Loan Lookup Tool that will verify whether your note is currently being held there.
Tracking Down Your Mortgage Company
Before you go through the process of using a mortgage lookup tool, there are some things you can do to find out who owns the note on your home loan. But first it’s important to know the difference between a mortgage servicer and the mortgage holder. The holder may also service your loan, but in some cases, your loan is sold off, but the servicer remains the same.
To find out who owns your home loan, first look up the most recent communication you’ve received from your mortgage company. You should get a payment booklet and escrow statement once each year, and this documentation could have the name of the owner of your loan. If not, you can still contact the company receiving your payment each month and ask if your loan is owned by them, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or some other entity.
Search Online Databases
When you can’t find the information through your mortgage company, or you’re pretty sure you know who owns the note, an online search can help you get the information you need. There’s a Freddie Mac Loan Lookup Tool that can help you do a quick search. You’ll need to input your name and address, as well as the last four digits of the Social Security number on the loan, to get the information.
You can perform a similar search to check on Fannie Mae. The Fannie Mae Loan Lookup tool works similarly to the Freddie Mac version, requiring you to input the last four digits of your Social Security number to get information about your home loan.
If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac holds your note, you may qualify for some of the benefits they offer for refinancing. There are programs eligible only to those who are classified as borrowers under Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but you may not realize that you’re eligible until you find out your mortgage resides with them.
Using the MERS Database
If the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan lookup tools don’t bear results, and you can’t track down your mortgage servicer to ask questions, there is another online lookup option. The Mortgage Electronic Registration System, MERS, tracks homeownership across the country. Its searchable database is used by professionals across all aspects of real estate lending, as well as consumers.
You can search the MERS database at mers-servicerid.org/sis or call 888-679-6377. You can search by inputting an 18-digit mortgage identification number, details about yourself and the property or data from your Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs or Mortgage Insurance certificate.
- If you're struggling to pay your mortgage, you don't need to find out who holds your note to get assistance. Call the mortgage service company and ask about relief policies that may give you some extra time to make payments. You may need to leave a message that includes your name and account number to get a call back. Don't wait until you're already in arrears to ask for help, though. Be proactive about resolving issues to protect your credit.
- Enter your account information precisely into the look-up tools or the tools may not locate your account information.
Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a ghostwriter for a credit card processing service and has ghostwritten about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, Ecommerce Insiders, GoBankingRates, and ThriveBy30.