The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau debuted a new tool kit this week that sets out to turn home buyers into smarter mortgage shoppers.

The tool kit is part of the CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe” mortgage initiative and allows home buyers to use the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms, which lenders will be required to provide starting Aug. 1.

The CFPB is requiring creditors to provide the tool kit to mortgage applicants when they apply for a mortgage, but the agency is also urging real estate professionals to point their customers to it as well.

“This tool kit is a great resource for consumers navigating the homebuying process, and will help consumers make well-informed decisions about the biggest financial transaction of their life,” says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The new mortgage disclosure forms coming in August will help consumers comparison shop for mortgages and avoid surprises at the closing table. We are releasing this tool kit well in advance of the effective date to help the mortgage industry come into compliance with the new rules.”

The updated tool kit, which includes interactive worksheets and checklists, aims to help home buyers understand the costs of a real estate transaction, defines what affordability could mean to them, and provides tips on how to shop for the best mortgage.

Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau