You’ve paid off your mortgage, but other than your word, you might wonder how do I prove I paid off my mortgage? You might need proof for future lenders or other financial situations.
The good news is that you can prove you paid off your mortgage in many ways. The bad news is it might require a little legwork to get the proof you need.
You must have valid proof you paid off your mortgage, though. Don’t rely on the county recording your mortgage as paid off and removing the lien or on your lender letting the credit bureaus know your mortgage is paid in full.
Having adequate proof that your mortgage is paid off may come in handy more often than you think.
What Happens When You Pay Off Your Mortgage?
The first thing you should do when you pay off your mortgage is celebrate! This is a tremendous milestone in your life.
Next, you’ll hear from your lender, receiving several documents that show you satisfied your mortgage agreement. Some lenders send your canceled note, a final mortgage statement, or a Release of Lien.
No matter what your lender sends, keep the proof as it may come in handy down the road.
Questions To Ask Your Lender Before You Pay Off Your Loan
Before you pay off your mortgage, ask your lender the following questions:
Will they record the Release of Lien, or should you do it?
This is a crucial step when you pay off your mortgage. The Release of Lien shows that you own the property without anyone else laying claim to the property.
Unfortunately, not all lenders file the Release of Lien with the county. If they won’t, you must.
Will your lender notify the insurance company and county, or must you?
If you paid your real estate taxes and insurance money to an escrow account each month, you’ll be responsible for making your payments moving forward. In addition, you must let the insurance company know the lender is no longer a factor and should be removed from your policy.
What documents will they provide to prove you paid the loan in full?
Each lender offers different documentation. Make sure you know what to expect, so you have proper proof of your mortgage paid in full.
How much is required to pay off my loan?
Your lender should provide you with a mortgage payoff statement that shows how much you owe to pay the loan off in full. The payoff statement will be good through a specific date. If you don’t pay it off by that date, you’ll owe extra money for the per diem interest.
Proving Your Mortgage Is Paid in Full
If you’re wondering, how do I prove I paid off my mortgage? Here are the steps you’ll take. Remember, each lender is different, so you might get one, some, or all of these documents.
Final Mortgage Statement
Always ask your lender for a final mortgage statement first. This is the easiest way to prove you paid off your mortgage until the lien gets released and the balance shows as $0 on your credit report. Lenders can supply this right after you pay off your mortgage, so you have the evidence handy if you need it.
Your final mortgage statement can easily prove that you paid off your loan. Looking at previous mortgage statements, you’ll see that they show how much you owe, how much you’ve paid, and the proposed payoff date.
Once you pay the loan in full, the principal and interest due should show $0, and the amount you’ve paid should be the total loan amount. As long as it’s an official statement with your lender’s logo, this is adequate proof that you paid off your loan. In addition, the statement is dated and has the information any lender would need.
Paid in Full Letter
Your lender should send you a paid in full letter after receiving your final payment. The letter is simple and states that you’ve satisfied your obligation and don’t owe any more money.
Keep this letter as it can help if the credit bureaus don’t update your credit report with the correct information.
Recorded Lien Release
When you borrowed your mortgage, the lender filed a lien against your property. This is in response to using your home as collateral for the loan and provides the lender with the right to foreclose on your home if you stop making your mortgage payments.
Once you pay off the loan, the lender no longer has a lien on your property. However, the lien release isn’t automatic. Instead, there are one of two ways to activate a lien release:
- The lender contacts the county recording office and provides them with the documentation that you satisfied the lien. The recording office then removes the lien from your record.
- You contact the county recording office and provide them with proof that you’ve paid off your mortgage. Your lender will provide the necessary documentation, including a Release of Lien document or Certificate of Satisfaction proving you paid the mortgage in full.
Proving the lien release is evidence enough that you’ve paid the mortgage in full. No lender would release a lien without proper payment.
Don’t forget, if your lender gives you the Release of Lien document, make sure it’s recorded with the county. Without recording it, the lien still looks like it’s outstanding.
Canceled Mortgage Note
The mortgage note is an important document when you borrow a mortgage. Known as the Promissory Note, this document is what you signed to say that you promise to make your mortgage payments as agreed each month.
The promissory note is no longer valid when you pay off your loan. However, you don’t owe the lender any more money, so they can cancel the contract. Most lenders will mail you a canceled promissory note that you should keep for your records in case there are any questions down the road.
I Paid Off My Mortgage. What’s Next?
You might wonder now what you’ll do since you paid off your mortgage. Of course, every homeowner is different, but here are some ideas on handling your finances.
Pay off consumer debt
Interest rates have increased a lot lately, especially for credit cards making carrying credit card debt unaffordable for most. With your newfound money available, consider paying your consumer debt off as quickly as possible.
Use the debt snowball method if you have more than one credit card. Line your debts up by balance, smallest to largest. Pay off the first debt in line first, and then work your way down the line until you’ve paid all your credit card debt in full.
Save more for retirement
It’s never too late to add more money to your retirement savings. Whether you have a 401K with your employer or an IRA, increase your contributions. You can contribute up to $20,500 a year in your 401K and $6,000 in your IRA in 2022.
If you don’t have a retirement account yet outside of work, now is the perfect time to create one so you have enough money for retirement. Check out M1 Finance to open a Roth IRA and use your newfound income to grow your future wealth.
Boost your emergency fund
Everyone should have at least three to six months of expenses for an emergency fund. If you don’t have a fund set up yet or it doesn’t have six months of expenses, use your extra money to boost it.
For some more inspiration, here are some more ways to create financial independence for your family after you pay off your mortgage.
Final Thoughts on How Do I Prove I Paid Off My Mortgage
The answer to how do I prove I paid off my mortgage is simple. The lender will provide you with the documentation you need. If they don’t, follow up and ask for the paid in full letter, canceled note, Release of Lien, and final mortgage statement.
With these documents, you can prove you paid your loan in full. So whether you’re applying for a new loan, proving to the insurance company you paid your loan off, or need the proof for any other reason, the documentation mentioned should suffice.
Are you wondering how do I prove I paid off my mortgage? What are you going to do now that you're mortgage free?
Please let us know in the comments below.
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