When you first start talking to a mortgage lender, they will likely provide you with a list of the specific documents they need to issue a pre-qualification. With most lenders you can start the process online. Here’s a checklist to get you started.
- Social security number for all borrowers who are listed on the mortgage loan. This information can be verified through a Social Security card or tax documents. The lender needs this to verify your identity, to request tax returns from the IRS, and to pull your credit reports.
- Proof of employment. Your mortgage lender will need proof of employment. Employer’s name, mailing address and phone number. They want to verify your employment, because it relates to your ability to repay the loan.
- Proof of income. This will validate your income for pre-approval and underwriting. Usually, it’s your two most recent pay stubs.
- Tax documents. This is a standard document for mortgage pre-approval. Most lenders want to see your W-2 statements and tax returns for the last two years.
- Place of Residence. This one is self-explanatory. For pre-approval and underwriting purposes, the lender wants to know where you’ve lived for the last couple of years.
- Bank account information. The lender will want to know how much money you have in the bank. They need to ensure you have enough funds for your closing costs, down payment, and cash reserves. So, they will probably ask you for account statements and balances for any checking, savings, or money market accounts.
- Credit information. Do you have other outstanding loans that you’re currently repaying? If so, the lender may ask for documents related to those accounts.
- Gift letters. Are your family members going to provide funds to help you cover your down payment expense? If so, you’ll need to provide a gift letter.
- Self-employment documents. Do you run your own business? If so, you might have to provide some additional documents during the mortgage pre-approval process. This might include balance sheets, a profit-and-loss statement, or federal tax statements for the last two years.
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