So you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a home?
But before you start touring open houses and picking out paint colors, you’ll need to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it sounds.
In fact, it’s just a matter of gathering some documents and letting a lender take a peek at your finances, income, and credit.
And hey, if all goes well, you might even get a shiny preapproval letter to wave around like a triumphant flag.
In this post, we’ll go over the documentation required for a mortgage preapproval, so you can confidently walk into a real estate office and get one step closer to unlocking the door to your new home.
Documents Needed for Pre-Approval
Income and employment documentation shows lenders that you can afford the loan.
In addition, lenders look for two years of solid income and employment, proving that your employment and income are likely to continue and is stable.
The documentation required depends on how you’re employed.
You’ll provide the following income docs to your mortgage loan officer .
Working for an Employer
If you work for someone, you must provide paystubs from the last 30 days and W-2s for the last two years.
If you earn overtime or bonus income, you must also provide your final paystub for the most recently completed year.
Lenders also need your employer’s contact information to conduct a verbal or written Verification of Employment. This is another way for lenders to ensure you’re employed and will be for the foreseeable future.
- Last 30 days of paystubs
- Last 2 years of W2s
Working for Yourself
Your income documentation requirements differ if you’re self-employed, either as a freelancer or you own a company.
Because there isn’t a third party to confirm your employment, lenders require two years of tax returns, both business and personal.
They’ll also ask for a letter from your CPA confirming your self-employment and your current Profit & Loss statement.
- Last 2 years of personal tax returns
- Last 2 years of business tax returns
- A current YTD profit & loss statement
Even if you are retired, you’ll still need to provide proof of income. This can include things like your pension statements, social security award letters, and any other retirement income paperwork.
- Most recent social security award letter (if applicable)
- Most recent annuity pay stubs or pension stubs.
Asset documentation is necessary to prove you have the funds to cover the down payment and closing costs.
In rare cases, you may also need to prove you have reserves or money saved to cover your mortgage payment if you lost your job or something else happens.
The documentation required depends on where you hold your funds.
Money in Checking and Savings Accounts
If you’re using money in your checking or savings accounts to qualify for the mortgage, you must provide two months of statements from each account. Ensure you include all pages, even the blank pages, and that the bank name and date appear on each page.
- Last 2 months of bank statements. All pages.
Money in Brokerage Accounts
You must provide the most recent statements if you use any other assets to qualify for the mortgage, such as retirement or brokerage accounts.
Usually, that’s the last two months of statements, but if you only receive quarterly reports, provide the most recent report received, again including all pages.
- Last 2 months of statements or
- Most recent quarter statement. All pages.
Lenders pull your credit to determine your debt obligations, but if there are any questions regarding any debts, they’ll need information, including the creditor’s name, phone number, account number, and loan balance.
To satisfy this documentation, you can provide your most recent statement from each creditor in question.
If you have a mortgage currently, you must also provide the most recent mortgage statement that includes the payment amount, balance, and lender’s name and address.
- Mortgage statement for all properties owned
- Homeowners insurance policy on all properties owned
The above documentation requirements are typical for every borrower, but sometimes, lenders require additional documentation, including the following:
- Proof of rent payments for the last 12 months if you’re a first-time homebuyer
- A copy of the divorce decree if you pay or receive alimony or child support
- Letters of explanation for any unique situations on your credit report or with your income
- Gift letters from anyone helping with your down payment, along with a paper trail proving where the funds come from
Are you ready to apply? Start the process by completing the form below.