Ready to buy a home? The mortgage process can feel daunting, but we're here to help. Here are the core documents you need to get the home you love.
In order to get a mortgage approval in 2022, you'll need to provide a set of documents to verify your financial capabilities. If you're working with a great lender, they'll help you walk through the process. To help you get organized, here is a list of the core documents you'll want to have to make sure you're ready to get the home you love.
Information required for your loan application
The first thing you’ll do when applying for a mortgage is complete an application. Regardless of the lender, you'll need to provide:
Full name, birth date, Social Security number, and phone number.
Marital status, number of children and ages.
Employment history for at least two years, including company name(s), address(es), phone number(s), and your title(s).
Income history for at least two years. If you receive commissions, bonuses, or are self-employed, you must provide two years of bonus, commission, or self-employed income received. Most lenders average variable and self-employed income over two years.
Residence history for at least two years. If you’re a renter, your rent payment is needed. If you’re an owner, all mortgage, insurance and tax figures are needed for your primary residence and all other properties owned.
Account balances for all checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts.
Debt payments and balances for credit cards, mortgages, student loans, car loans, alimony, child support, or any other fixed debt obligations.
Confirmation whether you’ve had bankruptcies or foreclosures within the past seven years, whether you’re party to any lawsuits, or you co-sign on any loans.
Confirmation if any part of your down payment will be borrowed.
What documentation do you need?
Once you have started the process, the next step is to verify the information in the application. Your lender will provide a checklist based on your specific profile, but you can generally expect the following:
Authorization for your lender to run your credit report.
Letters of explanation for credit inquiries, past addresses, and derogatory information on your credit report.
If you’re keeping your existing home and renting it out, you’ll need to provide a lease agreement and proof that the first month’s rent has been deposited into your bank account.
If you intend to sell your existing home before closing on the new home, you’ll need to provide a listing agreement for the home, and it will need to close before your new home can close.
If you’ve had a bankruptcy in the past seven years, discharge papers are required.
If any tax liens or other derogatory items on your credit report require further explanation, you’ll be required to provide full documentation for each derogatory instance.
If you’re a renter with a private landlord, 12 months of canceled rent checks or 12 months of bank statements to show rent checks cleared on time. If you’re a renter with an institutional landlord, your lender can sometimes get them to complete a form confirming on-time rent payments in lieu of cancelled checks or bank statements.
Pay stubs for at least 30 days and W2 forms for all jobs worked in the past two years.
Your personal federal tax returns for the past two years.
If self-employed or greater than 20 percent owner in a company, all pages of business federal tax returns for past two years.
If self-employed or greater than 20 percent owner in a company, a year-to-date profit and loss statement for the business.
Income from rental properties can typically only count if it’s on your tax returns. If rental income isn’t on your tax returns yet because the rental property is new, lenders may accept the income if your rental property down payment was 30 percent or greater. Ask your lender.
If you’re divorced and receiving/paying child support or alimony, a divorce decree will be required, and this income typically must be scheduled for at least three more years from the time of loan closing.
Most recent two months statements for all checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts. Note that you will need to provide all pages, even if a page says “intentionally left blank.”
If you move money among accounts, you must provide all accounts even if you’re only using one account for the down payment, because the lender will review every line item on two months of full account statements and ask you to paper-trail large deposits and withdrawals.
If you’re receiving gift funds, your lender will require all donors and receivers to sign a gift letter verifying the gift isn’t a loan.
A caveat, of course
Keep in mind the list above is only partial and can vary depending on your lender. Some of the information might be able to provide digitally, some might need to be paper documentation. Speak with your Mortgage Officer and make sure they walk you through everything needed for their loans so that it's a smooth process for you.
Ready to start your own home-buying process? Click HERE to start with your Advantage Pre-Approval!
*Pre-approval is based on a preliminary review of credit information provided to Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, which has not been reviewed by underwriting. If you have submitted verifying documentation, you have done so voluntarily. Final loan approval is subject to a full underwriting review of support documentation including, but not limited to, applicants’ creditworthiness, assets, income information, and a satisfactory appraisal.