Category Archives: documents for home loan approval

10 Documents to Have Ready Before You Buy a Home


Mortgage application with approved stamp on it after lender has received all docs and approved home buyerAs a first-time home buyer (or a more experienced buyer!), it’s fun to look at houses online.  It’s fun to watch TV shows about buying homes.  Both options make buying a home look easy (and it can be if you have the right real estate agent in your corner) but the shows and websites tend not to delve into one of the most complicated part of the process: applying for a mortgage.

One of the hardest parts of applying for a home mortgage can be collecting and supplying the document your lender requires for the application process.  Here are 10 documents to start compiling as you start the process that leads to home ownership. (Be aware too, that some lenders may ask for more or less documentation depending on your situation.)


Most mortgage lenders ask for your most recent W-2’s, though some may ask for two or more years worth.  Ask your mortgage lender on the phone for the exact amount so you can expedite the process.

Pay stubs

Another common proof of income your mortgage lender may request is recent pay stubs.  This is especially common if you have been at your job for less than a year.  Your mortgage lender may also require your human resources department fill out a form for verification of employment.

Business profit and loss statements or 1099

If you do freelance work or own your business, your mortgage lender is going to ask for your business and profit loss statements or 1099’s stemming from your work.

Bank statements

Your mortgage lender is going to ask for documents that detail your assets.  One of those documents is bank statements with your available balances.

Tax returns (1-3 years)

Tax returns are a common request from mortgage lenders; some lenders also have you sign a form so they can request a copy direct from the IRS.  They use the two documents to verify that you have supplied the correct information and to get a full picture of your financial situation.

Investment statements

If you have any mutual funds, CDs, stocks, bonds, or other investment accounts, your mortgage lender is going to require investment statements the verify the balances.

Titles (automobile,real estate, etc.)

Your automobile and real estate titles are an important part of giving your mortgage lender a complete list of assets you own and any recent liens.  Some lenders may not require this information; ask your mortgage lender if you need to provide titles.

Canceled rent checks (or proof of payment from landlord)

Past residency is another question that needs to be answered.  Depending on your specific situation, your lender may ask for the name of your landlord, address for the past two years, and for canceled rent checks if you were a tenant.

Gift documentation (if part or all of your down payment was gifted)

If part or all of your down payment is going to be gifted from a friend or family member, your mortgage lender needs proof of the gift.  This documentation may include an account statement and letter from the individual giving the gift.

List of debts

Your mortgage lender may be able to get this from your credit report.  You may have to supply new loans or additional information in a list.  Include any student loans, alimony, child support, credit cards, or other debts along with the creditor name and contact information (including address).

If you have any questions, ask your lender.  Once you are approved (or during the approval process), your real estate agent can help you find your home and go from mortgage applicant to new home owner.

10 Documents You’ll Need for Your Home Loan


approved stamp after all the documents are gathered for a home loanSpring is an ideal time to buy a new home.  Not only is the weather nice and there are (usually) more homes listed for sale, but home buyers can also “nail two birds with one stone”: getting their taxes and the home loan approval process done.  Because you need to collect the same documents for both (and tax returns for your home loan approval), it makes sense to tackle both projects in spring.  We’ve compiled a list of document you’ll probably need for your home loan—and a list of tips for choosing the right mortgage lender for your home sale.

So what’s the “probably” in that last statement?  Requirements for a home loan can vary among mortgage lenders and the applicant’s circumstances.  For instance, an applicant who owns their own business is going to need to provide different documents for the home loan than an applicant employed by a company.  Here’s a general list of documents to compile for your home loan—or to keep out after you’ve finished your income taxes:

  • W-2’s
  • Pay stubs
  • Business profit and loss statements or 1099
  • Bank statements
  • Tax returns (1-3 years)
  • Investment statements
  • Titles (automobile, real estate, etc.)
  • Canceled rent checks (or proof of payment from landlord)
  • Gift documentation (if part or all of your down payment was gifted)
  • List of debts (your mortgage lender may be able to get this from your credit report)

There may be other documents you’ll need to provide, per your mortgage lender.  You’ll also need to give permission for your mortgage lender to pull your credit report.  Once pulled, check your credit report over for inaccuracies such as loans that are old or are not yours.

Once you’ve got your pre-approval amount for your new home, contact a real estate agent to get your home search started.  Compile a list of ‘must-haves’ for your home search, including the number of bedrooms, lot size, and any other aspects of your home you would like (for more tips on putting together a must have list, read our recent post).  Set a budget for your home search; your budget number does not have to be the same as your home approval number.  Once you have your pre-approval number, budget amount, list of must-haves, and an experienced real estate agent, it’s time to get out and enjoy the warm temperatures during your spring home search.