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The Quintessential Mortgage Application Checklist for First-Time Homeowners

You’re one step closer to closing on the home of your dreams. Before you take out your loan, you’ll need to file an application. But which documents will you need at the time of application?

Be sure to keep this mortgage application checklist of documents close at hand when you apply.

What to Know Before You Apply

Just a few things stand before you and moving into your dream home: the mortgage application. As is the case when taking out a variety of loans, you’re going to need solid proof that you’re able to afford a down payment and a handful of mortgage payments.

Your mortgage lender will take a closer look at two types of documents: personal documents, such as rental history and financial documents, such as your checking, savings, and investment accounts in order to make that call.

Be sure to double check this list with your lender before applying to make sure you have all the documents they require in order to help you secure your mortgage.

Personal Info and Documents

Your lender will ask you for some basic personal information and documents in order to start processing your application. This could range from:

  • Social Security Number
  • Marital status, and if applicable, number of children and their ages
    • Divorce decrees, if applicable
  • Residence history for at least two years, including rental addresses, rent amount, landlord names, and contact information
    • Proof of on-time rent payment
  • Employment history for at least two years: including company name, address, phone number, your position or title
    • If you own your own business, you’ll still need to furnish two years of personal tax returns plus any business returns you filed in the past two years

Financial Documents

Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions you may make in your lifetime. To ensure it’s a sound decision, your mortgage lender will take a closer look into your financial history. Some of the documents on the list might seem obvious (such as bank statements) but some not so obvious (such as a completed and signed Form 4506-T).

There’s a good chance your lender will ask you for a few or all of these documents:

  • Your two most recent month’s pay stub
    • Depending on how you’re paid will determine how many pay stubs you’ll need to bring
  • Income history for at least two years
    • Have you received commissions, bonuses, additional income, or are self-employed? You’ll need to furnish documentation for that.
  • Debt payments for credit cards, student loans, car loans, alimony, child support, or other debt you may have
  • Checking, savings, investment, and retirement statements from the past three months
    • You need to show you have enough money to afford your down payment and can cover several mortgage payments. 
  • Bankruptcies or foreclosures within the past seven years or party to any lawsuits, or if you cosign any loans
  • Confirmation if any part of your down payment will be borrowed
  • W2s and tax returns from the past two years
  • A completed and signed Form 4506-T or 4506T-EZ
    • Allows your mortgage lender to access your tax returns
  • Your home purchase contract signed by you and the seller

Depending on your mortgage lender, they may ask you provide additional documentation outside this checklist. In addition to this checklist, it's a good idea to prep a few basic mortgage questions to ask prior to meeting to ensure a smooth mortgage application process.

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Posted in: mortgage

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