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Documents You’ll Need to Apply for a Mortgage

Preparing to apply for a mortgage can make a buyer feel raked over the coals because of all the personal information a lender asks for—marital status, Social Security number, employment history, financial records. There’s so much data and paperwork required that the task of gathering it all can seem overwhelming. This checklist will help you start organizing and be better prepared to begin the process.


Loan application information

  • You’ll need to provide the following information when you apply for a mortgage.
  • Full name, birth date, Social Security number and phone number
  • Marital status, the number and ages of your children
  • Two years of residence history: rent payments or mortgage, insurance and tax records for all of your properties
  • Two years of employment history, including company names, addresses, phone numbers and your title(s)
  • Two years of income history, including any commission, bonus or self-employed income
  • Checking, savings, investment and retirement account balances
  • Payments and balances for fixed debt obligations (e.g., credit cards, mortgages, student loans, car loans, alimony or child support)
  • Confirmation of bankruptcies or foreclosures within the past seven years, lawsuits you’re party to or loans you co­signed
  • Confirmation if you’re borrowing part of your down payment
  • The county where you plan to buy a home and the type of home you want (e.g., single-family, condo, townhouse)


Required loan documentation

This is a partial list of documents you may need to give to your lender.

Credit and finance

  • Written and/or verbal authorization for your lender to run your credit report
  • Full documentation and letters of explanation for any derogatory information on your credit report
  • Discharge papers for any bankruptcies in the past seven years
  • Statements for all checking, savings, investment and retirement accounts for the past two months, including a paper trail for large deposits and withdrawals
  • Signed verification from donor and recipient that gift funds aren’t a loan

Employment and income

  • Pay stubs for at least 30 days
  • W2 forms for all jobs you worked in the past two years
  • Personal federal tax returns for the past two years
  • Income from rental properties
  • If self-employed or greater than 20 percent owner in a company, business federal tax returns for the past two years and a year-­to-date profit and loss statement for the business
  • Divorce decree and receipt (or payment) schedule of alimony and/or child support for at least three more years from the time of loan closing


  • If you’re a renter: 12 months of canceled rent checks or bank statements to show on-­time payments
  • If you’re keeping and renting out your existing home: a lease agreement and proof you’ve deposited the first month’s rent
  • If you’re selling your existing home before closing on the new home: a listing agreement for the existing home and proof that it closed


Source: Zillow

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