Mortgage Checklist: What Do You Need To Apply For a Home Loan?

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FACT-CHECKED
Published Dec. 9, 2022
Family reviews mortgage documents with financial advisor.

If you need a mortgage to buy a home, you’ll have to provide plenty of documents to show lenders you can afford to repay the loan. While the volume of required documentation may seem overwhelming, the application process is manageable if you know what you need and get those documents ready in advance.

Quick Access: Download Our Mortgage Application Checklist

We’ve compiled this handy mortgage loan documents checklist that you can download and print for your reference. This helps you get a head start on tracking down all the paperwork you need, and allows you to check off each item along the way.

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Completed Mortgage Application

The first step toward getting a home loan is completing a mortgage application. Most mortgage lenders use the Uniform Residential Loan Application, which you can download from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s website.

It’s possible that your lender will have you fill out this form twice: once when you apply for the loan, and again when you accept the loan terms.

Signed Purchase Agreement

While you don’t necessarily need a signed purchase agreement to get a loan estimate, you’ll need to include it with your final application. The purchase agreement proves to the lender that you’ve entered into a binding legal contract to buy a home.

Identity Documents

You lender will need to verify your identity and use your Social Security number to run your credit report. Expect to provide:

  • Driver’s license or passport.
  • Social Security card.
  • Immigration documents (if you aren’t a U.S. citizen).

Income Documents

During underwriting, the lender will review your finances to verify that you can afford to repay the loan. You’ll likely be asked for:

  • Pay stubs.
  • Income tax returns.
    • W-2 forms.
    • 1099 forms.
  • Checking account statements.
  • Alimony or child support income.
  • Miscellaneous income.
    • Includes interest, foreign income, capital gains, pensions, Social Security, royalties, and disability benefits.

Debts and Expenses

Your lender will want to know about any existing debts that could affect your ability to afford your monthly mortgage payments. This includes:

  • Student loans.
  • Auto loans.
  • Credit cards.
  • Personal loans.
  • Medical debts.
  • Alimony or child support payments.
  • Rental payment history and references.

Assets

Your assets are anything you own that holds value and can be exchanged for cash. You’ll need to provide documentation of any of the following:

  • Retirement savings.
    • 401(k) statements.
    • Individual retirement account statements.
  • Savings account statements.
  • Investment statements.
    • Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
    • Certificates of deposit.
    • Miscellaneous investments.
  • Gift letters.

Documents You’ll Need If You Already Own a Home

If you already own a home, your lender will need some information on that, such as:

  • Mortgage information.
  • Appraisal.
  • Documentation of rental income.

Documents You’ll Need If You’re Self-Employed

If you work for yourself, you also may need to provide:

  • Profit and loss statements.
  • Unpaid accounts receivable.

Documents You’ll Need for Nonconventional Loans

Certain specialized loans will require additional documentation. For example, if you’re trying to get a Veterans Affairs loan, you’ll need the following:

  • VA certificate of eligibility.
  • Statement of service.
  • DD Form 214.
  • Retirement points statement (NGB Form 23).

Other Documents Needed

  • Bankruptcy, foreclosure, or other relevant legal records.
  • Alternative data for thin credit file.

Mortgage Checklist FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about mortgage documents.

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