Mortgage Checklist: Documents Needed for a Mortgage Pre-Approval

March 9, 2021 | 5 min read | The mortgage process
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Our mortgage document checklist outlines some personal, income, asset, liability, and credit documents you may In today’s competitive market, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a crucial step. Although not required, it may help you stand out and better your chances of getting an accepted offer. To get pre-approved, you must submit relevant documentation that paints a picture of your financial profile. This way, the mortgage lender can evaluate how much house you can afford We outline some of the basic documentation that may be required to complete your mortgage application and get an official pre-approval letter. 

Click here to download our mortgage document checklist PDF

Mortgage Documents Needed

You will be asked to provide personal identification, income, asset, liability, and credit documents. Of course, depending on your specific situation and credit profile, the documents needed may vary. 

Personal Identification Documents

You may be requested to submit the following personal identification documents:

  • Government-issued identification (Driver’s License or Passport)
  • Social Security Number
  • Address of your primary residence
  • For non-U.S. Citizens: Resident Alien Card or Visa

Income and Employment Documents

The mortgage lender will review your income and employment documents to ensure you are presently employed and have a stable job with consistent income. The lender will use these documents to determine how much debt you can handle based on your current income flow.

  • Copies of pay stubs for the most recent 30-day period
  • W-2 forms (most recent two years) 
  • 2019 & 2020 Federal Tax Returns (Form 1040 and all schedules) 
  • Copy of your employment contract or offer letter (if you recently changed jobs) 

If you are self-employed, you may need to provide a year-to-date profit and loss statement and balance sheet that you have signed. Your CPA will also need to write a letter stating the length of self-employment, years of filing taxes, and ownership percentage. If you are required to provide tax returns, the lender will request the most recent two years Corporate Tax Returns (Federal only).

Asset Documents

Your asset documents will help the lender better understand how financially sound you are and how well you will handle new debt obligations, such as a mortgage.

  • Bank Statements:
    Each person on the loan will need to provide 60 days’ worth of bank statements. You must include all pages, even blank ones. If you use your bank’s mobile app or online portal, you may be able to digitally download your statements and directly upload them to your application.

  • Brokerage and Investment Accounts: 
    If you have any brokerage or investment accounts, you will need to provide statements for the most recent two months. You must include all pages.

  • Retirement Accounts (401(k) or IRA): 
    You will be asked to provide either the most recent two months or quarterly statements.

Debt and Liability Documents

Reviewing your current debt obligations helps the mortgage lender determine your debt-to-income ratio and evaluate how much more debt you can handle.

  • Rent
    If you are currently renting, when you apply, you will need to provide the landlord’s name and address.

  • Student Loans: 
    If you have a student loan balance, you will need to give the creditor’s name and address, account information, loan balance, and minimum monthly payments.  

  • Credit Card Debt: 
    You must list any credit card balances you have and show a monthly payments history. 

  • Auto Loans: 
    Like student loans and credit card debt, you will need to provide the creditor’s information, account information, loan balance, and monthly payment information for your auto loan(s). 

  • Current Mortgage Statement (If you are refinancing): 
    You may be asked to provide the most recent mortgage statement(s), so the lender can review your current mortgage balance, rate, term, and monthly payments. 

Credit Documents

Some other credit documents may be required to show you can make monthly debt payments on time and in full. This will help the lender better understand your past payment history and ability to handle debt.

  • Copies of Canceled Rent Checks: 
    This applies to those renting at the time of application.

  • Canceled Mortgage Payment Checks: 
    If you are refinancing and have a current mortgage on the property, you may need to provide canceled mortgage payment checks for the last 12 months to show your history of payments.

  • Addresses of all Real Estate Owned: 
    If you own multiple properties, whether it be a second home or investment property, you will need to provide the property addresses and evidence of taxes and insurance.

Other Documents you may Need to Provide

For other circumstances, such as a divorce or foreclosure, you may need to provide additional documentation.

  • Gift Letter: 
    If you receive a down payment gift, you will need to provide a gift letter from the donor. The donor will also need to send the lender a copy of their bank statements to show proof of payment from the account.

  • Divorce Decree: 
    If you are divorced and paying or receiving alimony or child support, you will need to share the divorce decree with the lender so they can understand your monthly obligations or incoming monthly payments.

  • Bankruptcy or Foreclosure Documents: 
    If you recently filed for bankruptcy or foreclosed on your home, you will want to discuss your options with your mortgage lender as additional documentation may be required. The lender may require you to wait at least 4-7 years before applying for a new mortgage.

  • Binder or Purchase Agreement: 
    If you are purchasing a home or selling your current home, you may need to submit a copy of the Binder or Purchase Agreement signed by all parties. This must include all addendums.

Summary of the Mortgage Checklist & Documents Needed

The mortgage documents required may vary depending on your credit profile, desired loan program, and loan type. Typically, the lender will request records on:

  • Personal identification
  • Assets (bank accounts, investment and brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts)
  • Debts and liabilities (rent payment, student loans, auto loans, credit card debt, other mortgages)
  • Credit documents (history of monthly payments of your debt)
  • Any other documents related to your specific situation, such as divorce decrees or a gift letter for your down payment.

Click here to download our Mortgage Document Checklist PDF to keep handy while preparing for your mortgage application!

How to Apply for a Mortgage

After gathering all the essential documents needed for a mortgage application, it is time to start the application process! GuardHill makes the mortgage application process very easy with our online application

You may choose to complete the application and document upload process via your mobile device or computer. The online and mobile application is safe and secure. 

How Long Does a Mortgage Application Take?

Our online application should take no more than 10 minutes. You will answer personal questions related to your income and employment history and provide details on the property you are looking to purchase or refinance. If you have your documents handy, you can start scanning and uploading the docs via your mobile device or computer after submitting an application!

Tips for the Mortgage Application Process

We try to make the mortgage application process as quick and seamless as possible for our borrowers. Once you submit your application, read more about the do’s and don’ts during the mortgage process to avoid any roadblocks and ensure a smooth financing process!