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Getting A Mortgage? You’ll Need These Documents

What documents do you need when getting a mortgage?

Jun 18, 2013

It’s no surprise to most that applying for mortgage financing can be a lengthy process. One factor that may speed up this transaction and help you avoid delays is submitting a complete application packet. Lenders will require a great deal of information and documentation from you to verify your income and employment, measure your ability to repay the balance and gauge your overall financial strength.

There are several documents beyond your initial loan application that lenders may request, and being prepared to provide this paperwork not only moves the process along more quickly, but also demonstrates to banks that you’re responsible, informed and prepared. While the paperwork required may vary by lender, below is a list of the most common types of documents you need to provide if you have ever asked yourself, “What documents do I need when getting a mortgage?”

  1. Pay stubs, W-2s: Lenders will want to make sure you’re not only employed, but also bring in enough income to meet your monthly payment obligations. In general, you might be required to provide at least two years of W-2s, but some lenders may require this information going back a few years more if you’re applying for a larger loan. This is largely to ensure that you have a stable job history and are a low risk to the bank extending the loan.
  2. Bank and investment statements: Your financial documents, stock portfolio and other investments are used to prove what assets are held in your name. If you’re applying for a traditional loan, you may be able to provide statements from the last 30 days. If you’re applying for a jumbo loan, however, lenders may request at least three months’ worth of statements to measure the stability of your assets.
  3. Tax documents: Be prepared to provide up to three years of previous tax returns to your lender. Not only does this verify your income and job history, but also allows lenders to protect themselves against fraudulent transactions. For example, they will examine your returns for reported income that doesn’t match the information on your W-2s. Therefore, you should make sure that your returns were filed correctly and that all the information matches.
  4. Miscellaneous obligations: In addition to your monthly bills and loan obligations, lenders may also request any additional monthly expenditures you are required to pay. This may include alimony payments to a former spouse or child support.

Lenders may have different standards and documentation requirements that vary by several factors. To avoid submitting an incomplete application, make sure you understand exactly what your lender requires when applying for a mortgage.

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