The Must-Have Checklist When Applying for Your Home Mortgage
Applying for a mortgage doesn’t have to be daunting, especially if you exercise due diligence and prepare all the documentation your mortgage lender will need upfront. Sure, some variables are outside your control — from closing timelines to the results of your home inspection, property appraisal and your mortgage lender’s underwriting requirements.
But there are many aspects of the homebuying process that can be made easier by you, the borrower, to smooth the amount of time it takes to go from submitting your application to moving into your new dream home.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Info about the property you’re buying
Before you talk to your mortgage lender, gather contact information for your homeowner’s insurance agent as well as the property’s homeowner’s association contact, if applicable.
- Home purchasers should provide the fully-executed Purchase Agreement document (provided by your real estate agent) as well as contact information for their real estate agent.
- Refinancers will need to share a copy of their homeowner’s insurance policy.
2. Proof of your income
The income verification requirements for mortgage applications vary, depending on whether you’re self-employed or a salaried employee. Either way, you’ll need to account for any gaps in employment during the most recent two-year period.
If you’re a salaried employee (you work for someone else and receive a regular paycheck):
- Show copies of your two most recent annual tax returns, including W-2s for you and any co-applicants.
- Include any schedules you file with your taxes (Schedule B for investment interest and dividends, for example).
- Make sure you can provide a record of your income (likely in the form of a paystub) for the past 30 days.
- Present proof of any bonuses you may have received in the past two years.
For the self-employed:
- Gather your personal tax returns for the past three tax years, including all schedules.
- Share your business tax returns for the past three years, including all schedule and K-1 statements.
Update your business’ Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet, and be prepared to share a current version with your lender.
3. Documentation of your assets
Your mortgage provider will want to know that you have the solvency to afford your mortgage payments once you close on your new home. Be prepared to share two months' worth of the following statements for each of these accounts:
4. An understanding of your credit history
Those with the highest credit ratings often enjoy the most attractive mortgage options. Before your lender pulls your credit report, take these steps:
- Make sure all your bill payments are up-to-date.
- Review your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Check for any listed credit reporting errors.
- Contact the credit issuer to correct any errors you find.
A solid mortgage professional can help facilitate the mortgage application process and send you any necessary reminders for the above details. Still, the faster you move on your end of the application, the faster your team will be able to complete the mortgage process so you can refinance or get packing and move into your brand new home.