Typical Documents You Need for a Mortgage

Find out what documents you usually need for a mortgage loan.

So, you’ve applied for a home loan, and your lender has given you a list of documents they will need for your loan application. These documents usually will help verify your income, assets and debts before you can close your loan. Ultimately, lenders are required to analyze your ability to repay the loan, an important step to protect your financial health.

Most likely, you will soon be, or are already, talking with one of your main contacts at your chosen lender, your Loan Processor. Typically, their role is to help you gather all the necessary paperwork and get you to the next steps of finalizing your mortgage.

Some of these documents are ones you probably expect, like a copy of your identification and paycheck stubs, but the exact documents that are needed will vary depending on your situation. You might also be surprised at how much documentation is asked for or wonder why your lender needs some of these documents.

Your Vanderbilt team is always happy to answer your questions, but we want to help put you at ease right from the start. That’s why we’re sharing a checklist of some common loan requirements lenders ask for, and the why behind these items.

Valid Identification

It’s a given that you would need official identification for a mortgage because you wouldn’t want someone else buying a home in your name. Valid identification typically includes a current driver’s license, passport or other government-issued photo ID. You’ll also be asked for a copy of your Social Security card, so do not be alarmed when it is requested. It serves as another item to confirm your identity. You’ll likely be asked for proof if you changed your name recently, as well.

Proof of Income and Assets

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As there are several types of employment and other sources of income, the documents you’re asked for will be specific to you. For example, a customer who is self-employed and one with Social Security and retirement benefits will have some different documents on their list. Here is a list of common documentation for proof of income:

  • Recent paycheck stubs
  • Two years of tax returns
  • Benefit documents (VA/retirement/Social Security)
  • Stipends, court orders and pay history (adoption/child support/alimony)
  • If you are self-employed, a year-to-date profit and loss statement and a balance sheet
  • If you own rental property, a copy of current lease(s) and rental income history
  • Bank statements from checking and/or savings accounts
  • Statements from investment accounts
  • Gift letters if family or other parties are giving you money, such as for the down payment

This is not a complete list for every income situation, but it should give a good idea of what could be requested.

Also, you will be asked for your history of employment/receiving income, commonly covering two years. Your Loan Processor will reach out to your current employer and possibly past employers if you have changed jobs within that time. If you were a college student during the two-year history, official transcripts could be requested. And if you had a gap in employment, your lender may ask you to write a letter of explanation for that period.

Credit and Debts

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In addition to your income, lenders will factor in your debts to determine what is called a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio . This is your monthly debt obligations divided by your gross monthly income and is used to help measure your ability to repay a loan. How high or low a customer’s DTI ratio is affects what financing can be approved by lenders or what mortgage type you qualify for. The following are typical monthly debts your Loan Specialist will review for your DTI ratio:

  • Auto, student and personal loans
  • Credit cards
  • Medical bills
  • Court obligations (alimony/child support)
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Home insurance

Your lender may ask you for documentation of these debts, like the court order for child support or a copy of a lease with the rent amount.

If you’ve paid an account in full, such as credit card, your lender may ask for a statement or zero balance confirmation letter from the creditor of that account. Talk to your Loan Specialist before opening or closing any lines of credit while you are in the home buying process. It is typically discouraged as it could impact your DTI ratio negatively.

You also won’t need to provide your credit report to your lender as they will be able to pull that report by request from a credit bureau.

Again, everyone’s specific financial situation can vary, as well as the loan type they apply for, so other documents could be needed for loan conditions that aren’t discussed here. However, you now have a solid start in understanding what you could be asked for, whether you’re applying for your first home or it’s been a while since your last home loan. Learn more about a conditional home loan approval, its time limits and what to do if it expires.

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