Although it’s not the sexiest part of purchasing a new home, gathering all of the documentation needed to make the home buying process run as smooth as possible will give your mortgage loan originator the tools they need to make the transaction seamless. While the work load may seem a bit daunting up front, this checklist may save a few potential headaches that could arise without preparation.
The checklist below will help your mortgage lender facilitate an on-time closing, secure an accurate pre-approval, and speed up underwriting times. Keep in mind, that not all items will be needed in all cases. This checklist is a comprehensive overview of all of the documentation that could be needed depending on your circumstance. Download a Loan Application Checklist.
- Copy of legible driver’s licenses and social security cards: If you are not a US citizen, your lender will need copy of your Permanent Resident Alien card – email a color copy/scan so your lender can clearly identify each borrower.
- Pay stubs to cover the most recent 30 day period: (As you receive new pay stubs, send those as well). If you have not received pay stubs due to a new job, your lender will need a copy of signed employment offer and acceptance letter specifying job title, start date, and pay rate.
- Name, address, and phone number for all employers in the last 2 years: Include start/end dates, job title, and type of business
- 2 most recent year’s W-2’s, 1099’s, and personal and business federal tax returns
- Name and phone number for the homeowner’s insurance agent (Ask your agent to contact you with quote ASAP to make the payment and costs more accurate up-front.)
- 2 most recent monthly bank statements: Include all banking, investment, and retirement account statements (must have all pages). For instance, if the statement says 1 of 7, your loan officer would need all 7 numbered pages even if blank. If you notice generic deposits on your bank statements, please give us proof of the source of funds for the deposit.
- Copy of your most recent mortgage statement on your current home to prove the total payment with taxes and insurance. If property is free and clear, or if taxes and insurance are not escrowed into the mortgage payment, your mortgage loan originator will need copy of the insurance declaration pages and most recent property tax bill.
- Lease/rental agreements for all owned properties
- Contact information for your landlord: If you don’t pay rent, your loan officer will need a signed letter from the owner of the house stating that you live there “rent free.”
- Cancelled rent checks for 12 months (or money order receipts) if renting from an individual, when possible
Military Active Duty and Retired/Discharged:
- Statement of Service (include letter of intent to re-enlist if ETS is less than one year.)
- DD 214 Member Copy 4
- LES (if deductions, show allotment)
- Name, address, phone number, and relationship to you for a nearest living relative (not in your household)
- Social security, retirement, disability income: Your loan officer will need a copy of the most recent award letter and proof of receipt for last 2 months.
- Credit reference letters from at least 3 creditors that you have paid on time for the past 12-24 months (if borrower has no or very limited credit)
- 2 most recent actual monthly statements for banking, investment, and retirement accounts (all pages of each actual statement)
- Terms of withdrawal from 401K or retirement statement account
- Bankruptcy paperwork (all pages/schedules)
- Letter of explanation for bankruptcy
- Signed letter of explanation for any issues on your credit report
- Copy of the signed divorce decree/separation agreement (all pages) and child support order
- Monthly child care expenses, number of children, and ages of children
- Child support documentation, signed by all parties
- Copy of the cancelled check for the earnest money deposit (once you are under contract and it has cleared your bank). Cash cannot be verified, so please notify your lender ASAP if earnest money was paid in cash. If the earnest money check was written by someone other than yourself please notify your mortgage loan originator ASAP, so we can discuss the best way to handle.
For any down payment money that is gifted from a family member, we will need the following:
- Gift letter signed by donor and yourself (We will send you this letter, it must be worded in a specific way.)
- Cashier’s check for gift money given by donor
- Daily history printout for your bank account showing the gift funds in the account (needs to be from the ending date of the most recent statement through the deposit date or after)
- Copy of donor’s bank statement for the account that the money came out of (This is to show he/she has the ability to give the money and it is not borrowed.)
Ask your lender if you have questions. There could be alternatives allowed.
Don’t wait until the end to start talking to your insurance agent. Do this up-front to prevent surprises or delays in the end. As you receive new pay stubs or bank statements, send those to your mortgage loan originator so they have the most updated information in your file at all times. Even if you are not under contract or don’t have everything together, please send what you can of these items to your mortgage loan originator ASAP as it will speed up the approval and closing process.