5 Documents to Gather before Applying for a Mortgage
Applying for a mortgage is a time intensive and documentation intensive process. Having the right documents on hand can greatly expedite the application experience, and make it easier for a lender to give you a pre-approval or a loan offer. The earlier in the process you can gather and share them, the better. Yet not every applicant knows what to expect. Here’s a quick guide to five documents it’s helpful to gather before you apply for a mortgage.
Your income plays a vital role in getting you approved for a mortgage. Lenders want to understand how long you’ve been employed, what you do, and how much you make. Start by gathering previous W2s and your most recent 3 – 4 paystubs. It’s also possible to request a letter from your employer verifying that you’re employed, how long you’ve been working there, and how much you make. If you receive a fixed annual bonus or other compensation, a letter from your employer outlining that may also be helpful.
Previous tax returns
Most lenders want to see two to three years of your previous tax returns. They’re looking for trends in income, and also for the stability of your income level. If you’re self-employed or you own a business, lenders may ask for as many as seven years of tax returns in order to better gauge your financial situation. Get copies of your tax returns from the IRS if you haven’t kept them on file.
Your credit report
Any lender that’s considering your application will pull the latest copy of your credit report and credit score from their agency of choice. However, before you apply it’s important that you’re familiar with what’s on the document. Scour it for errors or for issues – such as accounts in collections – that can quickly be corrected. Otherwise, being prepared will help you anticipate interest rates and specific comments you may need to address during the process.
Copies of financial statements
If you don’t typically keep financial statements on hand, you’ll want to gather several months of statements for your primary accounts. Start with any checking and savings accounts that you maintain. Banks will also want to see details regarding your investment accounts, retirement savings and any other assets that will give them insights into your financial big picture. If you have other sources of income such as alimony, rental income, or passive income streams, having documentation that shows that income is also helpful during the application process.
Previous rental verification
If you’re currently renting a home or apartment, lenders will want to see proof that rent was paid on time. Often, they seek documentation that goes back as far as 12 months. Copies of canceled rent checks, along with a rental agreement, can help verify this. A letter from your current landlord, along with his or her contact information, is also helpful.
Are you a Las Vegas resident who is considering applying for a mortgage? Contact Sydnee Johnson today to arrange for a personalized consultation and learn more about the process, including what documents you need to apply for a mortgage.