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  • Writer's pictureVZN Mortgage

Documents To Get You Started on Your Mortgage Application

Updated: May 31, 2023

To apply for a mortgage, you'll have to submit various documents to your lender. Here's a breakdown of the most common ones you should know about.

When you apply for a mortgage, lenders will require information about your income, debt, employment, assets, and more. Gathering the necessary documents can be a substantial task. Certain documents, like a government-issued ID, will always be mandatory, while others, such as HOA certifications, may vary based on your circumstances.

While some documents are easily accessible and can be promptly submitted, others might be more difficult to obtain and take longer to acquire. It's important to note that documents can become outdated during the loan process, so you may need to ensure they are current before the loan is finalized.

Additionally, the lender may provide you with documents such as waivers and disclosures. It is advisable to retain these for future reference.

Commonly Requested Documents

  1. Government-issued ID: A valid driver’s license, government-issued ID card, or passport will suffice. Keep a copy to provide to your lender.

  2. Social Security card: If you need a replacement, you can order one online.

  3. Birth certificate: Contact the state or county vital records office where you were born to obtain a copy if needed.

  4. Bank statements: Provide statements for all accounts, including checking, savings, and investment accounts, typically covering the past three months. Include all pages, even if they are blank.

  5. Credit report: Review your credit report in advance to identify and resolve any errors. Request a free copy annually at or by calling 877-322-8228.

  6. Pay stubs: Provide copies of your pay stubs. If paid by direct deposit, access your account online or request deposit history from your bank.

  7. Tax return (or transcript) and W-2s: Make copies of your past year's tax returns. If not available, it's available from IRS upon request.

  8. Form 1099s (Miscellaneous Income): If self-employed, provide copies of these documents. Contact the issuing company for copies if needed.

  9. Earnest money deposit: Lenders will verify the source of your earnest money deposit, usually shown as a withdrawal from your checking or savings account.

  10. Homeowners insurance policy: If your down payment is less than 20%, you may need to provide proof of prepaid one year's worth of coverage. Obtain quotes from multiple companies and provide the selected policy to your lender.

  11. Letter of explanation (LOE): You may need to provide an LOE to address specific issues raised by the underwriter, such as recent bank statements, the origin of funds in your account, or explaining employment gaps.

Other documents

Additionally, here are some additional ones that may be required based on your specific financial situation:

  1. 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return): Your lender may ask you to complete and return this form to allow them to request your tax information from the IRS. You can also request a transcript or other return information free of charge using the IRS form.

  2. Affiliated business arrangement disclosure: Under federal Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) guidelines, if your real estate agent or broker has a financial interest in companies they've referred you to for transaction-related services, they must disclose this relationship to you. They should provide you with the RESPA model disclosure.

  3. Alimony/child support income verification: If you receive alimony or child support payments, lenders may consider them as income if you have a court order mandating the payments and proof of consistent payments for the past six months. Note that child support usually ceases when a child turns 18, which lenders may take into account in your income calculation.

  4. Alimony/child support liability verification: Lenders may deduct alimony from your monthly income and not count it as a monthly debt, but child support is typically considered as part of your monthly debt calculation. This distinction is crucial, as it can impact your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders use to assess your ability to handle monthly payments and repay debts.

  5. Appraisal: Your lender may hire an independent appraiser to determine the market value of the property. You can request a copy of the appraisal report.

  6. Appraisal waiver: If you have strong credit and a significant equity down payment, the lender may use an automated loan approval system that eliminates the need for an appraisal. In this case, you'll receive an appraisal waiver.

  7. Automatic payment authorization: Some lenders may offer a lower interest rate if you agree to have monthly payments automatically debited from your bank account. Discuss this option with your lender, and if you proceed, they will provide the necessary authorization paperwork.

  8. Bankruptcy discharge notice: If you've recently filed for bankruptcy, there may be a waiting period before you can obtain financing again. Each mortgage lender has its own guidelines. If you need to provide your lender with a copy of your discharge notice, contact the clerk of the court where your case was filed.

  9. Bonus and/or commission income: Lenders typically require supporting documentation for bonus income, such as recent payslips, letters from your employer confirming entitlement to bonuses and their likelihood of continuation, and the most recent tax return or group certificate. Commission income usually requires a two-year documented history, along with a letter from your employer affirming that commission income is a standard business practice and expected to continue.

  10. Borrower certification and authorization: The lender will usually require you to sign a Certification and Authorization form, stating that the information you provided during the application process (regarding employment, assets, income, and debt) is accurate and complete. This form also authorizes the lender to verify your information and sell your loan to another company after closing.

  11. Cosigned liability documentation: If you are a cosigner on another loan, such as a student loan or car loan, the lender may be able to exclude that debt from your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) under certain criteria. It's essential to inquire about this with your lender as eligibility may vary based on the lender and loan program.

  12. DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty): If you're applying for a VA loan and not currently active military personnel, the lender may request your DD-214. You can obtain a copy from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).

  13. Employment offer letter: Most lenders typically require at least one full month of pay stubs prior to closing the loan. However, some lenders may accept an employment contract with details such as start date, income, and position title within 60 days of closing. Alternatively, a letter from your employer confirming that all employment requirements have been met may also be accepted.

  14. Escrow waiver: Normally, lenders require borrowers to include taxes and insurance premiums in their monthly mortgage payments, which are held in escrow until the payment date. If you prefer to make these payments directly, you can request an escrow waiver from your lender.

  15. Gift letter: If you're using gift money as part or all of your down payment, the donor will need to write a gift letter to the lender, explicitly stating that the funds are a gift and not a loan.

  16. Homeowners association certification: For properties in condominiums, planned unit developments, or single-family residences governed by homeowners associations, lenders typically request a Lender Certification from the homeowners association. This certification ensures that the property meets the lender's underwriting requirements. Lenders often have specific forms with questions for this purpose.

  17. Important Notice to Home Buyers: If you're applying for an FHA loan, you may be required to review and sign this document, which provides important information about purchasing and financing a home. Your FHA lender should provide you with this notice.

  18. Retirement award letter: If you're retired and receiving a pension, lenders may ask for an award letter that verifies your source of income. If you no longer have the letter, you can contact your former employer to request a copy.

  19. Social Security income documentation: If you receive Social Security benefits, your lender will typically require documentation showing the amount of benefits you receive and verification that these benefits are likely to continue. You can request this proof from the Social Security website, by visiting a local Social Security Office, or by calling 800-772-1213.

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