Be Prepared:
Stress Less Loan Checklist.

Knowing what you need before you apply for a mortgage makes the process easier. Keep this checklist handy to make sure you have all the documentation, and you may be able to close on your loan faster.

The Stress Less Loan Checklist.

Income Documentation

You have to prove your income in a way that’s standard for the industry. Most employed individuals provide paystubs and W-2s; self-employed applicants provide tax returns.

Most recent paystubs for the last 30 days*  

  • Weekly pay = 4 paystubs 
  • Bi-weekly pay = 2 paystubs 
  • Monthly pay = 1 paystub 

Most recent W-2s from all employers for the last 2 years 

  • If you don’t have a copy, ask your tax preparer or your current/previous employer 
  • If you filed online, download a copy electronically 

If you’re self-employed, most recent tax returns from the last 2 years 

  • You must provide all federal tax schedules including any blank pages, if applicable 
  • If you own a business, rather than working as an independent contractor, you must also provide your business tax returns for the last 2 years 

Most recent 1099s 

  • If you’re an independent contractor, provide the 1099s from all jobs 
  • If you’re self-employed or employed, but receive additional income, you need to provide 1099s 

Year-to-date Profit & Loss (P&L) statement and balance sheet 

  • Lenders use this information to compare it to your annual income  

Employer information for the past 5 years  

  • Provide the name and address of all employers, including dates of employment 
  • Provide a letter of explanation for any gaps in employment 

Asset Documentation

You must prove the funds you’ll use for your down payment, closing costs, and/or any funds needed for reserves to qualify you for the loan.

Bank and investment statements for the last 3 months for any accounts used for qualifying 

  • Statements must have your name, account number, and date 
  • Provide all pages of the statements including blank pages 
  • Make sure the statements are from the most recent 3 months 

Copies of checks for non-payroll deposits 

  • If you have any deposits not tied to payroll, you’ll prove their origin with a copy of the check or electronic transaction 

Personal Identifying Documentation

Here, you’ll prove your identity and provide a history of your residence.

Photo ID for the borrower and co-borrower, if applicable, including one of the following documents: 

  • Driver’s license 
  • State ID 
  • Passport 

List of your residency history for the last 2 years  

  • State whether you owned or rented the property 
  • List the dates you lived there 
  • Provide the name and account number of any mortgages you held

Purchase Contracts

If you’re buying a home, you’ll enter an agreement with the seller, and it must be in writing.

Purchase contract 

  • Must be signed by all parties and include all terms and conditions of the sale 
  • If it’s a new home, it must include all specifications and dates of completion

Documentation for Refinancing

If you’re refinancing a current mortgage, you’ll need specific documentation to help lenders determine what you can afford.

Copy of your current mortgage or deed 

  • You can find the mortgage or note in your original closing package 
  • Make sure to provide all pages 

HUD-1 or Closing Disclosure 

  • This should be with your original closing package  

Proof of your homeowner’s insurance 

  • Provide your insurance declarations page 
  • You must have enough coverage for the home’s current value 
  • The policy must be up-to-date and paid 

Documentation for Selling your Home

If you’re taking out a mortgage to buy a new house and are selling your existing home, you must present the terms of the sale.

Contract signed with the buyers 

  • The contract must include all terms of the sale and be signed by all parties 

Documentation for Veterans

If you’re a veteran and want to use your VA financing option, you must prove you’re eligible for it.

  • Veteran DD214 form
  • Certificate of eligibility

Miscellaneous Documentation

If you filed for bankruptcy recently, have a gap in employment, have large deposits/withdrawals in your bank account, or have other unique situations, you’ll also need to provide the following:

  • Bankruptcy papers including the petition, discharge, and all schedules
  • Letter of explanation about your gap in employment
  • Letter of explanation about any large deposits or withdrawals in your bank accounts for the last 3 months
  • Divorce decree with details of the divorce agreement

Forms and Disclosures

Your final step is to complete and sign specific forms and disclosures—all standard no matter which lender you use.

Signed Form 4506-C to allow the lender to access your tax returns with the IRS 

  • Mortgage application
    The mortgage application is a standard form called the 1003 or the Uniform Residential Application. It contains all the information lenders need to determine if you’re eligible for a loan, including your income documentation, asset documentation, and all personal identifying information. It’s important to be as accurate as possible. 
  • Loan Estimate
    Once you provide a lender with a loan application including your name, address, social security number, income, property address, and estimated price of the property, they must give you with a loan estimate. You’ll receive the estimate within 3 business days of applying. It shows the total cost of the loan and breaks down the closing costs, monthly payment, interest rate, and total interest charges.  

    Use this to ensure all the details of the loan match what you were told when you applied.

  •  Closing Disclosure
    Before you close on the loan, you’re required by law to receive a closing disclosure, and it should match the loan estimate. If there are changes and you weren’t aware of them, you should talk to the lender before closing.  You get 3 days before closing to review the document and ask questions. If too much must change, you may be required to have another 3 days to review the document before you close.   

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