What do I need to apply for a mortgage?

Is there a new home in your future — maybe your first home?

Between Open Houses and site visits, you’ll want to start gathering the paperwork and other information likely to be required when you apply for a mortgage. (If you are going to have a co-borrower, the same information will be required for each applicant.)

This information helps the lender confirm your identity; review your recent residential history and document your earnings, expenses, assets and liabilities. At the very least, you can expect to be asked to provide

  • Social Security number.
  • Two official forms of identification.
  • Your address(es) for the past two years (include landlord names and contact information).
  • W-2 forms/1099s for the past two years (including employer names and addresses).
  • Most recent pay stub.
  • Verification of any additional income.
  • Monthly payment and current balance details for loans you may have.
  • Two most recent statements for deposit, investment and retirement accounts, etc.
  • Information regarding child support or alimony, if applicable.

Review your credit standing

You’ll want to order a copy of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.  Be sure to order all three, because the information they contain may differ. It won’t cost you anything because, by law, you’re entitled to a free annual credit report  from each company.

Review your credit reports carefully. Your lender will want an explanation for problem items such as late payments, charge-offs, judgments, liens, collections, etc. Any recent credit inquiries noted in your report could also raise concern. Deal with any issues right away, so they won’t impact your chances of being approved for a mortgage.

Get a head start

This is just a brief overview of what lenders usually require. Your lender may have different requirements and your situation may be different. For example, if you are self-employed, have had a bankruptcy filing in the last seven years or presently hold a mortgage on another property, you’ll probably have to provide additional documents and information. Check with the Bank or your lender if you have questions about your specific situation.

The more you prepare in advance, the better off you’ll be. Gathering the basic information described above means you can hit the ground running.

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