For items such as bank statements as well as current credit card and loan statements, you can use documents printed off of a bank or creditor’s web site when you apply for a mortgage. For other items such as your W-2s, tax returns and pay stubs you are required to provide copies of the original documents.
Review our Mortgage Document Checklist
Please note that lenders cannot require you to provide personal or financial documents until they provide you a Loan Estimate, which is the document that outlines your mortgage terms including your interest rate and closing costs. Lenders are legally required to provide you a Loan Estimate within three business days of submitting your mortgage application.
Review What is a Mortgage Loan Estimate?
Until you receive the Loan Estimate from the lender, however, you are not required to provide any of the documents outlined above, including your bank statements. For example, a lender cannot demand that you provide any documents to pre-approve you for a mortgage because that step in the process usually happens before you fill out a loan application. If a lender is asking for financial documents before you submit your mortgage application and receive a Loan Estimate then you should consider changing lenders.
Use our free Mortgage Pre-Approval form to get approved for your loan and to compare lender proposals. Our form is easy-to-use, does not affect your credit and requires minimal personal information and no documents.
The good news is that more lenders are offering online mortgage applications that enable you to upload your financial documents, making it faster and easier to apply. Additionally, as more bank and financial account information moves online, your documents should be easier to access.
In closing, we recommend that you confirm the documents that your lender requires at the start of the mortgage process as well as the document formats they accept. Knowing this information upfront enables you to organize your paperwork, which should save you time and hassle in the long run.