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Mortgage Checklist

Harry Jensen, Trusted Mortgage Expert with 45+ Years of Experience
, Trusted Mortgage Expert with 45+ Years of Experience

The mortgage checklist below outlines the personal and financial documents most lenders require when you apply for a mortgage.  Borrowers are required to provide extensive documentation to verify your employment, income, assets, financial profile and tax history.  This is so the lender can evaluate your credit-worthiness as a buyer and make sure that you have the financial ability to make your monthly payment and repay the mortgage.  The requested documents may vary by lender, borrower and loan program, but almost always include the items listed on our mortgage checklist below.

For example, when you apply for a mortgage you are usually required to provide two years of tax returns and W-2s, two months of bank statements and current statements for any investment, brokerage or retirement accounts and one month of pay stubs. Additionally, you are also required to submit statements and account balances for all outstanding debts including credit cards, auto and student loans. Even though your current loans appear on your credit report, lenders also want to review your most updated account information.

Please note that the mortgage checklist for self-employed borrowers and borrowers with income-producing rental properties outlines additional documents that lenders usually require.  For example, in addition to the standard borrower income and asset documents, self-employed applicants are also required to submit the schedule C from their personal tax return, corporate or partnership tax returns depending on the type of business they own, a profit and loss (P&L) statement for their business and business bank account statements if you apply for certain mortgage programs.  You may also be required to provide a balance sheet if the business has any outstanding loans. 

If you want to use income from a rental property to qualify for a mortgage you are required to provide the schedule E from your personal tax returns that outlines the profit or loss attributable to the property plus any executed lease or rental agreements.  You may also want to submit a detailed schedule of all of the income and expenses for the property. 

If you are refinancing your mortgage you are also required to provide your most recent mortgage statement, property tax bill and homeowners insurance declaration. The refinance lender wants to understand the terms of your current mortgage as well as your loan balance, property taxes due and other information.

Typically you are not asked to provide personal documents until after you submit your loan application but having these documents available and organized at the beginning of the process helps make things go much smoother. Reviewing your personal information in advance of the mortgage process also enables you to identify and resolve potential issues such as missing documents or errors you may find. This helps you avoid potential delays and ensure that your mortgage is processed as quickly as possible.  Review our mortgage checklist below to understand the documents you are required to provide when you apply for a loan.

Mortgage Application Document List
  • Pay stubs (one month)
  • W-2 (two years)
  • Tax returns (two years)
  • Bank statements (two months)
  • Investment account statements
  • IRA / 401K / pension statements
  • Current statements for outstanding debt such as credit card, auto and student loans
If you are refinancing your mortgage:
  • Most recent monthly mortgage statement
  • Most recent property tax bill
  • Homeowner's insurance declaration
  • If property is owned in a trust, a copy of the trust
If you are self-employed:
  • Business license
  • Schedule C
  • Corporate tax returns
  • Partnership returns
  • Business profit & loss statement (P&L)
  • Business bank statements (depending on loan program)
If you own income producing real estate:
  • Schedule E
  • Leases
  • Schedule of real estate owned
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"B3-3.5-01, Income and Employment Documentation for DU."  Selling Guide: Fannie Mae Single Family. Fannie Mae, August 7 2019.  Web.

About the author
Harry Jensen, Mortgage Expert

Harry is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. He is a mortgage expert with over 45 years of industry experience. Over his career, Harry has closed thousands of loans for satisfied borrowers and now offers his advice and insights on FREEandCLEAR.  Harry is a licensed mortgage professional (NMLS #236752). More about Harry

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