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What Documents Are Required for a Home Loan?

By Arvin Sahakian · Feb 5, 2015 · Mortgage

What Documents Are Required for a Home Loan?

Image courtesy of Flickr, Johann Dreo

Lenders require that you provide documents to verify your income, assets, credit and other qualifying information. Gather these documents ahead of time to avoid unnecessary delays.

When in the market for a new purchase loan or refinance you'll be required to gather and send to the lender many different documents used to underwrite your loan. We find that it's good practice to begin gathering these documents early in the loan process to help avoid delays.

Read on for a list of the most common loan documents required.

Credit Report

With your permission, the lender will pull a "tri-merge" credit report. A tri-merge report pulls your credit report from all three credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and Transunion, and then merges this data together to form one single credit report.

The credit report will contain the following information most important to the lender:

  1. History of past and current debts and payments you're obligated to make.
  2. Three FICO scores from each of the three credit bureaus.
  3. Any collection accounts and/or public records you may have.

For a thorough explanation of what's in your credit report and how mortgage lenders use your credit report and score, check out this article.

Purchase Agreement Signed by Both Seller and Buyer

When you work with a mortgage lender to get a purchase loan, you will have to show the lender a copy of the Residential Purchase Agreement signed by all parties involved in the transaction. This must be the final purchase agreement that your purchase is based upon.

You can get a copy of the purchase agreement from your real estate agent.

Two Years of Federal Tax Returns

The lender will require that you send in the last two years of your federal tax returns, along with a signed Form 4506-T which authorizes the IRS to release information regarding your returns to your lender.

If you own the company you make your income from, the lender may also request that you provide a current Income Statement and Balance Sheet from your business.


Copies of your W-2's (if applicable) for the last 2 years will be required by the majority of all lenders. If you do not have this copy on file you will have to request a copy from your place of employment or tax professional.


Copies of your 1099's (if applicable) for the last 2 years will be required by the lender. 1099's are typically issued to people who work independently, such as real estate agents, dentists or sales reps. The party that pays you is required to send you and the IRS a 1099 declaring how much you've been paid.

Pay Stubs

Copies of your pay stubs (if applicable) for the last 30 days will be required by the lender. The lender may require that you submit an additional, more recent pay stub, prior to funding your loan to ensure you are still employed and are still earning the same income.

Additional Income

If you receive income for child support, alimony, disability or separate maintenance you must provide the Award Letter to the lender from these sources as proof of income, but only if you are using these income sources to qualify for the loan. An award letter outlines what amount you are to receive and for how long you will receive it.

Bank Account Statements

Complete copies of your bank account statements for the last 90 days from all bank accounts will be required to show that you have 3 - 6 months of payment reserves. Some lenders may require more than 3 - 6 months of reserves depending on your unique situation.

If you have any investment accounts, such as 401Ks and IRAs, you may also be asked to provide copies of these statements if they are material to qualifying you for the loan.

Social Security Card

Lenders may require a copy of your social security card, or they may ask you to submit copies of a document that contains your social security number, such as a W-2, income tax return or letters from the Social Security Administration.

Homeowners Insurance Proof

Lenders need to know that your home is insured and has sufficient coverage in case of damage from disaster.

If you're purchasing a new home, the lender will want to see that you have either attained a policy, or have initiated the process of attaining homeowners insurance, pending the finalization of your purchase.

If you're refinancing, the lender may ask that you provide your homeowners insurance declarations page, which shows your annual payments and the amount of coverage you have.

Mortgage Statement

The lender may ask you for your most recent mortgage statement from one or all of your properties (if applicable).

The lender will use the information on your mortgage statement to verify and qualify you. Information about your mortgage, such as the final loan payoff amount, whether or not you have a pre-payment penalty and what your monthly loan payment is will all be looked at.

It's All About What You Can Prove

The documentation you provide is used by the lender to prove the information you provide in your loan application. For example, if you state that you make $8,000 per month, this must be quantified with supporting documentation such as pay stubs, tax returns and other income documentation. If it doesn't, you will be re-qualified based on the income you can prove. This may significantly change your loan terms, or even disqualify you for the loan all together.

Gather and Deliver Documents Early

Because documents must be manually reviewed and signed off the lender's Underwriter, be sure you begin the process of gathering these documents and deliver them to your lender as early as possible to help ensure a speedy closing.

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