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Gathering Your Documents

What You'll Learn

  • Your lender will require a lot of documentation to determine your creditworthiness and ability to repay your debt
  • How far back your documentation must go may vary by lender
  • Gathering your documents early in the homebuying process is helpful

Getting a mortgage is a lot of work and it should be since it's one of the biggest financial commitments you'll ever make. As such, your lender will require a lot of documentation and information to verify many aspects of your life, including your income, assets, debts, ability to repay debts on time and more.

Following is a list of items you’ll likely need to provide your lender for prequalification (the duration of documentation may change from lender to lender):

  • W-2s from the past year, perhaps two
  • Pay check stubs from the past one to three months
  • Proof of any supplemental income
  • Tax documents from the past two years, including all pages and schedules
  • If you are self-employed, it’s likely you’ll have to submit a current-year profit-and-loss-statement, among other documentation
  • Checking and savings bank statements from the past one to three months
  • Investment account statements – including 401(k), stocks, IRA and mutual funds – from the past one to three months
  • Statements for all debts, including car loans, student loans, and credit cards
  • Copy of your driver’s license
  • History of residence for past two years:
    • If renting, provide name and address of landlord(s) for rent verification
    • If owning, provide your most current mortgage statement
If you are divorced, it’s likely you’ll need to provide a copy of your divorce decree along with associated alimony or child support documentation.


  • Always provide every page of every document.  If a page appears to be missing from a numbered set – even if it’s blank or not necessary in your eyes – it is necessary for the bank.
  • Begin gathering your documentation early to educate yourself and speed the process if you find a home sooner than expected

  Key TakeAways

  1. Buying a home requires a lot of organization, and work, from you and your lender

  2. Your lender will need to know about every debt and asset you own when qualifying you for a loan

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