What documents will I need to get a mortgage?

BY Sabrina Karl

Applying for a home loan may be one of the more paper-intensive processes you’ll go through in life. Fortunately, much of what you need you’ll already have on hand or can easily access.


The documents mortgage lenders require generally fall into three categories: those documenting your income, your debts, and your assets. In addition, a variety of miscellaneous documents may be necessary given your situation.


At the top of the list is documentation of your current income, as well as how much you earned the past two years. Lenders will typically want to see your most recent two tax returns.


If you work for an employer, you’ll additionally need to present your latest W-2 form and last two pay stubs, as well as the names and addresses of any other employers over the last two years. Meanwhile, the self-employed will need to provide a year-to-date statement of profits and losses, as well as two years’ worth of 1099s and tax returns documenting the self-employed income.


The next bucket of documentation concerns debts. You’ll need to list all of your current debt balances and monthly obligations, including auto loans, student loans, and credit card balances. You won’t need to provide statements, though, as the lender will verify information against your credit report.


Next comes asset documentation. This includes the last two months of statements for any bank, CD, retirement, and investment accounts you hold, as well as for any life insurance policies with a cash value or owned real estate.


Lastly, various miscellaneous documents may be required given your specific situation, such as a letter confirming any received gift money is not expected to be repaid, proof of one year’s rent payments if you are a renter, or your divorce decree if you’ve divorced.