What Documentation Do I Need Before Applying for a Mortgage?

The most commonly required documents for completing a mortgage application include the following:

  • Written authorization for your lender to run your credit report.

  • Bankruptcy discharge papers if you had a bankruptcy in the past seven years.

  • Tax liens and other negative information on your credit report with full documentation.

  • Proof of rent payment in the past 12 months. If you are a renter with an institutional landlord, your lender may be able to work with your landlord to complete a form confirming on-time rent payments instead of providing cancelled checks or bank statements.

  • Copy of the lease agreement and proof of deposit of the first month's rent if you are renting out your current home.

  • Listing agreement of your current home if you are moving out and selling your current home. You may need to close on the sale of your current home before you can close on the purchase of your new home.

  • Pay stubs in the past 30 days.

  • W-2 forms in the past two years.

  • Completed federal tax returns in the past two years.

  • Completed business tax returns in the past two years and a year-to-date profit and loss statement if you are self-employed or possess more than 20% ownership in a company.

  • Documentation of income from rental properties if this rental income appears on your tax returns. If your rental property is new and the rental income from that property does not yet appear on your tax returns, lenders may still accept that income towards your total if the down payment you made on your rental property is at least 30%.

  • Divorce decree if you are divorced and are either paying or receiving child support or alimony. Any income must be shown to be scheduled for at least three more years from the closing of the loan.

  • Checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts statements in the past two months.

  • Two months of full account statements for all relevant accounts if you transfer money between them. Even if you are only using one account for the down payment, the lender may want to review each line item.

  • Gift letter for mortgage if you are receiving a gift to fund your down payment. Your lender will require each of your donors and the recipient (you) to sign a gift letter confirming that the gift is not a loan. Some lenders may want the gift donors' account statements to confirm the gift, while others may need to confirm that you received the funds to your account.

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There may be other documentation required beyond this list, but the above are some of the most common requirements for mortgage applications. The lender might ask you to provide additional documents during the application process, but having these prepared in advance can speed up the mortgage application process.