A happy African-American couple packs moving boxes together in anticipation of moving to a new home.

Applying for a home loan can be daunting, especially for first-time homebuyers.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, completing a mortgage lender’s loan application can be fairly straightforward if you take the time to get organized.

At Chartway, we root for our members, which means helping them accomplish their financial goals. That’s why we’ve compiled a mortgage application checklist of the kinds of personal information and mortgage documents required from aspiring homeowners.

Use these guidelines to prepare for your mortgage application, and be amazed as things start to seem less mysterious and confusing.

Mortgage Application Checklist

Here are the things you’ll want to gather so that you can approach the home loan process with confidence!

Income verification 

For proof of income, you’ll want to have:

  • Your 2 most recent pay stubs, or about 30 days’ worth
  • W2s for the past 2 years
  • Federal tax returns
  • Additional documents for the self-employed (in addition to federal tax returns, invoices, Form 1099s)
  • Job offer letter (if you have accepted a job but haven’t started, lenders may let you supply your job offer letter that shows how much income you expect to start receiving once you begin work)

You may need to supply a form 4506-T, which permits lenders to get tax information right from the IRS. 

Bank statements

Lenders need to know that you are financially solvent and have enough money coming in to make mortgage payments. For this part of the mortgage application checklist, you’ll want to gather several months’ worth of statements from your bank accounts (i.e., checking and any savings accounts).

Investment/retirement account statements

Lenders aren’t only interested in liquid funds. They also want to see how much of your income is tied up in investments. Examples of these types of documents include:

  • 401k or Roth IRA information
  • Stock holdings
  • Certificates of deposit

Financial obligations/debt

It may seem obvious, but your amount of debt can’t be too high or exceed your income. Mortgage lenders want to be sure that you won’t have to default on your loans due to your inability to pay.

Debt documentation can include:

  • Credit card statements
  • Vehicle loan payments
  • Business debts
  • Student loans

Additional monthly income

Other examples of monthly income for which you may need to provide proof include:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Payments from any existing real estate holdings 
  • Award letter explaining any benefits payments (i.e., Social Security or the VA)

Personal documents and proof of identity

In addition to proof that you are who you say you are, you may need to be prepared to write a few letters. Here are some instances of the type of personal information you will need to supply:

  • Government-issued ID
  • Letter of explanation if there are any gaps or unusual features in the documents and statements you’ve provided
  • Gift letters if you’ve received money from family or friends to put toward a down payment
  • Credit report showing your lender your creditworthiness

Other documents

Depending on your personal circumstances, other personal documentation you may be required to provide include:

  • Divorce decree that shows you’re responsible for paying child support or alimony
  • Citizenship or immigration documents
  • Record of rent payments for about the past year
  • Thin credit file (if you don’t have much credit, other proof that you have a good track record of paying debts)
  • Relevant documents if you’ve experienced bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past

Final Step of Mortgage Application Checklist: Applying!

If you want to purchase a home, it’s a good idea to start gathering up the documents on this checklist. Obviously, not every borrower will need every item. However, anything you see that applies to you will be important to include!

You may have additional questions about your particular circumstances or financial situation. Fortunately, Chartway’s loan officers can answer your questions and help you get where you want to be!

Borrowing from a credit union can be a great way to get competitive rates while enjoying personalized customer service so that you feel empowered as you secure your future as a homeowner. Learn more below. 

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