Necessary Documents

Even if a lender has preapproved you for a certain loan amount, you must still complete the loan application process when you’re ready to put an offer on a home. Your lender wants to make sure that nothing has changed in your job status or credit history since issuing the preapproval that would affect your ability to receive and repay the loan.

In addition to your date of birth and Social Security Number, lenders typically need the following information:

Proof of income (and supplemental income, if applicable), including W-2 statements and federal income tax returns from the past 2 years, as well as pay stubs from the past 30 days that show current and year-to-date income

Proof of assets, including bank statements and investment account statements from the past 60 days

Employer contact information 

Copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID

Documents pertaining to long-term debts, such as car loans, student loans or existing mortgages

Real estate information on existing property, including current taxes, homeowners association dues, insurance and lien information, if applicable

Purchase price of the home you wish to buy

Estimated homeowners or condo association dues (if any) on new property

Type of property being purchased, such as single-family home

Sales contract signed by all parties

Down payment amount and source of funds

If you're self-employed, you may be required to provide additional documentation.


The lender’s underwriting department determines your creditworthiness, verifies your application and ultimately decides whether you’re approved or denied.

An underwriter’s tasks include:

  • checking your credit history and credit score for red flags like bankruptcies and missed payments
  • reviewing your prospective home’s appraisal to make sure the requested loan amount doesn’t exceed its value
  • evaluating your debt-to-income ratio to determine whether you make enough to cover your debt burden

Loan Application

The mortgage loan application is meant to capture information about you, your finances and your mortgage. If you’re getting a loan from your credit union or bank, you can work with a loan officer to complete the application accurately and completely. You’ll need to complete these 10 sections:

  1. Mortgage type and loan terms: Include the type of loan you’ve selected, the length and other terms. 
  2. Property information: Include the address of the home you’re buying and the year it was built.
  3. Borrower information: Include the name, address, phone number, date of birth and Social Security Number for all borrowers (for instance, you and your spouse). If you’ve been at your current address for less than 2 years, you may need to provide former addresses for the past 7 years.
  4. Employment information: Provide a history of where you’ve worked and for how long. If you haven’t been at your current job for at least 2 years, you’ll need to provide information on all employment for the past 2 years.
  5. Monthly income and combined housing expense information: List your monthly gross income (how much you make before taxes or deductions) and monthly expenses. 
  6. Assets and liabilities: Include how much you have in bank accounts, savings, retirement accounts and investment accounts, as well as the value of vehicles, homes and other property for assets. For liabilities, itemize all your current bills, loans and other debts, including current balances and monthly payments. Debts include automobile loans, credit cards, student loans and existing mortgages, including home equity loans. 
  7. Transaction details: Completed by your loan officer, this section includes estimates of the home’s purchase price and closing costs, and the total cost of your loan, including principal, interest and fees.
  8. Declarations: Provide information about any pending legal problems or other factors that may affect your financial situation, such as whether you declared bankruptcy in the past. You’ll also need to verify you’re a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien.
  9. Acknowledgement and agreement: Sign your name to affirm the information provided is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge.
  10. Information for government monitoring purposes: Provide information about your ethnic origin and your race if you wish.

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