A Checklist Of Loan Documents You Need For Each Type Of Mortgage PreApproval

Dated: 01/16/2019

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Whether you’re self-employed or applying for an FHA or USDA loan, here’s the pre-approval paperwork you need.


If you’re serious about buying a home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a critical step. It’s also a tedious one. Lenders seem to want a mountain of documents and have so many requirements.


Yet the payoff is worth it. Most agents recommend mortgage pre-approval because it strengthens your offer. Sellers like to know the buyer already has financing secured.


Plus, you’re going to need that same hefty stack of paperwork for your official mortgage application once you’ve got a contract on a home, so you’re really knocking out two tasks at once.

To help, we’ve created a documents checklist for each type of mortgage pre-approval. Warning: Some lists are longer than others.


Conventional Loan Documents


If you’re employed and get regular paychecks, plus a W-2 every year, and you’re not going through FHA, USDA, or an incentive-buying program, these are the documents you need to apply for mortgage pre-approval:

Identification (one of these, which you will need to show in person)

    • Driver’s license

    • Passport

    • Other state- or federal-issued ID

Income

    • Pay stubs for the last 30 days

    • Last two federal tax returns

    • Last two W-2s

    • Proof of any additional income (second jobs, social security, alimony, etc.)

Accounts

    • Last two statements on all bank accounts — be sure to include all pages, even blank ones

    • Statements for all investment and/or retirement accounts

Property

    • Settlement statement from previous home sale, if applicable

Additional documents

    • Contact information for your landlord(s) for the last two years, if applicable

    • Divorce decree, separation agreement, and/or property settlement agreement, if applicable

    • Gift letter if a family member is helping with down payment (lender will have form)

    • A letter of explanation (LOE) for late payments, collections, judgments, or other derogatory items in your credit history, if applicable


FHA Loan Documents


If you’re applying for mortgage pre-approval with the Federal Housing Administration, you’ll need these documents:

Identification (one of these, which you will need to show in person)

    • Driver’s license

    • Passport

    • Other state- or federal-issued ID

Income

    • Pay stubs for the last 30 days, if applicable

    • Last two federal tax returns

    • Last two W-2s or 1099s, if applicable

    • Proof of any additional income (second jobs, social security, alimony, etc.)

Accounts

    • Last two statements on all bank accounts — be sure to include all pages, even blank ones

      • Statements for all investment and/or retirement accounts

Property

    • Closing disclosure (or HUD-1 if the sale took place before Oct. 3, 2015) for previous purchase

Additional documents

    • Contact information for your landlord(s) for the last two years, if applicable

    • Divorce decree, separation agreement, and/or property settlement agreement, if applicable

    • Gift letter if a family member is helping with down payment (lender will have form)

    • A letter of explanation (LOE) for late payments, collections, judgments, or other derogatory items in your credit history, if applicable


Documents For Buying an Investment Property


If you’re buying a property you plan to rent, these are the documents you should have in hand to apply for pre-approval:

Identification (one of these, which you will need to show in person)

    • Driver’s license

    • Passport

    • Other state- or federal-issued ID

Income

    • Pay stubs for the last 30 days, if applicable

    • Last two federal tax returns

    • Last two W-2s or 1099s, if applicable

    • Proof of any additional income (second jobs, social security, alimony, etc.)

Accounts

    • Last two statements on all bank accounts — be sure to include all pages, even blank ones

    • Statements for all investment and/or retirement accounts

Property

    • Settlement statement on any recent home sales

    • Recent mortgage statements on all properties you own

    • Proof of insurance for all properties you own

    • Current leases for all rental properties you own

Additional documents

    • Contact information for your landlord(s) for the last two years, if applicable

    • Divorce decree, separation agreement, and/or property settlement agreement, if applicable

    • Gift letter if a family member is helping with down payment (lender will have form)

    • A letter of explanation (LOE) for late payments, collections, judgments, or other derogatory items in your credit history, if applicable


Self-Employed or Business-Owner Mortgage Documents


If you’re self-employed or own a business, these are the documents you need for the mortgage pre-approval process:

Identification (one of these, which you will need to show in person)

    • Driver’s license

    • Passport

    • Other state- or federal-issued ID

Income

    • Pay stubs for the last 30 days, if applicable

    • Last two federal tax returns

    • Last two 1099s

    • Proof of any additional income (second jobs, social security, alimony, etc.)

Accounts

    • Last two statements on all bank accounts — be sure to include all pages, even blank ones

    • Statements for all investment and/or retirement accounts

    • Last two years’ Corporate, S-Corp, LLC, or partnership tax returns

    • Last two years’ 1099s, if applicable

Property

    • Settlement statement from previous home sale, if applicable

Additional documents

    • Contact information for your landlord(s) for the last two years, if applicable

    • Divorce decree, separation agreement, and/or property settlement agreement, if applicable

    • Gift letter if a family member is helping with down payment (lender will have form)

    • A letter of explanation (LOE) for late payments, collections, judgments, or other derogatory items in your credit history, if applicable

    • Last two months’ profit-and-loss statements (you can put one together in about five minutes)

    • Balance sheet, if applicable (rules vary by state)

    • Current business license


VA Loan Documents


If you’re seeking pre-approval for a Veteran’s Administration home loan, these are the documents you will need:

Identification (one of these, which you will need to show in person)

    • Driver’s license

    • Passport

    • Other state- or federal-issued ID

Income

    • Pay stubs for the last 30 days, if applicable

    • Last two federal tax returns

    • Last two W-2s or 1099s, if applicable

    • Proof of any additional income (second jobs, social security, alimony, etc.)

Accounts

    • Last two statements on all bank accounts — be sure to include all pages, even blank ones

    • Statements for all investment and/or retirement accounts

Property

    • Settlement statement from previous home sale, if applicable

Additional documents

    • Contact information for your landlord(s) for the last two years, if applicable

    • Divorce decree, separation agreement, and/or property settlement agreement, if applicable

    • A letter of explanation (LOE) for late payments, collections, judgments, or other derogatory items in your credit history, if applicable

    • Certificate of eligibility (COE) from the Veteran’s Administration, which may require one or more of these documents, depending on your situation:

      • Form DD-214, certificate of release or discharge

      • Statement of service from the adjutant, personnel office, commander, or higher headquarters if still on active duty

      • Blog author image

        Mark Ross

        For Mark Ross, founder of Ross NW Real Estate and professional real estate broker, real estate has always been the career of choice. During his 25+ years in the industry, Mark has gained experience in....

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