10 Documents You'll Need When Getting a Mortgage

If you’re planning on buying a home, you’re probably also planning on getting a mortgage. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 86% of all homebuyers in 2020 financed their home purchases with a mortgage loan.

Tom Monaghan
Tom Monaghan

When the median price of a home was $341,600 as of April 2021, mortgage loans play a pivotal role in assisting today’s homebuyers as they approach homeownership.

What You’ll Need When Getting a Mortgage

Since mortgage loans are such an essential aspect of home buying preparations, it’s never too early to start mapping out your course of action. Buyers should always invest time in getting organized before they approach lenders to shop for their best home loan.

Above all, lending institutions want to make sure that the borrowers they fund will repay the loan over time. When you first apply, the lender will be looking through your submitted documents and financial record to gauge your borrowing position.

When applying for a mortgage, buyers will need to provide their lender with income verification, credit verification, assets and debt records, and other essential pieces of information.

The Benefits of Starting Early

Homebuyers who start compiling their documents early will be better prepared to work with mortgage brokers. When you start early, you will be able to set up your application for success.

In the best situation, fast-acting buyers would be able to spot red flags in their own application documents. This would potentially allow them to improve whatever may need adjustment, helping buyers make a better first impression with lenders.

Even if a borrower is unable to improve their borrowing status as it is, they would be aware of the circumstances and therefore in a better position to negotiate. Asking specific questions can help borrowers leverage strategies to enhance their experience in getting a mortgage.


If you plan on getting a mortgage to finance your upcoming home purchase, here’s a checklist of documents that you’ll need to apply.

#1. Proof of Identification

First things first, a mortgage lender will need to confirm you are who you say you are. Lenders typically investigate a borrower’s identification during the pre-approval stage. You’ll generally need to submit a government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or state I.D.

#2. At Least 2 Years of W-2 Forms

Lenders will use your last two years of W-2 Forms to verify your income stream. These documents may be from your current and previous employers if you have changed jobs in the past two years. You can obtain copies of these W-2 Forms from the IRS or directly from the employers.

At Least 2 Years of W-2 Forms


If there are gaps in payment or employment, be prepared to outline the circumstances with a written explanation.

#3. Pay Stubs from the Last 30 Days

Lenders will want to know how much you are currently earning in 30 days, the typical mortgage billing cycle. Pay stubs should include documentation of any supplemental income you receive, as well.

#4. Income Tax Returns

Lenders typically ask for two or three years of income tax returns to examine your reported income and claimed deductions. If you supply a copy of your signed 4506-T Form, your lender will be allowed to request documents directly from the IRS.

#5. Alimony and Child Support, If Applicable

If you are supported by alimony or child support, be ready to give your lender bank statements highlighting the deposits along with a copy of the official court order.

#6. Several Months of Bank Statements

Several Months of Bank Statements

Two to three months of bank statements will be used to check on your income, savings accounts, and down payment liquidity. Any notably large deposits will need a written explanation outlining their source.

#7. Retirement and Investment Account Statements

If you listed retirement or investment accounts on your loan application, you’ll need to supply two or three months of statements. Retirement accounts, stocks, certificates of deposits, and 401 (k) are all applicable.

#8. Student Loan Statements

Student Loan Statements

If you listed student loan accounts as a monthly debt payment on the application, your lender will want to see two or three months of official statements.

#9. Proof of Rent Payments for 12 Months

Renters who will be buying a home will need to submit proof of their last 12 months of rent payment and landlord contact information.

#10. Divorce Decree, If Applicable

If you are divorced, you’ll want to bring a copy of your divorce decree to identify any financial responsibilities related to the event.

Partnering with an Expert Real Estate Agent

Get these documents in order and you’ll be one step closer to getting a mortgage. The next step is to start strategizing your home purchase. That all begins by getting in touch with a top real estate agent, and we can help. Let’s get you connected with a real estate expert in your market today!

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Tom Monaghan

Tom Monaghan