Meeting with a Mortgage Lender

Make sure to bring these documents with you

04/03/2015

So, you're interested in purchasing a new home. Before congratulations are in order, you have to be approved for a mortgage. They will help you navigate the process. This is a big deal, as lenders now require documents logging various areas of your financial life — from taxable income and assets to rent payments and much more.
 
To get started, here are some of the items you’re going to need to dig up before meeting with your financial institution about obtaining a mortgage.
  • Income verification – This includes paycheck stubs and W-2s.
“Loan guidelines typically specify one month of verified income…and require the most recent Form W-2, but some borrowers are asked for two years of W-2s,” it read on financial publisher Bankrate.com.
  • Tax documents – Be prepared to provide two years worth of recent tax returns, including all the pages and schedules.
“Tax returns are scrutinized for unreimbursed employee business expenses, self-employment business losses and telltale signs of loan fraud, such as reported income that doesn't match an employee's W-2,” Bankrate.com said, adding that borrowers must also sign IRS Form 4506-T to allow lenders to receive a transcript of the tax return.
  • Financial Institution, investment and tax documents –
Most recent month’s bank and investment information must now be supplied to mortgage lenders in most cases. However, for large loans, they could request up to three months of statements.
  • Profit-and-loss statement – If you are self-employed and run your own business, you will have to submit a current-year profit-and-loss statement.
  • Rental property income – If you own investment property and receive income from rents, you will need to show two years of schedule E's on your tax returns and a two year history of managing rental properties.
  • Gift letter & corresponding paper trail (if receiving help with the down payment) – Borrowers who receive aid from family in the form of cash to go toward their down payment should be prepared to provide a letter from the “giftor” stating that the gift is just that and not a loan.
More difficult to provide is a copy of the “giftor's” financial institution statement showing the funds, a canceled check and the borrower's own statement showing the funds, which may be required as well. This is problematic because sometimes people, including mom and dad, don’t like to hand out paperwork regarding their overall financial wellbeing, even if it is to their kids.
  • Other documentation – Depending on your current situation, you may be asked to provide additional documents, like a copy of a divorce decree, proof of a child's age if child support is counted as income, bankruptcy discharge papers and/or official letters that explain negative items on a credit report.
Another thing to consider when preparing to meet with your financial institution is to bring complete forms of every document. Provide every single page of every document, even if there’s a blank page. If a paper says there should be five pages there, the lender will want to see all five of them regardless, just to be sure.
 
If you have any questions before meeting with your lender or throughout the entire home-buying process, don’t hesitate to call for clarification.

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