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 the most common loan type, an FHA mortgage.
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)
Other state- or federal-issued ID
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.)
Last two statements on all bank accounts — be sure to include all pages, even blank ones
Statements for all investment and/or retirement accounts
Closing disclosure (or HUD-1 if the sale took place before Oct. 3, 2015) for previous purchase
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
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