Owning a home is the American dream, but it takes a bit of work to actually make that dream a reality. What’s the hardest part about buying a house? No, it’s not finding something in a great neighborhood that ticks off all the check marks on the list of things you want (though that can be tough, too); it’s going through the mortgage process.
Even though we live in an increasingly paperless world, getting a mortgage somehow takes more paperwork than before. It may be for the best, considering that around a decade ago, a lot of lenders didn’t even bother to verify an applicant’s employment, income, or general liabilities.
“Since the housing crash, the industry has repositioned itself to make certain that buyers are qualified to repay the loans,” says Mark Zihmer, VP of mortgage lending at Cross Country Mortgage. “The document requirements are there to ensure that buyers have the ability to repay.”
When you’re applying for a mortgage, you’re going to need to supply lenders with a lot of information. Knowing what type of info you need to provide so that you can gather it beforehand will definitely make the process easier.
Here’s a look at some of the key details a lender will expect:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Employment history
- Income Verification
- W-2s from past and current employers
- Pay stubs
- Income tax returns
- Alimony or child support
- Debt-to-income ratio
- Credit score and credit history
- Details about your current home (whether you rent or own, how much you pay, how long you’ve lived at your address, etc.)
- Banking information
- Details about your assets; retirement accounts, Certificates of Deposits(DCs), bonds, stocks, etc.
- Details relating to the property you own, such as homes, furnishings, vehicles, jewelry, artwork, collectibles, life insurance, and so forth.
Gather this information before you apply for a mortgage so you can furnish it when it’s requested. The actual list of documents that you’ll need may differ from lender to lender— depending on your financial situation, the specific mortgage you’re applying for, and the lender’s requirements. Make sure to ask the lender beforehand for a list of required paperwork to make this entire process easier on you.