Mortgage Basics FAQ

What financial documentation will I need to provide to get a loan?

The neurotically organized people have the last laugh on this one. Simply to get preapproved for a loan, the lender will ask for all kinds of paperwork, such as your pay stubs for the last 30 days, two years' tax returns (plus W-2s or business tax returns if you're self employed), proof of other income and assets, three months' bank records for every account you have, proof of where your down payment will be coming from (such as a bank statement and/or a gift letter with the gift giver's bank statement), the names, addresses, and phone numbers of your employers and landlords for the last two years, and information about your current debts, including account numbers, monthly payment amounts, and so forth. 

Then, before the loan closes, the lender may ask for follow-up data. Likely examples include proof of where a particular deposit came from or a letter from your employer explaining discrepancies between your year-to-date income shown on your paycheck and the amount you actually earned over the most recent pay periods (a common issue as workplaces have raised and lowered people's salaries with fluctuations in the economy).

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