Whether it’s your first time financing your home or your fifth, the information you’ll need to provide your lender will be essentially the same, and they will guide you through the process. With that said, getting a head start on gathering documents and understanding the documentation different loan programs require can help get your application submitted promptly. Below, we’ll highlight the most common types of documentation your lender may request.

The First Steps of the Mortgage Process

If you’re seriously planning to buy a home soon, the first thing you should do is connect with a loan officer. The loan officer can help you obtain a pre-qualification that lets you know approximately how much you can afford and lets sellers know you are qualified and ready to buy. This pre-qualification will require you to provide basic information, including your pay, job information, monthly debts, assets, etc. Your lender will use this information to calculate how much home you can afford. Keep in mind that this is the first step, and additional details will be needed as you dive into the application process.

I’m Pre-Qualified…Now What?

Once you obtain a pre-qualification and have a general budget in mind based on your finances, it’s time to find a house! As soon as you find the home you’d like to purchase, you will move forward with the mortgage application process. This is where your lender will need the nitty-gritty details of your finances to ensure you can comfortably afford the mortgage for this particular home. Here’s what you can expect to provide your lender:

  • Proof of Income – If you’re a W-2 employee, this will be your paystubs showing your income. You typically need to provide 30 days in paystubs. If you’re self-employed, this step is a bit more tricky but equally as important – you’ll need to show all of your income for the past two years and your lender will calculate the average income per month over using all 24 months.
  • Tax Returns – You will need to provide two years of tax returns proving your income and assets.
  • Credit Report – Your lender will need to pull your credit report to review your credit history and score. They are looking for things like overall debt, repayment history, etc. to ensure you’re creditworthy to repay a mortgage.
  • Bank Statements – Another form of proof showing your assets and income, reviewing your bank statements also shows whether you have reserves for emergencies and the down payment needed to put towards the mortgage.
  • Photo Identification – Your driver’s license or another form of photo ID is needed as part of the application process.
  • Former Home Details – If you sold a home (or are in the process of selling), you’ll need to provide a purchase and sale agreement showing that you no longer own the home. If you rented instead, most lenders will ask for the landlord’s information and/or copies of checks paid toward your monthly rent – this is to ensure you have a positive payment history.
  • Homeowners Insurance – Your lender will want to see proof that you have set up a policy for your future home to protect it in the event of a disaster.
  • Gift Letter – If you’re being gifted a down payment toward your new home, your lender will require the friend or family member to draft a letter stating they do not expect repayment of the funds.

These are some of the most common forms of documentation requested by lenders during the mortgage application process, but note that sometimes, there are additional forms and paperwork required as you move forward. Your loan officer is a great resource and will be able to provide you with information as you go through the process.

The journey toward becoming a homeowner may seem intimidating at times, but with a great loan officer (and real estate agent) in your court, there’s nothing you can’t handle. At C&F Mortgage, our team is here for you every step of the way – get in touch with our local industry experts today to begin your home buying journey!

Edited 4/9/2021. The information contained herein (including but not limited to any description of C&F Mortgage Corporation and its lending programs and products, eligibility criteria, interest rates, fees and all other loan terms) is subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. This is an advertisement and not a commitment to lend. C&F Mortgage Corporation NMLS# 147312 Equal Housing Lender.