Information You Need to Apply for a Mortgage
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What Information Do I Need to Apply for a Mortgage?
Since the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) purchase the majority of home loans in the U.S., their standards are followed by most mortgage loan buyers. This means most lenders will require the same information from you. The differences relate to either the type of property being financed or the specific type of loan being used. The most common information all lenders require:
- Credit report : The mortgage source will get your report, but you should get one of your own BEFORE you apply so you know your current status in advance.
- Income verification : Keep your pay stubs for at least two months prior to making application. Also have copies of your last two years' personal income tax returns in the event you need them, including W-2's. If you earn overtime or other additional compensation, be prepared to prove that it is regular and consistent over time. To verify this, you will need more pay stubs, as many as you can collect. The same rules apply if you earn a significant portion of your income from commissions and fees. You must justify the level of income you wish to get credit for.
- Liquidity (Cash) : Regardless of the type of mortgage you receive or the property you're financing, there will be costs to close your new loan. In all cases, you will need third party verification of the cash you claim to have. Have your bank or credit union statements for the past twelve months handy. Also gather up all information on investments, mutual funds, and other “cash equivalents”. If some of your cash is coming in the form of a gift, have the giver sign a “gift letter”. You can find appropriate wording from the Internet or you can probably get a demo letter from your mortgage source. Be aware that most lenders will allow a gift letter ONLY from an immediate family member (mother, father, sister, brother, son, or daughter).
- If you're buying a property, you will need a Purchase & Sale Agreement : Once you make an offer that is accepted, your real estate broker will prepare a formal agreement to purchase the property. Most lenders will require this agreement before they will accept a formal application, since there is no deal without it.
- If you're refinancing a property, have your current tax bill, hazard insurance information or policy, a copy of your deed and/or legal description of your home: This will greatly facilitate the processing of your application and result in a faster approval.
- If you're purchasing or refinancing a condominium : Have your condominium documents (e.g., bylaws, budget, master insurance policy declaration page, homeowner's dues information, etc.) ready.
There may be some other information you need to provide for different lenders but your mortgage source will make you aware of anything further they want.