Buying a house is one of the most document-intensive processes you'll ever navigate. Here's a list of the must-have documents you'll need...in triplicate. Start gathering these papers well before you first meet with a lender to get preapproved for a loan.
- Credit history: When you apply for a mortgage, it’s necessary for lenders to pull your credit report to know how credit worthy (or risky) you are as a borrower. Be prepared to give your Social Security number and date of birth.
• Proof of identity: Driver's license, passport, original Social Security card and other proof that you are who you say you are.• Signed purchase agreement: It’s possible to get approved based on your income and asset information, but it makes the process faster and easier if you have the signed purchase agreement.
• Proof of income: You'll usually be required to show original pay stubs for at least the last 30 days.
• Copies of your W-2 forms: Required for each applicant. This will help your lender verify employment and income history.
• Copies of asset information: This includes any accounts where money may come from for closing. You may need to provide statements for your savings, checking and 401(k) accounts; as well as investment records for any mutual funds or stocks. You will need to prove that your down payment is actually your money, not a loan in disguise from family members.
• Copy of your earnest money deposit: A copy of the check that you gave to the seller helps your lender account for the funds needed at closing.
• Copy of homeowners insurance: This is to verify that you will have sufficient coverage on the property.
• Copy of title insurance: This will help your lender verify the legal description of the property, taxes, and the names on the title. Your lender can track this down for you, but usually it is the home buyer’s responsibility.
Once you've begun the loan process, your mortgage banker will let you know exactly what documentation you'll need to get approved. The more information you have ready before you apply, the faster your loan will close.