5 Critical Documents You’ll Need to Get a Mortgage

Is it time to apply for a mortgage? This is an exciting time! Whether this is your first mortgage or you’ve lived in several different homes. One thing that is so critical is to give your mortgage lender the proper paperwork. Because without this, they will be unable to make an accurate determination that you are eligible. It is your responsibility and also to your complete advantage to supply them with this.

Getting this paperwork prepared means that you are ready to apply. Some mortgage lenders will offer special low rates or other deals that you won’t want to miss out on. If you’ve already got your paperwork ready to go, then you can easily apply. Most who’ve applied for a mortgage will tell you with a knowing look that pulling all of this together can take at least a couple of weeks.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity. To help you in this process, we’ve created a checklist of the 5 most critical documents that you’ll need to get a mortgage. Here’s what you’re going to want to give any lender:

Credit score and report. This is one of the most important things that your mortgage lender will request from you. Because this shows your previous history of borrowing money and how well you have paid it back. Quite frankly, if it has taken you a long time and lots of missed payments to pay back $10K then they may be highly concerned about lending you $100K. This is just simple common sense. Because lending someone money is mostly a judgement call and it is based a lot upon trusting the individual or couple. So by looking at your credit score and report, they will learn a lot about how you’ve handled money over time. Do your best to improve this so you can put your very best foot forward.

Proof of rent payments for 12 months. Of all the documents that you hand them, this one matters the most to a lot of them. Because they are seeing how much you value paying for a home. Even if your credit score is lower but you’ve never missed a rent payment, then this will work greatly in your favor. So keep that in mind when you are turning over your proof of rent payments. Most lenders will want to see your history for the past 12 months. If you have lived several different places for short periods of time then they may ask for a longer time period to show payments.

Tax paperwork for 5 years for each homeowner. If you are buying a home or a condo as an individual then this is only one person. If you are buying a home or a condo as a couple, then this is 2 people supplying tax paperwork. Most of the time, they will request about 5 years of taxes so it is best if this is what you prepare. Then you will feel a lot less stress and relief should they only request 3 years of tax paperwork from you.

A list of your current debts and paperwork to support them. This is quite important to your lender to understand what other debts you might have. This could include a car payment, student loans, medical bills and credit cards. You’ll want to make them aware of bills that you are in the process of paying back as well as your history of how you’ve been paying them back. It is best to give them at least 12 months of payment history for most of the bills. In some situations they may request a longer history but typically a year of payments is sufficient.

Investments is also something your mortgage lender will want to see. You may have a 401K, mutual funds, stocks or even property. Your mortgage lender should be aware of what type of investments you own. Make a list of them and then also supply them with supporting documentation that shows currently what the investments are worth. It is ideal to show what the investment has been worth over the past 12 months. Investments can truly count in your favor, depending on what they are.

Worried About Student Debt? Yes, You Can Still Get a Mortgage!

If you are a recent grade, it’s going to come as no surprise to you that experts say the average 2017 college graduate has student debt in the range of 38k. Some even have more, depending on where they went to school and what their major was. But with entry level salaries not raising for more than 10 years, and the price of most things only increasing year by year with inflation these recent grads are between a rock and a hard place. When you hit the time you’ve realized you want a mortgage, that heavy student debt you’re carrying can be a huge concern. While the situation is not perfect, there are people just like you that do obtain mortgages for homes they are quite happy at. So let’s take a look at some of your options:

Understand the formula of DTI: this is what lenders look at. They want to know your Debt to Income ratio. How much you owe vs. how much you earn. While this can truly make you squirm in your seat if you’re carrying student debt – consider the lender’s point of view. If you’re going to lend someone 100K or more, then you simply want to feel confident that they can pay it back. When their debts are higher or quite close to what they are earning, you’re obviously going to question how they would be able to pay yet another debt. So the first thing you need to do is to look at your finances the exact way a lender is. Sit down with your budget and know what is coming in and what goes out. What are your monthly expected debts, such as student loans, credit cards and car payments – the ones you can always know will be there? What other bills do you often pay each month? Look at your finances over at least the past 12 months. If you are a couple and have done your finances separately, then start by looking at them separately and bring them together for a conversation.

Learn to improve your credit score. When you are approved for a mortgage, the rate you are given is quite dependent on your credit score. Now is the time to obtain your free credit report, that you can request each year. Get the credit score and look at the report. Check it over both for any errors and to see if you owe any creditors money. If you owe anyone money, contact them now to work out a repayment plan. Paying off bills and them reporting this will greatly improve your credit score. Make it a regular routine from now on to pay all of your bills early or on time – as this will make a huge difference in your credit score overall. We highly recommend you get your credit score the very moment you are starting to think about getting a mortgage so you can fix any mistakes.

Pay your rent on time. Now most of us have to do this, or we risk eviction so you’re probably already doing this. Get your rent statements that show you are paying rent on time and keep them handy. You will need them when you apply for a mortgage. The simple fact that you’ve been paying your rent on time works greatly in your favor. A mortgage lender if going to look quite favorably upon your on time record for these payments. So save these documents for your application.

Look hard at what type of home you can afford. It can be very easy to fall in love with that sweet Victorian house close to the beach, but if you’re fresh out of college it’s probably out of your price range. Do you really know what’s in your price range? Try talking to a real estate agent you know, if you start asking family and friends there is probably one who is a friend of a friend. They can give you some recommendations on what you could look for. Consider what your home needs are. Perhaps you want something close to public transportation because you don’t have a car. Or you want something near the schools because you’re expecting a baby. Or you want a home with space for a home office because you work from home or telecommute part of the week. Go with your top 3 needs and look for those. Everything else is a nice “extra” if you can find it.

Think long term about a mortgage. One thing recent grads should understand is that the whole process for applying for a mortgage typically takes longer than you expect it to. Have the plan to find a place to rent in the location you want to live, if you are moving to a new area. You never want to rush into a mortgage! Get a few choices of mortgage lenders to approach because remember, one could say “No” but another could say “Yes.” They all have their own ways of determining who to select.