As early as your first conversation with a mortgage lender, if you are seeking pre-qualification or pre-approval, OR if you have just written a contract to purchase a home and your pre-qualification or pre-approval was more than thirty days ago, the loan officer may ask you to give you a long list of financial documents they need from you. While some of these documents may seem very personal to you – tax returns, pay stubs – keep in mind that the lender needs to be able to assess your income, debt, and other aspects of your finances in order to do their job properly and to give you a realistic idea how much you can afford to spend on your next home.

Here is a preliminary list of documents that a lender may request from you…and keep in mind that every borrower is different! Depending on your financial situation, the lender may ask for more or different document from you. This list is intended to help you gather the documents you should gather in anticipation of your first call.

Gather the following documents to prepare to be pre-qualified or pre-approved for your mortgage:

  • Your last two (2) years of Federal (and State, if applicable) tax returns
  • Paystubs for the last two (2) months
  • Your last two (2) years of W-2s
  • Your last two (2) years of corporate tax returns, if you are self-employed or you own 25% or more of a company
  • Statements from all of your financial accounts for the past two (2) months, including but not limited to:
    — Checking accounts
    — Savings accounts
    — Investment/brokerage accounts
    — Retirement accounts


Keep in mind: your lender may ask for additional documentation and this is just a starting point! When your lender asks for documents, comply with their requests as quickly as possible in order to not delay the financing process. And when in doubt: ask. You always have the right to ask why they are requesting something and how quickly they need it!

For a downloadable copy of this checklist, click here.

Questions? Call us at 404-994-2181 or email us at Maura(at)BuySellLiveAtlanta(dot)com

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.