Factors That May Require You to Have Additional Paperwork Before Getting a Mortgage


If you have never applied for a mortgage before, you could experience some shock when you realize the type and amount of documentation you will need to give to the lender. For some, it will be pretty easy to get the required documentation, and for others, it will be an absolute nightmare.

Individuals who are considering purchasing a house in the future should get into the practice of saving financial documents in case they need it when they are ready to buy a house.

There is some initial paperwork that lenders generally ask for such as:

  • Pay stubs for the past month
  • State and/or federal tax returns (last two years)
  • W-2s (last two years)
  • Report of assets (past two months)

Individuals who are trying to get home mortgage loans or refinancing loans may be required to submit additional information like:

  • Any pages that are missing from their tax returns
  • Any pages that are missing from banking statements
  • A paper trail of their finances
  • Dates for past negative credit circumstances (dates must be specific)
  • An MSA (martial settlement agreement) if you are divorced
  • Additional details for any information that seems incomplete or inconsistent

It is wise to provide any paperwork the lender requests from you as quickly as you can. If you delay in submitting the information, your locked in interest rate may be delayed. Always remember that an excellent credit score will help qualify you for the best conditions and terms related to your mortgage, and you may even be able to receive a bigger mortgage. You can request your credit score for free once a year to find out your credit standing.

To help you determine what you need, it is important to consider the following factors.

Undocumented Money

Is there any extra money in your bank account that is not considered income? If so, you will need to provide the lender with a paper trail specifying the source of the money. You will also need to inform the lender if you plan to include this money during the home buying process or not. A reputable lender cannot ignore any money in your account that is not documented.

Previous Foreclosure

Depending on the mortgage lender you are working with, the lender may ask you to provide paperwork showing an improvement in your credit score, court documents and deeds. Any applicants that have a foreclosure on their credit history will need to show a trustee’s deed that indicates the date of sale.

Applicants that have filed for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcies will need to provide lenders with all paperwork related to the bankruptcy. Important documents to include are the date of discharge and the itemization schedule of the creditors. Do not be surprised if the lender also asks for a statement from you explaining why you had to file bankruptcy.

If you have gone through a short sale, the lender will ask for paperwork regarding the final settlement.


If you have ever been divorced, even if it occurred a decade ago, the lender may request a copy of the entire divorce decree with all the schedules and pages. The lender may even ask for the settlement agreement.

Although you may check the ‘single’ box on your loan application, do not be surprised if the lender decides to run a background check to determine if you have any previous names, addresses or marital status. This means that if you do not provide the divorce decree in the beginning of the application process, the lender may request one after conducting the background check.

Non-U.S. Citizen

The underwriter for your loan will likely ask for your birth certificate if you are not a citizen of the United States or you do not have photo identification. If you are a non-citizen, you will have to provide proof of your legal residency status.

The one way to prevent delays regarding your birth certificate is to carefully go over the loan application and double check that you answered the questions correctly.

Loan Modification

Individuals usually attempt to get loan modifications in an effort to prevent foreclosures. This means that if you are applying for a mortgage and you have previously had a repayment plan or forbearance, the mortgage lender may want to see the loan modification agreement that was previously approved.

Lenders do not want to know every minute detail of your life before you applied for a home loan, but when you have the right paperwork ready, you will save yourself headache and frustration. After you are ready to move forward, the lender will be ready to help you secure a mortgage.



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