Many experts suggest getting prequalified for a mortgage before you even begin your home search; that’s so you can find out what you’re eligible to borrow and so you can set the appropriate budget for your new home.
After you find a home that meets your needs, you’ll take steps to actually apply for a mortgage loan.
How to Apply for a Mortgage
You have the right to shop for the best mortgage interest rates, and that can mean talking to multiple lenders to ensure you’re getting the best terms.
If you have a co-borrower (someone who will borrow the money with you and who will be just as responsible for repayment of the loan as you are), you’ll have to go through this process together.
You’ll each need to provide your lender with several documents, typically including:
W-2 forms from the IRS for the past two years
Your two most recent consecutive pay stubs
Bank statements for all your financial accounts, including investments, over the past two months
Signed personal and business tax returns
A copy of your most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit and loss statement if you’re self-employed
A copy of the signed Purchase and Sales agreement
Your lender might require further documentation, such as proof of alimony or child support, or paperwork that demonstrates more income. Your lender will ask you about your financial details, and they’ll check your credit, too.
It takes time to apply for a mortgage, and you’ll have to be completely honest when you’re filling out the forms. If you hold back information that your lender needs, or if you don’t disclose credit problems or other financial issues, you’ll end up delaying the process… or worse, preventing approval of your loan.