What documentation do I need to get a pre-approval?

Mortgage and Lending with SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 NMLS 196068

When a potential client calls me one of the questions they will ask is "What documentation do I need to get a pre-approval?"

Stated income loans are a thing of the past.  Getting a mortgage is a big deal. Lenders are requiring more and more documentation to prove your credit worthiness. In order to ensure that I am giving the most accurate pre-approval letter I will require the following:

1.   Mortgage Credit Report-I will need your full name current address, social security number and birthdate.   I will pull this through my credit agency unless you have a copy of one that has been pulled in the last 15 days through a mortgage company.  Consumer credit reports, auto dealer reports, etc. use different calculations to determine your score.  Although these reports will give us a ballpark as to where your score stands, it won't be used for the pre-approval.

2.  2 most recent consecutive pay stubs.-for both income and deductions (some may need to be included into your debt ratio)

3.  2 years w-2's -to show consistency of income

4.  2 years tax returns-If self-employed or you have any non-reimbursed business expenses.  If a VA loan, tax payments are taken into consideration for income calculation.

5.  Most recent two months bank statements/401K/investment, all pages  I am not only looking for the total of the assets you have available but for:

a.) overdrafts, non-sufficient funds charges

b.) large unverified deposits

c.) transfers to or from a different account 

d.) child support payments

e.)  Regular payments by check or transfer that may mean another debt that must be included in your numbers.

6.  If you are getting a gift for closing, I will probably have questions about the donor. 

7.  Divorce Decrees, Bankruptcy paperwork may be required in certain circumstances.

Additional documentation will be required prior to submitting the loan for underwriter approval, and even more may be required by the underwriter upon review.  We will work together to make this process as smooth as possible, but be aware that you may be asked to hand over your first born.  Banks are getting more and more strict with lending guidelines so don't be surprised at the answer when you ask: What documentation do I need to get a pre-approval?

Posted by

Warm Regards,

Bridget McGee  Maryland Mortgage Mama  NMLS# 196068  SWBC Mortgage.   410-960-2061 EHO   bridget.mcgee@swbc.com or www.marylandmortgagemama.com


If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure! 

If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest.  Please contact me at 410-960-2061.


Re-Blogged 11 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland 01/25/2011 09:48 AM
  2. D B 01/25/2011 11:42 AM
  3. Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh 01/25/2011 11:45 AM
  4. Cheryl Ritchie 01/25/2011 01:35 PM
  5. Karen L. Pietsch 01/25/2011 07:13 PM
  6. Joy Daniels 01/26/2011 02:16 AM
  7. Kerry Lucasse 01/26/2011 03:53 AM
  8. Bob Flynn 01/26/2011 04:12 AM
  9. John MacArthur 01/26/2011 08:43 AM
  10. June Piper-Brandon 01/28/2011 03:41 AM
  11. Dan Edward Phillips 01/30/2011 10:27 PM
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Kerry Lucasse
eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group - Atlanta, GA
Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant

Great post -- buyers need to have a sense of urgency when applying for a loan and this list is perfect!

Definitely worth a re-blog.  :-)

Jan 25, 2011 04:47 PM #14
Lori Mode
Keller Williams Realty - Elk Grove, CA Homes for Sale - Elk Grove, CA
Real Estate Made Simple

Bridget - great information for home buyers.  It really helps them to have a list to get the information to their loan officers up front, before we start showing them homes.

Jan 25, 2011 04:50 PM #15
Ryan Case
SCA Real Estate - Anaheim, CA

great post, well written! buyers need to know this information so they can be prepared!

Jan 25, 2011 04:57 PM #16
Tiffany Taylor
Platinum Funding Group, Inc.NMLS-243033 - Irvine, CA
Platinum Funding Group

I love your list and how detailed you think... But for a pre-approval I think your list is too much.

I generally just check credit, verify income and down payment as well as reserves...  Asking for every possible underwriter condidtion can delay an offer or cause the buyer to go to another lender with less upfront requirements...

Jan 25, 2011 04:57 PM #17
Karen L. Pietsch
Cary Property Pros - 4 Sale Realty, Inc. - Crystal Lake, IL
Cary Property Pros. Cary Property Pros Premier Real Estate

I love this and really need this information.  Thank you for writing this post.  I am going to re-blog it so that my people can see it.  Well needed information from someone that is in the field and knows it first-hand.

Jan 25, 2011 07:11 PM #18
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Excellent list and very extensive due to many more requirements now in place.

Jan 25, 2011 07:34 PM #19
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

Mortgage Mama,

This post makes clear why you earned that title!  Very helpful.

Jan 25, 2011 11:35 PM #20
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Bridget: This is a great list. Thank you. Yes, it seems like more documentation is needed all the time. And it's a sign of the times. We recently were approved by Union Bank and they have a stated program although I would bet it's still restrictive in many ways. Thanks again for the post!

Jan 26, 2011 12:55 AM #21
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Bridget, good information! A lot of buyers just think you need a current credit check. Good Post!

Jan 26, 2011 01:34 AM #22
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Very informative post - thank you.  Buyers like having this information at their fingertips.  Better to get it done right in the beginning! I am going to reblog your post!

Jan 26, 2011 02:15 AM #23
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Great post Bridget, I wish I could have been the 1st one to recommend it as I'm sure it will be a featured post.

Jan 26, 2011 02:36 AM #24
Todd Anderson
You In Park City group - KW Park City Keller Williams Real Estate - Park City, UT
Park City | Deer Valley Real Estate

Great post. I caught it on a re-blog and made sure to come back and check on what else you were writing.


Jan 26, 2011 02:50 AM #25
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

Brad, Thank you.  Online banks still have to make statements available to their clients.  We have walked many clients through the process of getting them through their online systems.  Call me if you ever need some help getting yours!

Bernadine, Pre-approvals are only as good as the lender providing them.  Nowadays we need to almost fully process the loan package to be sure that we can get the buyer to closing before they even write an offer!  It's no good for anyone when a loan falls through.  Most of the time that happens when the proper due diligence is not followed.

Margaret,  Wow, thanks for the feature and the re-blog.  I was inspired to write it by Lenn Harley's post on pre-approval overkill.  I would rather know everything up front then be surprised after much time and money has been spent by all parties!

Charlene, Thanks.  The good loan officers (and there are a lot of us out here) do provide the list.  You may be surprised at the people who throw away bank statements and paystubs as soon as they get them and those that have every single one in a file dating back to 1942! 

Stacey,  Rental history is really important, when you see a pattern of late payments in other bills often you can assume the rent is late too. For most loans these days a buyer can only be 30 days late 1 time in the previous 12 months.  Thanks for the re-blog

John-Getting everything up front makes me much more confident in the buyer's ability to qualify for the mortgage.  It also lets me know if there are things we need to work on with the buyer. 

"Did you really need the extra 10% off at 14 stores when shopping for the holidays?"

Lanre-I am sure we can find something else you will need to hand over prior to approval!  Thanks for hte re-blog!

Teri,  All the best in your home search, glad I could help!

Brenda,  We all need to work together to get the buyer to the table.  It's really important to know that your lender is in your corner and has the expertise to get all the information before you spend too much time with an unqualified buyer.

Jan 26, 2011 03:59 AM #26
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

Cheryl,  Thanks for the comments and the re-blog!  Let me know if I can be of service.  We cover all of Maryland!

Evelyn,  Glad you stopped by!

Mark,  Lots more to come!  

Chris,  We have saved a lot of time and headaches by spending a lot of time up front getting to know our buyers.  With guidelines getting more stringent I would rather uncover a potential can of worms before an underwriter!! 

Kerry, If the buyer is not being proactive with paperwork it usually (not always) means they are trying to hide something.   I always let clients know that they need to be honest with me so we can work with them on it if necessary.  Thanks for the re-blog!

Lori and Bruce, Thanks!  Working on more content to help your buyers and sellers!

Tom, SCA Real Estate, Thanks!

Tiffany,  I find that the more info I get up front, the more committed the buyer and the better equipped I am to handle any issues that arise.  We almost had a loan turned down for a 14 cent overdraft!  Reviewing the documentation so I can write a pre-qual with every confidence is my goal!

Karen, Thanks for the re-blog, glad you found it helpful!


Jan 26, 2011 04:21 AM #27
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Bridget, this list is great and one we can pass along to our clients!  Well done and congrats on the 1 Featured Post!

Jan 26, 2011 04:27 AM #28
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

Jon,  Thanks!  And the requirements are changing almost daily!  Better to know up front!

Irene,  Thank you!  I strive to educate and inform my clients, as well as protect my referral partners!

Paul, I will have to check out Union.  We are also starting to see that mortgage insurance premiums on conventional financing may be a better fit than FHA for some buyers.   Ahh the ever-changing mortgage market.

Michael, Just a few years ago some banks didn't even require that!  Hmm, wonder why we are in the mess we are in!

Joy, Thanks for the re-blog.  I always feel that the more information you have up front, the better prepared you can be!

Bob, Thanks for the kind words.  It is actually my FIRST feature!  Very exciting!

Todd,  Glad you found me, working on more and better content!

Jan 26, 2011 04:32 AM #29
Julianne O'Reilly
Syracuse Listings - Fayetteville, NY
Syracuse New York Real Estate

Hi Bridget - Thanks for posting this - I'm going to print it out and have it handy so that when I'm asked I'll know what to tell people - unless you have it in pdf format - that would be even more useful.

Jan 26, 2011 04:33 AM #30
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

Lee and Pam, Pass along, hope they find it helpful!   Thanks for the congrats, it's my first feature!

Jan 26, 2011 04:34 AM #31
Craig Grella
CreativeREO - Nashville, TN

Yes, good post, and great info.

Even our hard money is being underwritten after looking at more docs than ever before. We're still much less than conventional loans, but borrower's are crazy if they think they're walking into a loan office in this market and getting a $500,000 loan with just a signature and a 1003.  Those days are over. Thankfully.

Jan 26, 2011 04:57 AM #32
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

Craig, By the time a loan goes to closing the loan package is well over 200 pages.  Documentation is more important than ever!  If they got rid of the duplicate disclosure, we might save a few pages.  Self-employed borrowers have even thicker packages since we need full business and personal tax returns!  So much for being a paperless society! 

Jan 26, 2011 05:14 AM #33
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Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee

Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068
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