How Do I Get Qualified for a Loan? Prepare Ahead

Real Estate Agent with Love where you live



How do I get qualified for a loan?  This is a question we hear from first time home buyers, but also from those who haven’t purchased a home for some time.  Many buyers are not aware that getting truly qualified should be accomplished before viewing homes.   We can save everyone heartaches by helping them understand what’s really required at this point in history; not just telling them to “get qualified,” but prepping them a little before they even call the mortgage broker.


 Prepare ahead. A conversation with a local banker used to be enough.  Even in the recent past, many qualification letters were accepted by sellers in order to get a contract signed.  But these days, too many of those deals fall apart early on, and it’s now time to go further into the process. When recommending  great mortgage brokers, fear and apprehension can still cause procrastination. In order to help them get prepped, I often send a simple list of items the mortgage person is likely to ask for, and they can begin collecting their financials ahead of their phone call with the lender:


 Items needed to begin loan process:

·           Last two years tax returns

·         Last two years W2s and/or 1099s

·         Most recent 30 days of paycheck stubs

·         Last 2 months bank statements

·         Pension income letter

·         Most recent statements of other assets such as 401K, IRA, stocks, bonds

·         Social Security awards letter

·         Divorce decree if applicable

·         Copy of driver’s license and social security card

·         Copy of any child support or alimony if paid or received

·         Copy of any other income received (retirement, disability, second job, other)

·         List of mortgage payments and equity lines of credit on any other properties

       currently owned; and any current leases held.


Once the financial file comes together, buyers often feel empowered,  more in control of their own situation, and more prepared to get things rolling.  Hopefully they are now a giant step closer to being in their new home, and the home search fun can begin.



Comments (7)

Kathy Stoltman
Balboa Real Estate - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

I only wish more folks thinking of buying would start this process first before looking for homes. We know most start looking on line and while that is fun, it would be so much better if they were only looking at homes that they qualify for.

Oct 23, 2013 06:14 AM
Jean Jannopoulo
Love where you live - Sarasota, FL
Bright Realty

Thanks for your comment, Kathy.  I think the more we expect it of them, the more it will happen.  They like it when I tell them that getting it done before the search will help to them have a faster closing. 

Oct 23, 2013 11:25 AM
Christi Farrington
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT

Excellent tips, Jean. Thank you so much.  I'm going to utilize this list when my next buyer comes along.  It will definitely give them an idea of what will be required by their lender in order to purchase a house. Hopefully, it will save us all a lot of time and effort.  Great post! 

Oct 24, 2013 12:03 AM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Hi Jean, there is nothing bewtter then to be prepared. Great advice to make it easier on the loan process. I am programmed to ask a prospective buyer "are you pre-qualified".

Oct 24, 2013 12:09 AM
Jean Jannopoulo
Love where you live - Sarasota, FL
Bright Realty

Christi - Hopefully doing it up front will save lots of hassle. Thanks for your great feedback!

Noah - It's surprising how many buyers "think" they're qualified.  I had someone last night who told me they are, and when I asked if their mortgage broker had seen their tax returns, she said no.  Another case of the letter not being worth the paper it's written on. 

Oct 24, 2013 12:22 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Good information for home buyers.

Nov 17, 2013 09:34 PM
Jean Jannopoulo
Love where you live - Sarasota, FL
Bright Realty

Thanks, Gita.  If everyone would do this up front, it would save so much hassle and heartache.  We've probably all had what we thought was a good contract with a good pre approval letter, only to have it fall apart in the first few days.  It seems like a lot of work for them at first, but once they understand, they like the idea that they can have a much faster closing.  Thanks for commenting.

Nov 17, 2013 11:03 PM