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Exploring loan choices

Gather and update your paperwork

If it’s been a while since you gathered your paperwork, it’s a good idea to update it now.

What to do now

Update your application packet to make sure you have everything

  • Gather the most recent copies of any time-sensitive paperwork, such as paystubs, bank statements, etc.
  • Now is a good time to ask the lenders you’ve been talking with what additional documents you might need based on your specific situation.

Servicemembers and veterans: apply to the VA for a "Certificate of Eligibility " if you haven’t already

If you’re a servicemember, veteran, or surviving spouse interested in considering a VA loan, you’ll need the VA Certificate of Eligibility to qualify for the loan.


What to know

When in doubt, gather it anyway

Even if one of the lenders you are considering doesn’t need a particular piece of paperwork right now, they may want to see it once you get further into the application process. Having everything in the same place makes the rest of the process easier.

If you receive child support or alimony, you need to provide proof of that income if you want it to be considered

For example, you likely need a court order stating the amount and documentation showing the payments were received. If the payments are inconsistent or expected to end in the next three years, you may not be able to use this income to qualify for a mortgage.

If you are self-employed or have irregular or seasonal income, you need to provide more extensive documentation of your income

Requirements vary based on the lender and your specific situation. Ask the lenders you’re working with what you need.

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Visit our sources page to learn more about the facts and numbers we reference.

The process and forms described on this page reflect mortgage regulations that apply to most mortgages.