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What you'll need for a mortgage application

If you're a first time homebuyer, then the process can seem overwhelming. This video series, presented by Chase Home Lending, translates relatable experiences into tips and tools that equip you for every step of your homebuying journey.

Two Halves Make a Home

The mortgage application process is an important one and a little preparation can make it less stressful. The key is getting organized and rounding up paperwork early on to ensure a smooth loan closing.

Use this checklist to gather the documents you'll need, which may help expedite the process.

INCOME VERIFICATION

The mortgage lender will want to verify that you have a steady source of income and the ability to make monthly payments. Here's what to expect:

Names and addresses of employers: Make sure to provide the complete name and mailing address. If you work for a large company that has departments in various locations, contact human resources and ask what address should be provided for employment verification.

W-2 income tax statements for the last two years: You should be able to find copies attached to your tax returns. If you filed taxes electronically, you or your tax preparer should have an electronic copy in your records.

Form 4506-T or 4506T-EZ: The mortgage banker will give you this form to complete and sign, which gives authorization to access your tax return.

Pay stubs: Printed copies or proof of direct deposit, reflecting a minimum of 30 days of income.

Social Security: A copy of the award letter must be provided along with a recent check stub or copy of a bank statement if deposited electronically through direct deposit.

Disability payments: Form SSA-1099 for disability income for the two most recent tax years.

Pension income: A check stub and any forms showing duration of payments.

Maintenance income: Proof of alimony, child support or separate maintenance income if you would like for it be considered as a basis for repaying the obligation.

SELF-EMPLOYED APPLICANTS

Tax returns: If you own a business, the lender will need the most recent two years of personal tax returns and any business returns you filed for your company (for example, 1120, 1120S, Schedule K-1/1065).

P&L: Year-to-date business profit-and-loss statement for current year if more than three months have passed since the end of the tax year.

CURRENT BALANCE SHEET

Include all pages and schedules. The lender does not need copies of your state returns.

RECURRING DEBTS

Fixed debt: Payments and balances for credit cards, mortgages, home equity lines of credit, outstanding student loans, auto loans, alimony, child support or any other fixed-debt obligations.

ASSETS

Statements: Bank statements for the last three months, including savings, checking and investment accounts. Be sure to copy all pages of your statements. If you don't receive paper statements, print your entire online statement. Don't forget to include all of your accounts (checking, savings and investments). The accounts must show that you have enough money to afford your down payment and several mortgage payments.

Gifts: For gift funds, include a gift letter and evidence of transfer or withdrawal. You will need to provide a detailed letter to explain any large deposits or withdrawals.

Stocks: Stocks and securities account statements for the last three months.

Closing Disclosure: You'll need the settlement statement if using funds from the sale of property.

Sale of assets: proof of ownership, proof of sale and proof of funds transfer.

RENTAL PROPERTY INCOME

This information can be found in income tax returns for the last two years verifying rental income. Provide leases if possible.

DIVIDENDS

Brokerage statements: Provide documents for the last two years. Schedule B interest and dividend income (most current statement to ensure underlying deposits still exist and are earning at the same level).

Staying ahead can be one simple way to alleviate tension when working through the mortgage process. By preparing early, you'll have more time to gather documents that may be missing or harder to track down.

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