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The Mortgage Loan Checklist: How to Apply | 1st Advantage

In Home Financing Advice
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Let us help you make the mortgage loan process simple and hassle-free.

Getting a mortgage is a significant milestone, and we want to be there with you every step of the way. Use our mortgage loan checklist to help ensure you have everything you need to start the mortgage application process.

Income Verification

Your lender wants to verify that you have the financial stability to afford to purchase a home and make timely payments throughout your loan term. This is best done by ensuring you have a reliable and consistent income. Be prepared to have the following documentation available for your lender when you apply for a home loan. When uploading your documentation to the application please upload PDF documents only. Screenshots and/or photos will not be accepted. Documents must be uploaded as full sets.

  • Pay stubs: Most recent 30 days of pay stubs or LES (Leave and Earnings Statement) if you’re an active duty service member. You can find your LES using your MyPay portal
  • W-2: Last 2 years or most recent 2 years W-2 forms if you have an employer
  • 1099: Last 2 years or most recent 2 years 1099 forms if you are an independent contractor
  • Income award letter: Your current income award letter if you receive social security benefits
  • Business tax returns: Last 2 years or most recent 2 years business and personal tax returns (all pages and schedules) if you’re self-employed
  • K-1s: Last 2 years or most recent 2 years K-1s if you are part of a partnership and receive earnings, losses, deductions or credits
  • DD-214 or Statement of Service: You will provide your DD-214 or Statement of Service if you’re applying for a VA loan

Additional Information

Also, be prepared to provide the following information to your lender if needed

  • Sales contract: Copy of fully ratified sales contract – all pages and addendums
  • Mortgage billing statements: Copies of most recent mortgage billing statements on all real estate owned
  • Real estate tax bill: If properties are owned free and clear, copies of the most current real estate tax bill and homeowner’s insurance declarations page
  • Divorce decree: Copy of divorce decree and/or separation agreement
  • State-issued ID: Copy of driver’s license and/or state-issued ID

How to apply for a home mortgage

Now that you know the documentation needed to apply for a home loan, how do you apply? Here are the 4 main steps you’ll go through when applying for a home mortgage. There might be other requirements depending on your lender and your application, but be prepared to do the following.

Apply and Select a Lender

To get the process started, you need to complete a loan application. As you complete the application, it will ask you to provide various pieces of documentation. That’s why it’s helpful to gather the documents listed in this mortgage loan checklist in advance of starting your application. You will likely complete your loan application and upload your loan documents online.

It’s a good practice to apply with a few different lenders so you can compare their loan offers. When comparing your lender offers, look at the APR, the total cost in the first 5 years, the principal paid in the first 5 years, and the percent paid in interest.

Loan processing

Once you select a lender, they will review every part of your application and your documents to fill in any holes in your application. This is when you might be asked to provide additional documentation and answer questions about your application. Be sure to respond to your lender in a timely manner, so the process isn’t delayed.


Your loan application will now move to an underwriter whose job is to determine whether it’s worth the risk to offer you a mortgage. He or she will review your application and all documentation with a fresh pair of eyes.

Loan clears

Finally, your lender will let you know that your loan has been approved, and you’re ready to close. Now, you can attend the closing and purchase your home.

Our friendly team of mortgage professionals is here to help you complete all of the financial tasks needed to go from loan application to closing.

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