Getting Approved for a Mortgage: Mortgage Pre-Approval Checklist

Before you can access a mortgage, you need to get approved. Figuring out what items are needed to get approved for a mortgage loan can be tricky.

Several elements are necessary for the approval of a mortgage loan, and these elements often come into play during pre-approval. This article will help you understand the documents and evidence that are essential to obtain this confirmation when seeking financial assistance.

Mortgage pre-approval checklist

There are several things you will need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. All of these documents provide proof of income, payment history, and other debts you may have. Lenders use this information to determine if they are willing to lend you money.

Items needed to get approved for a mortgage include:

Let’s dive into the individual items on this mortgage pre-approval checklist. These will help you be as prepared as possible for getting a loan, and each is essential for pre-approval.

Proof of Assets

The first item you will need is proof of assets. This proof shows that you have enough funds to pay the essentials of the mortgage, such as closing costs and down payments. They also expect excess funds just in case.

You will prove that you have enough assets through bank statements and investment accounts. These prove that you constantly have money in your account and that there is currently finance inside.

Lenders want someone they can count on for the long term. If they don’t get anything from you as a buyer, they won’t approve you for a mortgage.

proof of income

Among the documents required for pre-approval of a home loan is proof of income. The lender needs sufficient proof that you have a consistent way of making money and paying off the debt.

Proof of income is valid through forms such as:

  • W-2 Document
  • payslips
  • Pension
  • Bonuses
  • Taxes

These prove to a lender that you have made money over the past few years.

Offer a few years of documentation on your salary. The more thorough you are with proof of income, the more confident a lender will be.

Buyers must produce a few forms of proof of income to be considered for approval. This is one of the first things that might show up in the application process. When you ask – what do you need for pre-approval? – proof of income should be at the top of your priorities.

Employment Verification

Although there are a few exceptions, verifying employment is one of the most essential steps in getting approved for a mortgage. Lenders are more likely to give a loan to a buyer with a stable job than to someone who is unemployed.

Many lenders look at payslips, but they might need this information to contact your current or previous employer if you’ve recently changed jobs. They will ask them questions about your situation as an employee, as a person, and the income you earn.

If you are self-employed, you will have to work harder to prove that you have a stable source of income. This proof means tax stubs for the last two years with schedules, the nature of your business, your income and anything else that might be useful.

Credit rating check

Good credit is standard for most loans, and it’s no different for mortgage pre-approval. A lender will usually check your credit score to make sure you are trustworthy with your payments.

An ideal credit score will be at least 620, but the higher the better. Lenders will reserve lower rates for those with higher scores – so if you want a good deal, work to raise your credit score.

If you have bad credit, it’s not too late to act. There are many resources to improve a credit score in a short time.


Then you will have to carry over the previous debts. A lender needs to know what other loans you are responsible for and how that might affect your payments on their loan.

There are two types of debt to consider:

  • Monthly debt payments: A lender will look at your debt-to-income ratio and consider things like student debt, car loans, mortgages, and credit cards.
  • Real estate debts: A statement of any property you currently own that has a mortgage you are responsible for paying.

Present them to facilitate approval.

When it comes to the documents needed for home loan approval, don’t forget to include your debts. Don’t hide them from your lender, as this could lead to problems in the future.

Other Documents Needed for Non-Traditional Loans

Most mortgages have simple terms. However, you may want to opt for a non-traditional option like a balloon loan. If so, you will need to provide other documentation to get approval for this riskier investment.

Here are some documents needed for non-traditional loans:

  • Credit score
  • tax returns
  • payslips
  • W-2s
  • Bank statements

These should be enough for a lender to feel comfortable approving your loan.

Non-traditional loans can be profitable in a mortgage, but many are riskier than traditional choices. Lenders might need more convincing before offering approval. Make sure you know what loans are available to you before choosing a non-traditional choice.


What do you need for a mortgage pre-approval? Proof of assets and income, verification of employment, credit score and previous debts are necessary to give the lender as much information as possible to make a choice and possibly approve you for a loan.

Investing in a mortgage is an important decision. The more prepared you are to ask for approval, the more confident you will feel about your decision. Make sure you know you can pay before you dive in and you could have a nice piece of real estate in no time.

Try Total Mortgage’s Loan Options Today

What do you have and do you still need to get a mortgage? Let us help you! Explore one of Total Mortgage’s many locations to find the best loan options for you. Let us help you with this big decision.

Carter Wesman

Carter Wessman hails from the charming town of Norfolk, Massachusetts. When he’s not busy writing about mortgage-related topics, you can find him playing table tennis or playing bass guitar.

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