Pre-Approval Document Checklist

If you are looking to buy a home without the hassle of the normal real estate process, your pre-approval document checklist should be in order. Taking the time to set things up will save you time in the future. Let's take a closer look and see exactly what your checklist should include.

Credit Report

Any smooth home sale starts with a smooth personal credit report. You can get a free one every year. Don't worry if you have blemishes; the point of discovery is so you can fix issues and aren't surprised by them during the process.

Tax Returns

You will need tax returns from at least the past two years including proof of income. W2s are the standard here. 1099s and self-reported income are less trusted in mainstream banking unless you have already created a relationship with your bank.

Other Income

If you have regular income from any other source such as government assistance, Social Security or child support, bring in these records as well. 

Note: If you are retired or otherwise without a significant amount of income, showing your balances in retirement accounts can aid you in the pre-approval process. This includes any money you have in the stock market.

Rental Reports

If you have been renting and are now looking to buy, those proof of records from your landlord will be essential in earning the trust of your bank. Bring in the last 12 months of rental pay stubs. These may include money orders or copies of a payment check. If you are paying digitally, print out your bank records and highlight the rental payments. Lenders are looking for payments that occur in full and on time.

If you have a good relationship with your landlord, you can also ask for a letter of referral. This goes a long way, especially when paired with strong bank records.

Property Records

If you own other properties, bring in the records for that real estate as well. If you are seen to be a responsible landowner already, you can greatly improve your experience when buying a new property.

Personal Documents

Personal documents you need to bring into your pre-approval meetings include at least two forms of ID, any divorce or marriage papers you may have, and anything else that helps clarify your personal living situation.

Even with all of these documents in tow, the pre-approval process can seem overwhelming. It is often advisable to consider professional assistance when seeking a real estate loan. The experts at Equity Mortgage Lending are glad to assist you.

Get in touch with us by phone at (410) 321-7800 or through email at We look forward to making your next pre-approval simple and easy. We can also help you through the entire mortgage process, and we are happy to offer our advice at any stage. Give us a call or an email for a personal consultation and to see exactly what we can do for you.

* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with the mortgage advisor for more information.