Guest Author Lyle J. Katz

It is important to be prepared when applying for a mortgage. Ensuring that all of the required documents are ready and available will ease the application process.

When being approved for a home mortgage loan, 3 main components are taken into account:

  1. The applicant’s credit score, and the specific items on the credit history;

  2. The leverage ratio of the home (i.e., the dollar amount of the loan vs. the cost of the home);

  3. The applicant’s debt-to-income ratio.

There are many free credit reports available, which are useful to check your credit history for discrepancies and help you identify mistakes – and get them corrected. Yet borrowers may be surprised to learn that most people never see their real credit score. The score accessed and used by the bank is different – and is really the only one that matters.

And while having your credit score accessed a few times isn’t as damaging as many believe, keep in mind that each bank will run its own credit report, and a broker may do the same with dozens of banks at one time.  That could have a negative impact on your credit score.

To ensure your credit history isn’t tarnished from such overexposure, choose a qualified and trustworthy loan officer AND Bank/Broker – not the first match you come across on Google.

Everything in your life gets reduced to paper. Your documents tell your story.

When financial documents are requested by the lender, provide them exactly as requested. Bank accounts, investment accounts, and so forth must be available in their complete form without any missing pages. A financial decision is based on facts supported by documents and letters of explanation.

Expect to provide at least the following Proof of Income, Asset and Liability Documentation:

  • Complete tax returns for two years – not just the first few pages;

  • Pay stubs and W-2s if you are an employee;

  • If self-employed, expect to provide business tax returns and additional documentation from your CPA;

  • Mortgage statements, insurance policies and tax bills for investment properties or second homes.

If your loan officer does not ask for at least the documentation listed above, consider that a RED FLAG. You may be with the wrong loan officer and Bank/Broker.

It is always a good idea to read over your tax returns, bank statements, credit reports and other important financial documents to ensure comprehension and accuracy. Having all of the necessary paperwork in hand will make applying for a mortgage an easier process for both the borrower and the lender.

Lyle J. Katz is a Senior Loan Officer at Evolve Bank & Trust with over 20 years of experience. A veteran financial professional, he leverages his experience, background and skills to understand his clients’ specific needs and properly match them with the most suitable mortgage products. To learn more, visit the website of Evolve Bank & Trust at