Skip to main content

The 4 Kinds of Information You Need to Get A Mortgage

Established 1999
17 May 2023 by Northwest Mortgage
Taxes and pay stubs and statements, oh my! Here are four kinds of information that should be handy if you want to get a mortgage.

It’s true: buying a home requires a lot of documents, and it can be hard to keep them all straight. So, we made a list!

Consider this list a basic, get-your-ducks-in-a-row list. Some lenders may request more information or different information, depending on your personal situation. 

To make it a little easier, we classify the kinds of things your documents need to prove into four categories. For loans, you need to demonstrate: 

  • proof of income
  • expenses and debts
  • credit history
  • identification

Every document you provide to a lender should fulfill one of those four basic requirements. Having these documents allows lenders to take a look at your financial health and evaluate whether or not you and the other borrowers will be likely to repay the loan. 

If you need help figuring out what a lender might need from you, Northwest Mortgage can give you a hand! We’ll look at your situation and help you figure out what documents you’ll need for a home loan. 

Proof of Income

Of course, lenders need to know that you have money coming in. Otherwise, how can you pay for a home? Lenders will usually require two years of tax returns, two years of W-2s, and at least 30 days of pay stubs of each borrower on the loan. 

In addition, you will need the most recent two months of statements for the other financial assets of borrowers on that loan. This includes savings accounts, checking accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts. With these statements, you must provide ALL pages, including useless-looking pages like “this page is intentionally left blank.” 

If you have other income, such as from divorce settlements, investments, or rental income, you will need to procure suitable statements to prove that income as well. 

Expenses & Debts

No, you don’t need to provide your grocery bills. Lenders will need to know about fixed debts such as credit cards, student loans, medical bills, personal loans, auto loans, etc. 

You and other borrowers will need to provide account information (company name, account type, account number), unpaid balances, and monthly payments for all of these debts. This can also include any monthly job-related expenses, if you are a business owner or freelancer.

Credit History 

For most lenders, the credit history is something they deal with. They will request written or verbal approval to run your credit report - and that can be the end of it.

However, you can also request a free copy of your credit report once a year through If you do this, you might be able to spot fraudulent activity, errors (such as paid-off debts still counting negatively towards your score), and past-due accounts you forgot about. Having this information will let you get ahead of the curve before your lender spots a problem. 

If there is history on your credit report that needs explanation, you can create and submit letters of explanation for those items as part of your loan application. 


Finally, the lender has to know that you can prove you are who you say you are. You will need a driver’s license or other state-issued ID, a copy of your social security card, and any immigration paperwork (if applicable). 

Documents for different personal circumstances

Like every home is unique, every lending situation is personal and tailored to the individual. Certain circumstances may require you to provide different kinds of information to potential lenders, in addition to the documents above. 

Here is a quick list of common circumstances and the related information you might need to provide to a lender:

  • If you have a thin credit profile or are buying your first home: you will need to provide proof of on-time payments to landlords, utilities, etc. to show that you can reliably pay your bills on time. 
  • If you have experienced a divorce: if you rely on divorce-related money for income, you will need to provide proof of child support or alimony payments and proof that they will last for at least three years after the mortgage is signed. A copy of the court order is usually acceptable. 
    • If you pay alimony or child support, you will need to provide similar documentation as part of your expenses & debts. 
  • If you have experienced bankruptcy: you will need to provide the bankruptcy’s discharge papers. 
  • If you have income from a rental property: you will need to give the lender documentation of the rental income, a copy of the lease agreement, and a property appraisal report. 
  • If you are self-employed: if you’re a business owner or freelancer, you may not be able to provide W-2s for yourself. Bank statements for associated accounts and a profit-and-loss form, signed by a CPA, are commonly requested by lenders. 
  • If you have received gift money from family: you will need gift letters from each family member who has provided you with money for the mortgage to assert that this money is a gift, not a loan (loans need to be paid back, which would affect your income-to-debt ratio, affecting your eligibility for a loan).

On the road to a mortgage loan

Think you’re ready for those next steps? Give Northwest Mortgage a call! Worried about missing some of those important documents listed above? Contact us at Northwest Mortgage! No matter what step of the process you’re currently at, we can help steer you in the right direction and work on getting you into your dream home.