Shopping for a Mortgage? 3 Things You Should Do.

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Real Estate

There’s no doubt that applying for a home equity loan goes through an intensive method. If you're thinking of getting a loan to buy a home soon, the following are some preliminary tasks that will support you in getting you the best mortgage with the best terms and could speed up the loan process.

1. Get a copy of your credit report.

Any lender you approach will ask and see a copy of your credit report. It plays a big role in getting a good score for a home loan, so this tops the list to check your credit report before you apply to make sure there no mistakes or inaccuracies that could obstruct your opportunity of getting the loan.

You can get a copy of your credit report for free from Once you get the report, analyze your data and check for errors and then take steps to correct any miscalculation or out-of-date information.


2. Be prepared with your list of “owned properties”

If you own multiple properties, it will greatly organize the loan application process if you pull together a list ahead of time with the following information about the various properties you own:

Address of the property
Type of property (single-family, multi-unit, condo, etc.)
If rented, pending sale, or sold already
Estimated market value (if known)
Loan balance (mortgaged) / Gross monthly rent (rented)
Annual taxes and insurance
Principal and interest mortgage payment
Loan number and lender (for matching it up to your credit report)
Monthly mortgage insurance or HOA payment if applicable

Preparing this ahead of time will save you and your loan specialist time and will help speed up the application process.


3. Gather up relevant financial and employment documents.

Yes, there's more paperwork to prepare. And it can be stressful to pull it all together. So I recommend gathering it ahead of time and properly filing it so you can grab quickly if you’re going to be applying for a loan. You’ll be required to provide the lender with financial, employment documentation and information about your assets and liabilities when you apply for a mortgage loan.


This list includes what a lender will commonly ask from you to get the ball rolling on a new loan:

Last two years W2s (if applicable)
Full tax returns for the last two years
Recent month’s worth of pay stubs (if applicable)
Recent mortgage statement for all properties you own (to verify the payment amounts)
Last two months’ worth of statements for asset accounts
Homeowner’s insurance policy (if a refinance) or contact information for the insurance company (if a purchase)
Contract and real estate agent contact information (if a purchase)

Additional documentation may be needed depending on your setting and qualifications, but this is typically the minimum needed. A good way to save yourself time is to have your loan specialist work directly with your accountant to get the needed documentation.

Any other documents you’d think I missed? Let me know with a comment!