But 1st, get pre-approved!

Be Ready to Make an Offer

Get pre-approved for a loan first so you can be ready to make an offer when you find a home you love.

Pre-qualified vs Pre-approved


In order to be pre-qualified, a lender may or may not check your credit score and won't require documentation, only going off what you tell them. This will give you an idea of what you could qualify for, but when you're serious about buying, you'll need to get pre-approved.


To be pre-approved, the lender will pull your credit and ask you for documentation to verify your finances. Before making an offer on a house, it is best to get pre-approved to show sellers your offer is serious and that a lender has already approved you for enough money to purchase the home.

Loan application checklist

Income documents

  • Federal tax returns: last 2 years
  • Pay stubs: last 2 months
  • Any additional income documentation: pension, retirement, child support, Social Security/disability income award letters, etc

Asset documents

  • Bank statements: 2 most recent checking and savings account statements

Other documents

  • Copy of driver's license or ID and Social Security card
  • Addresses for the past 2-5 years and landlord's contact info if applicable
  • Student loan statements: showing current and future payment amounts
  • Documents relating to any of the following if applicable: divorce, bankruptcy, collections, judgements or pending lawsuits
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