Before applying for a mortgage refinance, you can seek loan estimates from multiple lenders. For a loan estimate, lenders will typically require:
- Your name and income
- The property address
- The property's estimated value
- The amount of the mortgage (how much you want to borrow)
Once you've decided on the best loan and lender for your needs, your loan application will require more documentation to verify your income and assets.
Documentation you can expect to be asked for with your application will include:
- Contact info for your employers for the last two years, and copies of pay stubs for anyone who will be on the mortgage
- Recent bank statements
- Two years of W-2s and tax returns
- Bank statements for two to three months
- Records of investments and securities including stocks, bonds, and life insurance
- Information about ongoing debt obligations including student loans, credit cards and car loans
Although an appraisal is typically required when taking out a purchase mortgage, some lenders will waive this requirement when refinancing a home. You'll also need to show proof that you have homeowner's insurance, and you may need a new lender's title insurance policy.
Tips: Lenders often want to see that you have been employed continuously for the past two years. If you're thinking about leaving your job in the middle of the loan process, this can impact your loan application because lenders will verify employment prior to closing the loan and want to see that you are currently employed. If you move to a new employer, lenders will want to verify that you are making the same income (or more).
When looking at bank statements, lenders will often verify that you have enough in your account to make at least two months of loan payments. So be careful about moving your money around or withdrawing too much while in the process of obtaining a loan, because lenders will verify your account statements.
You'll only need enough documentation to show that you're able to repay the debt you're applying for -- records of all your investments, securities and other assets aren't always needed.
If you're self-employed, lenders will look at your taxable income to determine eligibility, so expect to provide tax forms like the Schedule C that sole proprietors typically file to show their profits and losses.