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Employment Information

• Names and addresses of current employers and prior employers for the past two years

• W-2 forms or 1099s (sometimes required if you are paid by commission or if you work out of a trade union hiring hall)

• Past two years' tax returns and current profit-and-loss statement (if self-employed)

Assets

• Bank accounts (account numbers, bank name, address, and approximate balance)

• Stocks and bonds (copies of brokerage statements or stock certificates)

• CDs, money market funds, IRAs (account number, bank name, address, and approximate balance)

• Family trusts, pensions, and other annuities

• Cash value of whole life insurance policies

• Automobiles (copy of registration or title)

• Statement of personal property (furniture, etc.)

• Other real estate (mortgage lender's name and address, loan number, monthly payment amount)

Debts

Most of the following information is provided to your lender when they order your credit report, but you certainly should review every item to ensure that the information is correct. Credit agencies make mistakes!

• Charge accounts and credit cards (provide a copy of last monthly statements)

• Car loans

• Mortgage loans

• Personal loans

• Student loans

• Other installment loans

Miscellaneous

Other information that may have to be provided includes:

• Copy of signed sales contract (for home purchase) or copy of deed (for refinance)

• Condominium or co-op documents (if applicable and lender does not already have them)

• Alimony, child support, and separation maintenance payments due (copy of divorce decree or separation agreement)

• VA Certificate of Eligibility, DD-214, or Statement of Service (VA loans only)

• Copy of real estate tax bill for the past year

• Copies of utility bills (required by some lenders for FHA or VA loans)

The more complicated your financial situation, the more information you must supply. In the last few years, more and more lenders have begun offering loans with less documentation requirements than are required by the national standards. The following list shows the different types of loan documentation:

• Full doc – Traditional documentation of income and assets (VIVA-verified income, verified assets)

• Stated income – Stated income, verified assets (SIVA); two- year history of employment is required but income is not verified; stated income must be reasonable for type of employment

• Stated assets – Verified income, stated assets (VISA); assets must be reasonable for the reported income

• Stated/stated – Stated income, stated assets (SISA)

• No income – No ratio (or NIVA); income is not provided; two-year history of employment is verified, assets are verified

• No income, no asset (NINA) – Two-year employment history is verified, income and assets are not

• No doc – No employment, no income, no asset verification; lender relies exclusively upon credit rating of borrower and value of the asset

Limited documentation loans cut your processing time and eliminate much of the hassle, but you may have to pay more to get one. In addition, some of these are only available to borrowers with high credit scores and low loan-to-value ratios.

The application interview may take place in the lender's office, in the real estate agent's office, in your office or home, or sometimes over the telephone. Bring all the required documents to the interview to help speed the application process. In addition, when you apply for a mortgage, you must pay a nonrefundable application fee of from $300 to $400. This covers the cost of an appraisal and a credit report.

 
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