When you you need to provide honest information about your assets, debts and income. Your credit score is the first thing the mortgage financier would ask for. You need to provide a FECO credit score. Alternatively, you may provide the personal details and the lender himself may obtain your credit score. No loan moves forward without a credit score report.
You need to provide information about your current employment, proof of income for several years and income stubs to show exactly how much you make in a year. W-2s for the last two years is what they would be looking for if you were salaried. If you are a businessperson or earn commissions then the tax returns for the last two years as well as a year to date profit and loss statement need to be furnished. You may also have to prove that you have the necessary down payment with you or your bank. Financial institutions that verify your source of down payment and cash reserves can issue a monthly statement and you need to provide three copies of this statement.
Any other source of income like rent, dividends on stocks, social security, pension, alimony or child support income has to be proved with necessary information for verification. A non-US citizen needs to provide Photostat copies of the front and back page.
If you have taken a car or a house loan, you need to provide the proof of regular payments of installments. The lender also needs information about the property that you wish to acquire.
While the lender scans this information about you, it s appropriate that you also do a little background check of the lender. Reputed lenders like famous banks and lending institutions do not require that. However, a background check of medium sized lenders is advisable. Even studying about major lenders is beneficial. Some times a big bank may have a flawed mortgage policy and your trusting the bank by its brand image is going to hurt you later.
There are predatory lenders prowling the mortgage market. They try to fleece the borrower by hiding facts, confuse them by using jargons and terms as well as by not passing on the benefits that actually accrues to the borrower. You need to be better informed and try to avoid dealing with such lenders. There are even lenders who have no ethics in committing forgery.
Shop around; educate yourself about lenders and the mortgage market. Scrutinize every lender just as an expert lender does to your documents. Listen to all, but in the end make your own decision. You have as much right to be informed as the lender has.