What Documents Do You Need To Refinance A Mortgage?
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If you're thinking about refinancing your mortgage, it’s good to be prepared.
After all, refinances typically take a month or two to complete, and delays in getting your lender the information they need from you can stretch that timeline even further. Having all your documentation ready can help the process go more smoothly.
What documents are needed for a mortgage refinance? Let’s go over the basics of what most borrowers will need to provide.
What You Need: Your Refinance Documents Checklist
When you apply for a refinance, your lender needs certain documentation to be able to approve you for the loan. This documentation may vary depending on the lender you’re working with, the type of refinance you’re seeking and your personal financial situation. Here are some of the items you’ll typically be asked to provide.
Lenders want to confirm that you’re earning enough income to afford the mortgage.
You and anyone else who will be a co-borrower on the loan (like a partner or spouse) will need to provide pay stubs from the past 2 or 3 months.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need copies of your last two federal income tax returns as well as profit-and-loss statements in order to verify your income.
Start preparing now by locating and making copies of all of these documents – you’ll want to have these items ready to go.
Tax Returns, W-2s And 1099s
To verify past employment and income history, your lender will also require you to submit copies of your tax returns, W-2s and/or 1099s. Typically, lenders ask for 2 years’ worth of information.
Your lender will use these documents to verify your salary and see how much your earnings fluctuate from year to year.
You’ll need a copy of your homeowners insurance policy to verify that you have current and sufficient coverage on your home.
Just like when you bought your home and applied for your current mortgage, your lender will need to verify that you have enough cash to cover closing costs (if you can’t roll them into your loan) and, if required, at least 2 months’ worth of your new mortgage payments.
You’ll need to provide recent statements from:
- Checking and/or savings accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Investment accounts
Your lender might ask for verification of debts or other expenses you’re currently paying. Lenders will take your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) into consideration, as it helps them determine your ability to afford your mortgage.
In particular, they’ll want to verify the details of your current mortgage, and may ask you to provide a recent mortgage statement. They may ask for documentation related to other loans you’re paying off as well, such as a home equity loan, student loan or credit card. You should have recent statements from all these accounts ready to go when you apply to refinance.
Depending on your lender’s rules or your own financial situation, you may be asked to provide additional documentation.
For example, if your bank statements show you recently made a large deposit, you’ll need to explain where that came from. If a family member gifted you the funds to cover your closing costs, they’ll need to write a letter verifying that.
Additional documentation you may be asked to provide include:
- Letters of explanation for past credit issues or employment gaps
- Child support or alimony payment documentation
- Proof of rental income from investment properties you own
- Gift letter or other documentation verifying source of deposits
- Documentation related to a bankruptcy that's been discharged
Documents Needed For Signing At Mortgage Refinance Closing
As you head to your closing, be sure to bring your Closing Disclosure form, your funds needed to close (typically in the form of a cashier’s check) and a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID.
To close on your loan, you’ll sign a few different documents, including a mortgage or deed of trust and a promissory note.
The Bottom Line: Be Prepared Before You Apply
Getting a mortgage can be a somewhat lengthy and headache-inducing process. Having your documentation on hand and ready to go ahead of time can make things easier on yourself and help your lender move as efficiently as possible.
Are you ready to apply for a refinance? Get started today!