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How To Be Prepared Before Speaking To a Mortgage Lender

Ready to start looking for homes? Here’s how to be prepared before speaking to a mortgage professional.

First, let’s talk about pre-qualification vs pre-approval. Pre-qualification is basically getting an estimate of how much you can afford in a home. This is just to give you (the borrower) a general idea and range. When talking about pre-approval, this is where all the paperwork you need comes into play. This step is to verify your financial information and get a more exact range of what you can qualify for. A pre-approval will help you when it comes to budgeting and house hunting. Quick Tip: It’s always smart to know what your budget is before browsing for available houses in your area. 

Our website offers a 60 second pre-qualification questionnaire.


When you’re ready for the pre-approval step, you need to get all your documents in order. Listed down below are the most common forms needed to have on hand when speaking to a mortgage lender. Be sure to know that sometimes lenders will ask for additional paperwork that is not listed below depending on your situation. 

  • W-2 Forms and Other Tax Forms (1099’s)

  • Pay Stubs (proof of income)

  • Bank statements- Last 2 months  (assets, retirement and brokerage accounts)

  • Monthly debt payments 

  • Identification (drivers license, social security and or passport)


All of these documents are important when trying to figure out what you qualify for. At Home1st, we also have a mortgage calculator tool . Be sure to check it out–just remember that the number it gives you will only be an estimate though. If you want the most accurate information, we suggest getting in touch with a licensed mortgage expert.


Another great way to be prepared is to make a list of QUESTIONS! It is very important that you go into the meeting with a list of questions and concerns. Wondering what kind of questions to ask? Check out this blog to get some ideas  “Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Lender”

The best advice on how to prepare before speaking with a lender? You’ll need to prepare a budget, save up for a down payment and closing costs. They are two separate transactions. If you are a first time home buyer, you can put down 0-3.5% with 96.5-100% financing depending on the loan programs you qualify for!  Be sure to research all the different kinds of loan options (we offer a wide variety). Do what you can to pay off debt and increase your credit score before you decide to purchase a home. Having a high credit score and low DTI will impact the amount you are pre-approved for. Keep in mind that your financial history is going to be under a microscope (Last 2 months of bank statements).

Now you’re all set and prepared to speak with a mortgage professional! To get started, all it takes is 60 seconds or less on the right of your screen to complete our quick form or give us a call at (407) 330-7566. We can’t wait to be a part of your home buying journey,  we’re here to make it a smooth transition!

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