Mortgage Pre Approval Checklist: Everything You Need Before Applying

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Ever try shopping for groceries without a list? It’s utter chaos. You might end up getting the right items, but chances are you’ll forget one or two key ingredients, and you’ll buy a few that definitely weren’t needed. Oreos get us every time. 

Shopping for a home loan and getting mortgage pre approval online can be a lot like grocery shopping. If you don’t have a good list of everything you need, you may end up wasting precious time and ultimately miss out on the home of your dreams. 

To avoid just such occasions, our home loan experts at Bison State Bank have put together this handy dandy mortgage pre approval checklist, so you know what you need to get pre approved. Rather chat in person? You can always reach out to our mortgage professionals any time!

Mortgage pre approval checklist: The basic information

When submitting mortgage pre approval requests, you’re going to need some basic financial information on hand. In simple terms, a mortgage pre approval is a preliminary evaluation of a person’s potential buying power. 

With this information, buyers have a better understanding of what level of house they can afford, and realtors can adjust their showings to better fit their client’s needs.

Related: Pre approval vs pre qualification

Lenders will need certain financial documents to fully understand your financial situation and create your pre approval. 


This one is simple but easily forgotten. Kind of like the eggs on your grocery list—if you don’t have the list. 

Make sure you have some form of government-issued identification, like a driver’s license or passport. 

Proof of income

Before applying for pre approval, a borrower will need to establish their income base. This requires items like:

  • Your latest paystubs
  • Your most recent tax returns or W-2 form
  • Proof of income letter from your employer

The proof of income letter isn’t required in all cases, typically only if you have recently changed jobs. 

Proof of assets

A prospective lender will need to see bank statements and investment account statements to ensure you have the funds needed for the down payment and closing costs. This information is incredibly important for calculating a borrower’s purchasing power.

We’re passionate about finding the right loans for each client’s needs at FMD, and that means not putting you in a situation where you can’t afford your mortgage or closing costs. By gaining a full understanding of your current financial situation, we can tailor your loan directly to your specific situation and make sure you’re happy with your home and your finances. 

Related: How much money do you need to buy a house?

Credit information

A credit report contains information such as a person’s personal identification, credit account information, collection items, and public records. Lenders use the information on a credit report to get a better picture of a person’s financial situation. It helps them determine whether to lend money or not, and what interest rates to charge on loans based on their own financial risk of doing so. 

Make sure your credit reports are not frozen, as we will verify with all four major credit bureaus during the pre approval process.

Unlike other lenders, however, the team at Bison State Bank doesn’t just see you as a number on a piece of paper. We take the time to get to know your situation and do our best to understand your goals to set you on the best path toward the future you envision. 

Related: How credit affects your home buying power

Mortgage pre approval checklist: Last-minute reminders

With all of those documents prepared, you’re prepared to apply for your loan pre approval. There are still a few loose ends, however, so here are some answers to our most frequently asked pre approval questions.

Should I shop around for rates?

While we’re proud to offer incredibly competitive mortgage rates and custom mortgage solutions at Bison State Bank, we also still encourage people to look around and compare us to other mortgage lenders. That way, you make sure you’re getting the best loan for your exact situation.

When should I get a mortgage pre approval?

Your pre approval should be the foundation for your home search, not just a step along the way. With it, you have a complete picture of your purchasing power, and you can adjust your search accordingly. 

If you’re even possibly considering entering the home buying market, you can go ahead and get pre approved for a loan. Your pre approval lasts for 90 days, so you have time to find the right home or even shop for a better loan from a different lender. 

One more time, what documents do I need?

We get it, sometimes it’s nice to have a concisely laid out list. Here is our mortgage pre approval checklist with all the documents you need:

  • Identification (Driver’s license or passport)
  • Proof of income (Pay Stubs from last 30 days, tax forms)
  • Proof of assets (Bank statements, investment account statements)
  • Credit information

Complete your mortgage pre approval checklist with Bison State Bank

We understand how important it is to have a competitive advantage in the housing market. That’s why we offer quick and convenient mortgage pre approval online, so you have a strong weapon for your home buying journey.

Our experienced mortgage professionals are passionate about helping our clients take their first steps toward a better future, and a pre approval is one of the most important early steps. 

The loan officers at Bison State Bank won’t pressure you into a loan that’s not suitable for your needs. We are professionals in this industry with the know-how to fit each client with a tailored loan solution. We strive for customer satisfaction, and we’re not satisfied until you are. 

Contact us today to see how our approach of honesty, integrity, and experience helps you find the right home loan solutions.