Loan Officer Document Checklist To Start Mortgage Process

Loan Officer Document Checklist To Start Mortgage Process

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

This guide covers the loan officer document checklist. This article on the Loan Officer Document Checklist is a series of training worksheets that will be prepared and saved on the Mortgage Learning Center archives for both new and experienced loan officers who came on board at  Gustan Cho Associates.

All loan officers must ensure all files are complete before submission to processing and follow this loan officer document checklist.

One of the primary causes of delays in mortgage loan closings is submitting a mortgage file without thorough review and scrubbing by the loan officer. The loan officer must meticulously review the Loan Officer Document Checklist to prevent such delays. Each document must be carefully examined to verify its completeness and ensure no missing pages.

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Loan officers must thoroughly examine the Loan Officer Document Checklist provided along with the following link. This link contains the essential documents that borrowers are required to submit. Upon receiving these documents from the borrowers, loan officers meticulously review each item on the checklist.

The objective is to verify the completeness of all documents, ensuring no missing pages. For instance, when dealing with bank statements, it’s crucial to obtain all pages, including blank ones.

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Bank Statements

Loan Officer Document Checklist: Bank statements should be sequentially numbered, such as page 1 of 10, page 2 of 10, and so forth, even if some pages are blank. For instance, a blank page may be labeled as 5 of 10. However, including all pages is crucial, as any missing pages will delay the mortgage pre-approval process.

Required Documents By Borrowers

Loan Officer Document Checklist: Upon receiving the borrower’s document list, it is imperative to examine each item meticulously to ensure completeness. More than simply submitting 60 days of bank statements is required; a thorough review is necessary. Verify the absence of irregular deposits or overdrafts and confirm that all pages, including blank ones, are included. Refer to the link for further details and any supplementary documents required to process the loan.


Borrower’s Authorization

The borrower must sign the borrower’s Authorization Form. This form is included in the disclosures sent out by the opening department of the mortgage lender or by the mortgage processor. Loan Officers must ensure they receive this signed form and other disclosures requiring wet signatures from the borrower. Please include it in the mortgage loan package for submission to processing/underwriting.

Borrower’s Drivers License & Social Security Card

According to the Patriot Act, proper identification is necessary (Driver’s license and social security card). It is essential to ensure that the driver’s license and social security cards are legible. A common oversight by many loan officers is accepting these documents without verifying their legibility. Such oversights can cause delays in the loan processing as it progresses through the mortgage process. Therefore, legible copies of both the front and back of your driver’s license and social security card are required.

Real Estate Sales Contract on Purchase Transaction (Purchase):

Loan Officer Document Checklist:

  1. Ensure that both home buyers and sellers sign the executed real estate purchase contract and that it is legible.
  2. Note the closing date and ensure sufficient time for processing and underwriting the loan.
  3. Thoroughly review the real estate purchase contract to confirm all borrowers are listed.
  4. Make a special note if there is a seller concession towards buyer closing costs.

Sales Contract On Current Residence (Purchase)

Borrowers who are buying a new home but need to sell their existing home and have a pending real estate purchase contract on their exiting home, these borrowers will need to provide the Sales Contract on their current residence.

Homeowners Insurance Declaration Page (Refinance)

Homeowners refinancing their current home loan need to provide their current homeowners’ insurance declaration page

Mortgage Statement (Refinance)

Homeowners refinancing their home loan need to provide their most recent mortgage statement from their current provider.

Cash Out Letter (refinance)

Borrowers who are applying for a cash-out refinance mortgage need to provide a letter of explanation as to the reason why they need the cash-out refinance. It does not have to be lengthy and can be a few sentences, such as needing cash-out to refinance to consolidate my bills.


The Loan Officer Document Checklist emphasizes the crucial role of the pre-approval phase in the mortgage loan process. Loan officers must understand that incorrect pre-approvals often lead to last-minute denials, a significant reason for such outcomes. Given the intricate nature of the mortgage industry, errors are all too common, yet they must be diligently avoided.

As a loan officer, you bear considerable responsibility, impacting individuals’ lives profoundly.

A job as a loan officer is unlike other jobs. One mistake a loan officer makes and pre-approves a borrower who is not qualified for a mortgage loan will mean many lives are affected. With a pre-approval letter, the borrower has your blessing to go out and enter into a real estate purchase sales contract and put down earnest money on their home purchase.

The process will begin once the purchase contract for a real estate property is signed and returned. Ensuring the borrower meets all credit and income requirements before issuing a pre-approval letter.

If there’s uncertainty regarding income documents due to various factors like declining income, irregularities, employment gaps, or different income sources such as part-time, overtime, royalties, child support, social security, pensions, self-employment, commissions, or others, seek advice from a senior loan officer or manager for a second opinion. Income is the primary factor in determining a borrower’s eligibility for a mortgage loan.

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Loan Officer Document Checklist On Income Documentation

Loan Officer Document Checklist

Even if borrowers have a history of bad credit, including outstanding collections, charge-offs, prior bankruptcy and foreclosure, judgments, tax liens, and low credit scores, they can still qualify for a mortgage loan if they provide documented income.

On the flip side, a borrower can have perfect credit scores of 800 FICO PLUS and never had a late payment, but with no documented income, it means no LOAN.

Documentation of income plays a crucial role in the mortgage process. Only income that is properly documented can be considered qualified income in the mortgage process, and there are stringent guidelines that mortgage underwriters follow when evaluating income.

The following documents are required from borrowers based on their income type.


One Month of Pay Stubs (all borrowers). Salaried Borrowers need to provide one month’s paycheck stub

2 Years W-2s:

Two years of W-2s are required to be provided by salaried borrowers.

2 years of tax returns, all pages

This might now be submitted with the loan program you are using but must be reviewed to ensure everything is in order on their returns and there are no hidden items that might pop up

2 Months Bank Statements (all accounts / all pages / no printouts unless containing bank name and borrower name with 30 days covered)

Two-month bank statements are required. If actual bank statements are not available, borrowers need to go to their bank and ask for two months’ bank statement printouts, and the bank teller needs to sign, date, and stamp all pages of the bank statement printouts.

Loan Officer Document Checklist on Commission Wage Earners

One Month of Pay Stubs (all borrowers): Wage-earners earning commission income, such as car salespeople, mortgage loan officers, and realtors, need to have two years of work history as a commissioned wage earner and provide one month’s paycheck stubs

2 Years W-2s:

Two years’ paycheck stubs need to be provided. 2 Years of Federal Tax Returns – all pages/schedules / Signed

2 Months’ Bank Statements

ll accounts / all pages / no printouts unless containing bank name and borrower name with 30 days covered). If actual bank statements are not available, borrowers need to go to their bank and ask for two months’ bank statement printouts, and the bank teller needs to sign, date, and stamp all pages of the bank statement printouts

Loan Officer Document Checklist on Self-Employed Borrowers

2 Years of Federal Tax Returns – all pages/schedules / Signed. 2 Months Bank Statements (all accounts / all pages / no printouts unless containing bank name and borrower name with 30 days covered)

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CPA Letter For Self-Employed Borrowers

  • Length as CPA
  • Number of Years in Business
  • Percentage of Ownership
  • Year-to-date Profit and Loss Statement

Loan Officer Document Checklist on Rental Income

Rental income can be used as qualified income if borrowers have at least a two-year track record of managing rental properties and declare it on their tax returns (must have a two-year history managing rental properties to use this income to qualify):

Requirements for Using Rental Income

2 Years Federal Tax Returns. Pages 1 & 2 and Schedule E from the most recent Federal Tax Returns.

Converting a Current Residence to a Rental Property.

Maximum 70% LTV on Current Residence Verified by an Appraisal or an AVM. Copy of Lease and Cancelled Deposit Check.

Loan Officer Document Checklist on Gift Funds

Gift funds can be used for down payment.

Requirements for Gift Funds

A gift letter will be provided by the mortgage lender to have it completed by the donor of the gift funds and signed. Gift Funds cannot be a loan, and the donor needs to sign a statement attesting that the gift funds are solely a gift and will not be paid back.

Documents Required If Borrowers Is Getting Gift Funds For Mortgage Transaction

Proof of Donor’s Ability (bank statement covering 30 days of the donor and copy of check and deposit slip as well of bank printout after deposit of borrower. New bank statement printout after the deposit of the gift funds needs to be signed, dated, and stamped by the bank teller):

  • Copy of Cancelled Check
  • Copy of Deposit Ticket
  • Updated Statement or Printout from Borrower’s Account

For borrowers applying for FHA Loans, there are conditions that the lender may request:

Verification of Rent

Rental History ( Cancelled Checks). If rental verification, also called Verification of Rent or VOR, the renter must provide 12 months of canceled checks of the rental payments. The renter’s bank account has debited 12 months’ statements showing the rental payments. Cash receipt payment receipts by the landlord do not count and cannot be used to verify rent proof.

For those who are renting from a registered property management company, a VOR provided by the lender to the property manager of the property management company can be used in place of the 12-month canceled checks or 12-month bank statements.

All manual underwriting  FHA loans require verification of rent. Mortgage underwriters will ask for letters of explanation on all derogatory credit items on the credit report. Borrowers should not worry about past delinquent accounts or collections, and a one or two-statement LOX is sufficient.

Inquiry Letter (last 90 days)

Any credit inquiries on credit reports in the past 90 days need a letter of explanation. Letters of explanation on credit inquiries only need one or two statements. For example, if there were numerous credit inquiries by various mortgage lenders, all letters of explanation must state” Shopping For Mortgage,” which should be sufficient. If you have any questions, ask the loan officer or contact us at Gustan Cho Associates.

FAQ: Loan Officer Document Checklist To Start Mortgage Process

  • 1. What is the Loan Officer Document Checklist about? The Loan Officer Document Checklist is a series of training worksheets aimed at both new and experienced loan officers at Gustan Cho Associates. It outlines essential documents and procedures required for mortgage processing.
  • 2. Why is it important for loan officers to follow this checklist? Ensuring all files are complete before submission to processing is crucial to prevent delays in mortgage loan closings. Thorough review and adherence to the checklist minimize errors that could cause significant setbacks in the loan approval process.
  • 3. Who is the target audience of this checklist? The information provided is specifically for loan officers and not borrowers. It serves as a guide for loan officers to gather necessary documents from borrowers and ensure compliance with mortgage processing requirements.
  • 4. What documents are included in the checklist? The checklist covers various documents depending on the borrower’s circumstances, including income documentation, identification, real estate contracts, insurance declarations, mortgage statements, etc.
  • 5. How does the checklist address income documentation? It emphasizes the importance of properly documented income in the mortgage process, regardless of the borrower’s credit history. Detailed instructions are provided for different income types, such as salaried, commission, self-employed, rental income, and gift funds.
  • 6. What should loan officers do if they encounter uncertainties during the process? Loan officers are encouraged to seek advice from senior officers or managers for a second opinion, especially regarding complex income documentation issues like irregularities or multiple income sources.
  • 7. Are there specific requirements for FHA loans mentioned in the checklist? Yes, the checklist includes specific conditions for FHA loans, such as verification of rent and inquiry letters for credit inquiries in the last 90 days.
  • 8. How can borrowers ensure the smooth processing of their mortgage applications? Borrowers can facilitate the process by providing all requested documents accurately and promptly, adhering to the guidelines outlined in the checklist. Clear communication with loan officers can also help address any concerns or inquiries.
  • 9. Where can I find additional information or assistance related to the Loan Officer Document Checklist? For further details or inquiries, you can consult the loan officer handling your application or contact Gustan Cho Associates directly for assistance.

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If you have any questions about the Loan Officer Document Checklist or borrowers needing to qualify for loans with a lender with no overlays, please contact us at Gustan Cho Associates at 800-900-8569 . Text us for a faster response. Or email us at . The team at Gustan Cho Associates is available 7 days a week, on evenings, weekends, and holidays.

This blog about the Loan Officer Document Checklist To Start Mortgage Process was updated on February 28, 2024.

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