A happy couple embraces in front of their new home holding up their house keys.
Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or the fifth, the home-buying process can seem daunting. Thinking about all the documents and information you will need to gather during the home-buying journey can overwhelm even the most seasoned home purchaser.

So, where do you start and how can you get approved for a home loan? Understanding what you need to get approved for a home loan and gathering this list of information is one of the first steps you will need to take when you decide that it is time to buy your dream home.

How It Works

Any mortgage lender or financing company is going to want to see that you have the income, job stability, credit score, and other assets needed to support the repayment of the loan.

Income and Job Stability

Typically, lenders want to see at least two years of steady employment to mortgage a home. If you are self-employed or run your own business, you can still count your income for a home loan as long as it has been stable.

However, if you have had any recent job changes, lenders typically like to see that you’ve made a move within the same field. Any job gaps longer than two months will need to be documented and explained, and you may not get approved during the underwriting process until you have a solid enough employment history.

Plus, any additional income or expenses such as child support and alimony must be thoroughly documented as well.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Lenders use your income to determine what is known as your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. This shows you and your lender how much mortgage you can afford. Typically, your DTI should be 43% or less of your gross monthly income to qualify for a mortgage.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Most homebuyers go through what is known as a pre-approval or pre-qualification process before processing the actual loan application. Getting pre-approved or pre-qualified helps buyers know a general idea of how much house they can expect to afford.

This step also shows potential sellers that you are serious about purchasing the house and have the means to do so.


At the time of your home purchase, your application will go through the last stage known as underwriting, where all of your information is verified and approved. Sometimes homeowners can run into hiccups during the underwriting process so it’s important to have everything in order right from the beginning

Remember: pre-approval is conditional and can change before your purchase is final, especially if your financial circumstances change.

Get Approved for a Home Loan: Requirements & Documentation Checklist

Before you meet with a lender, it is important to be prepared. Follow this checklist to gather the information and documents that are typically required to get approved for a home loan.

In the final stages before closing on a property, you will also need to have:

Approved for a Home Loan? Ready to Buy?

At GHS Federal Credit Union, we offer many different types of home financing to help you and your family afford the home of your dreams. Our partnership with Home Owners Advantage, a full-service mortgage corporation, allows us to offer comprehensive and customizable loan solutions to best fit your needs.

So, when you’re ready to start house shopping, give us a call to discuss lending options!

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