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Mortgage Application Check List

In a slumping housing and credit market, easy mortgage buying has given way to strict rule enforcement that's leaving many potential homebuyers with churning stomachs and a mad scramble to prove their credit-worthiness.

Coming up with the right documents to ease the process can be confusing. Though requirements differ from lender to lender, vital documents include those that provide proof of income and assets.

Here's a list of the most common documents potential homebuyers should bring to their banker early in the mortgage application process:

1. Federal income tax returns for the previous two years.

2. Three recent consecutive paycheck stubs.

3. If self-employed, 1099 tax forms and year-to-date profit/loss statements.

4. Three consecutive bank statements.

5. Investment and savings account statements.

6. Recent year's canceled rent/mortgage checks or other verification of payments.

7. Documentation of additional mortgage loans or rental properties and agreements.

8. Recent statements from each of your credit card companies.

9. Recent statements or other documentation of car loans, student loans and other debt obligations.

10. Divorce documents or other legal documentation, if applicable.

Rachel Koning Beals has written about credit, real estate, personal finance and investing for 14 years.

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