Macatawa and Wintrust Announcement
Young couple applying for a mortgage together with banker

What do I need to apply for a mortgage?

Mortgage documentation has a reputation of being a difficult hurdle in the home financing process, but if you know what to expect going in, you can be prepared and line up all the necessary documents ahead of time. Any mortgage lender will need to have a clear view of your complete financial picture in order to approve one of the biggest purchases of your life.

Here is a list of what you’ll need to gather before you apply for a mortgage:


  • You will need to provide your employment information for the past two most recent years, including the most recent 30 day pay stub, the last two years W2s, and in some circumstances the last two years of your personal federal tax returns.
  • If you are self-employed, two years of personal and business tax returns will be needed.
  • Other sources of income may include: rental income, retirement, Social Security, second jobs, child support, or alimony. Include any copies of your leases, award letters, divorce decree, and or child support orders.

Additional earnings

  • If you have income sources other than your primary employment you may need to provide details on those as well. Other sources of additional earnings can be rental income from investment properties, so include copies of any related lease agreements, and two years of personal federal tax returns.


  • Debts are all of your loans, including student loans, credit cards and car loans, as well as other payments like alimony and child support. Be prepared to show balances and monthly payments for each debt.

  • Good things to collect to show your lender:
    • Mortgage statements
    • Most recent property tax bills
    • Home insurance
    • Home owners association dues (if applicable)
  • Lenders will be looking at your debt-to-income ratio because that’s an important factor in the loan qualification process. How much money they’re willing to lend you will be based on your ability to repay the loan based on a debt-to-income analysis. Your debt to income ratio is your gross monthly income divided by all monthly debts, including the new payment (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance). You can also use that information to help you decide if it’s a good time for you to be buying a home, or if paying down some debt first might be the better move.


  • Good things to collect to show the lender your assets:

    • Two months complete bank statements (include all pages)
    • Investment statements
    • Retirement account statements
  • Why do these things matter?

    • The lender has both your interest and theirs in mind. Certainly they want to make sure you have enough money to make the loan payments, but also enough money saved for unexpected expenses after you close on the home.


  • Bankruptcies can show on a credit report for up to ten years, so proof that you've settled with your creditors may be needed.

What else?

  • Sometimes a lender may request additional documentation depending on your circumstances, type of mortgage you've applied for, or information you've provided. Holding requested documents or information is likely to delay the process.

  • Take time to carefully fill out your application as completely and accurately as possible.

  • The lender, with your permission, will also run your credit report as part of the process.

Ready to apply for a mortgage?

Now that you know what you need it's time to get started. Get prequalified or talk to an expert.

Apply for a Mortgage

Find a Lender 

Have questions?

Call us at (877) 820-2265 to schedule an appointment with a Mortgage Loan Officer or fill out the contact form below and we will have one of our Loan Officers reach out to answer any questions you have.

Disclosures and borrower information
Macatawa Bank's primary lending area is West Michigan. Online applications will be considered received on today’s business day if submitted during the course of the bank’s normal business hours;
9am EST – 5pm EST Monday – Friday, excluding Federal Holidays
9am EST – 12pm EST on Saturdays
Applications received outside of this timeframe, including Federal Holidays and Sundays will be considered received the next business day.

We're happy to help.

Looking for answers? Need some sound advice? Want to talk over your financial options? Fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.
* = Required field.

Preferred form of contact*