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    Document Checklist for a VA Loan

    It’s true – obtaining a loan, through the VA or any other method, requires a lot of paperwork. Whether you’re super-organized or can barely find your keys every morning, it’s easy enough to get overwhelmed by all the documents and information you’ll need to acquire your home loan. But never fear: first of all, you won’t need any of these things immediately in order to start the process, and we’ve compiled a handy list of everything you’ll need right here, so you can begin tracking down and gathering these documents to get ahead of the game.

    Every home loan requires a good deal of personal information:

    • Your name, date of birth, phone number, and current address
    • Any previous addresses over the past few years
    • Educational degrees or certificates and dates of completion
    • Copies of valid, government-issued IDs, such as a driver’s license or military ID
    • Numbers and ages of dependents

    Naturally, VA loans also require information about your military service:

    • A copy of your DD214 form (if you are retired or separated from the military), OR
    • A statement of service from your commanding officer (if you are still on active duty)
    • Form 26-1880, which is a Request for Certificate of Eligibility
    • Your Certificate of Eligibility, which you can obtain yourself, or your loan officer can easily obtain for you (in most cases)

    Of course, you’ll need to show proof of your employment and income:

    • Information about any and all employers over the past few years, including their names, addresses, phone numbers, and the dates you worked for them
    • Your paystubs from the last two months or your most recent Leave and Earnings Statement (if your income fluctuates from month to month, you may need to provide additional paystubs)
    • Tax information, possibly including W-2 forms from the past two years; two years of tax returns and schedules if you are self-employed, make commissions, or earn income from rental properties; or copies of any award letters for social security, pensions, or other retirement compensation, as well as corresponding 1099 forms
    • Paperwork regarding divorce settlements, if applicable

    And you’ll need to submit a lot of information about your financial situation as well:

    • A copy of your most recent bank statement, in full
    • Your credit report and, if necessary, paperwork disproving any mistakes on the report
    • Any paperwork related to derogatory credit or previous bankruptcy or foreclosure (these circumstances will not necessarily prevent you from receiving a loan now)
    • Information about what you owe on credit cards and other loans, as well as recurring costs such as childcare, child support, or income tax repayment plans, in order to calculate your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI
    • Information on any real estate you already own

    If you’re seeking to refinance rather than purchase a home, you may not need everything listed above; your loan officer can help you figure out what will ultimately be required, but of course it’s not a bad idea to have all of this information on hand regardless of your circumstances. Collecting these documents ahead of time will make the entire home loan process simpler and faster, and it will set your mind at ease so you can focus on the benefits ahead of you as a home owner.

    If you have questions about the documentation and information you’ll need to obtain a home loan, or about any other aspects of the VA loan process, contact our family of VA loan specialists and lenders today. Fortress VA Loans is committed to helping you reach your goal of home ownership as quickly and with as little stress as possible.