To get started and stay organized, it helps to have a checklist of which documents you’ll need. While each loan officer or mortgage broker might have his own specific checklist, here’s a look at what you can generally expect:

Photo ID: Typically a driver’s license or passport, this document is used to confirm your name, identity and home address.

Pay Stubs: You’ll need to produce your pay stubs from at least the past 30 days. If you don’t have your pay stubs, ask your employer’s payroll or personnel department to give you these documents, which must show your name, the name of your employer and your total year-to-date earnings.

Asset statements: Gather monthly or quarterly statements from your various asset accounts from the past two to three months. Asset accounts include checking, savings, investment and retirement-plan funds. If you don’t have your statements handy, you can print them from most financial institutions’ websites, Metzler says. Each statement must include your name, the name of your financial institution and the beginning and ending account balances. A printout of your current transactions “usually does not work” for loan application purposes, Metzler warns. Rather, a true statement is required.

Documentation of deposits: You’ll need documentation that shows the source of any deposit of more than a nominal sum, other than payroll. This relatively new requirement helps the lender figure out whether you have enough money from allowable sources for closing costs and reserves, says Joe Parsons, senior loan officer at PFS Funding, a mortgage company in Dublin, Calif.

W-2 tax forms for the past two years: If you’re self-employed, earn commission or tip income or own rental property, you’re going to need to produce federal income tax returns for the past two years. Self-employed borrowers might also be required to supply a K-1 tax form, which shows your percentage of ownership of your company. If you’re a substantial owner, you’ll also be asked to supply the company’s tax returns for the past two years.

Divorce decree: If you got divorced within the past two years or want to use the alimony or child support you receive toward qualifying income, you’ll need to present a copy of your divorce decree. Also you will need to let us know if you are changing the vesting on the deed pursuant to the divorce property settlement agreement. There are some additional cost to this process that you will need to discuss early in the transaction.

One final tip: Be sure to submit only complete and legible documents. Also, when your lender asks for multiple documents, submit all of them at once. This way, it’s easier to keep track of what you have and haven’t provided your lender. Allow about an hour on the day of settlement to go over all of the loan documents.