How Many Bank Statements Do You Need for a Mortgage?

By Jamie Cattanach · June 10, 2024 · 5 minute read

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How Many Bank Statements Do You Need for a Mortgage?

When you’re applying for a home loan, your mortgage lender is going to be interested (understandably) in your ability to repay the likely six-figure sum you are borrowing. And that means providing proof of both your income and your existing assets — which may mean sharing some bank statements with the lender.

The number of bank statements you’ll need to provide depends on the lender you choose as well as the type of loan you’re applying for. You typically won’t have to submit more than two months’ worth of statements. In some cases, however, you may need to provide six to 12 months’ worth of bank statements. To know for sure how many bank statements you need to submit, the best move is to talk to your loan officer.

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How to Get Bank Statements

Once you know how many bank statements you need based on your lender’s mortgage requirements, the next question is: how and where do you get them? These days, bank statements can usually be downloaded from your bank’s online portal (you’ll probably be able to access your entire bank statement history). If you have trouble finding the documents, you can contact your bank’s customer service team.

It’s not unusual to wonder how long to keep bank statements and other financial documents, and banks are accustomed to receiving requests for old statements.

Why Are Bank Statements Needed for Mortgage Applications?

Bank statements are used by mortgage lenders in order to ensure you have the money it will take to fund the upfront costs of the loan, as well as to confirm that you have regular income. However, lenders may also use other documents to confirm these eligibility requirements, such as tax returns or W-2s. It can be a hassle to pull together all the paperwork for your mortgage application, but documentation is an important part of the lender’s defense against mortgage fraud.

What Underwriters Look for in Bank Statements

Mortgage underwriters may also be looking at your bank statements to ensure the funds you’re using for your down payment or closing costs are “seasoned money.” That is to say, the money has been in your possession for 60 days or more. This is because some lenders have restrictions against gift funds or family loans being used to pay upfront loan costs, such as the down payment on a home.

What Are Bank Statement Loans?

Bank statement loans are mortgages that use bank statements specifically, rather than tax returns, to qualify applicants for a mortgage loan. If you’re applying for a bank statement mortgage, you will likely need to submit substantially more of those statements — sometimes as much as two years’ worth.

Bank statement loans can make getting a mortgage possible for self-employed borrowers or others whose paperwork might not match the traditional required documentation. However, they can be harder to find, and may come with more stringent credit requirements and higher minimum down payments.

What Other Documents Are Needed for a Mortgage Application?

Of course, the best way to know exactly what documentation is required for your mortgage application is to ask your lender. However, documents that are often required for a mortgage application include the following:

•   W-2 forms

•   Pay stubs

•   Tax returns

•   Bank statements

•   Alimony or child support documentation

•   Retirement and investment account statements

•   Gift letter, if you’re using gift funds

•   Identification documentation

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may also need to provide proof of rental payments, a divorce decree, any bankruptcy or foreclosure records, or other specific documents. Again, your lender will have the full details.

The Takeaway

Depending on the type of loan you’re applying for, you may need to submit only a couple months’ worth of bank statements — or up to two years of banking history. Fortunately, bank statements are easy to generate in most banks’ online management portals, so all you’ll have to do is download and submit them.

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Does FHA require 2 months of bank statements?

Lenders offering Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans have their own specific requirements as far as how many months of bank statements you’ll need to provide. Some lenders offer FHA loans with just two months’ worth of statements, but you may be asked to submit more if the lender has specific requirements or some other part of your application creates the need (such as a lower credit score, for example).

How many months of bank statements do you need to refinance your mortgage?

Refinancing your mortgage is, in many ways, basically just like getting a mortgage in the first place — which means that you’ll again likely be asked to submit two months’ worth of bank statements. However, as always, specific lenders have different requirements, and if you have a nontraditional application, you may be asked to submit more.

What is a 12-month bank statement mortgage?

Also known as a bank statement loan, these mortgages use bank statements as the primary qualifying factor to approve you for a home loan (as opposed to other traditional documentation like W-2s or tax returns). For these loans, you may need to provide 12 or even 24 months’ worth of bank statements, since they’ll be such an important source of information for the lender.

Photo credit: iStock/brizmaker

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