The first question many people buying a home ask is: “What do I do?” We’ve put together a detailed, step-by-step checklist for you to follow throughout the mortgage or home loan process, plus a single page detailing the documents you may need during the process. In addition, our do’s and don’ts tips (see below) provide guidance for you from the time you apply for your mortgage to loan closing. As always, your Merchants Bank mortgage lender can answer any additional questions you might have.

Click on one of the links below to open a PDF document.

Tips for Mortgage Do's and Don'ts

After you've applied for a mortgage, here are some helpful Do’s and Don’ts to guide you between the time of application and loan closing.


  1. Notify your mortgage loan officer:
    - If you have corrections or questions when reviewing copies of your application or disclosures.
    - Of any changes in income, job, pay or work hours since you applied. This could impact your loan approval.
    - Of any maintenance issues, issues identified in a home inspection or incomplete construction that may be present in the house you are financing.
    - Of any unique home features (additional living quarters, large acreage, agricultural use, outbuildings, unique floor plans, etc.).
    - If you have plans to initiate a dispute on your credit.
  2. Continue to make all scheduled monthly payments on time, even those on accounts that may be paid off when this loan closes.
  3. Select your homeowners’ insurance and provide the insurance binder and paid receipt to your mortgage loan officer as soon as possible.
  4. Obtain a copy of your earnest money check if you are purchasing a home. We need a copy of front and back once it has cleared your account.
  5. Be prepared to provide additional documentation as a follow up to documents you submit to us.


  1. Apply for, accept or switch to any new credit cards or loans. If you are considering additional credit, check with your mortgage loan officer first.
  2. Close credit cards since this can affect your credit score.
  3. Begin home improvement or work projects to the home/property being financed prior to closing and recording of the mortgage. This includes excavation projects and demolition of structures on the site.
  4. List the property that is the subject of this loan for sale. This can affect the approval of your loan.
  5. Co-sign for anyone else on a loan.
  6. Move money from account to account or bank to bank without consulting your loan officer first. This often makes the paper trail of funds harder to verify


  • Provide complete legible copies as quickly as possible. Typical items include:
    - Paystubs (you need to have one from the job you are using for income with year-to-date and company name).
    - W-2s and/or 1099’s for most recent two years.
    - Signed tax returns and all forms including attachments.
    - Bank/investment statements for your assets. Full statements including all pages (not just e-banking transaction printouts).
    - Purchase agreement, if purchase.
    - Signed gift letter, if you are receiving down payment funds as a gift. Any gift must have no expectation of repayment of these funds. We periodically verify this, so to represent otherwise would be fraudulent.

Expect that more items may be requested based on whether what you provided raises more questions.


We commit to:

  • Timely ordering of your appraisal, once we have the purchase agreement/plans and specifications and/or your completed application.
  • Provide timely disclosures of loan costs.
  • Ask you for the documentation required for your loan at the time your application is input.
  • Notify you of approval or non-approval and schedule your loan closing as soon as we have notification from our underwriting team.


  • Appraiser selection and title insurance are ordered from independent companies. We do not control their turn around time.
  • Comparable sales are a required part of the appraisal. The sale of properties similar to your subject property in the most recent 12 months is the function of the local market.

Have more questions? Contact your Merchants Bank mortgage lender.

All mortgage loans are subject to credit approval.