The 1003 Mortgage Application Form

Expect to fill this form out—twice—when you go for a mortgage

What Is the 1003 Mortgage Application?

The 1003 mortgage application, also known as the Uniform Residential Loan Application, is the standard form nearly all mortgage lenders in the United States use. Borrowers complete this basic form—or its equivalent, Form 65—when they apply for a mortgage loan. Though some lenders may use alternative forms or simply accept basic information from the borrower about their finances, the property type, and its value, the vast majority of lenders rely on the 1003 form.

Key Takeaways

  • The 1003 loan application, or Uniform Residential Loan Application, is the standardized form most mortgage lenders in the U.S. use.
  • It is required by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) for mortgages that they purchase from lenders.
  • The application asks questions about the borrower’s employment, income, assets, and debts, as well as requiring information about the property.
  • Form 1003 is typically completed twice in the mortgage process: once during the initial application, and again at closing.

The 1003 Loan Application Form

The 1003 loan application form, or Uniform Residential Loan Application, was developed by the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, as a standardized form for the industry. Fannie Mae and its sibling, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac, are lending enterprises created by the U.S. Congress to maintain liquidity in the mortgage market.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase mortgages from individual lenders and either hold the loans in their own portfolios or sell them to other entities as part of a mortgage-backed security (MBS). By selling consumer mortgage debt to these federally backed entities, lenders maintain the liquidity necessary to continue offering new loans.

Mortgages need to be documented in the way prescribed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because both require a Form 1003—or its Freddie Mac equivalent, Form 65—for any mortgage that they consider for purchase, it is simpler for lenders to use the appropriate form at the outset rather than to try to transfer information from a proprietary form to a 1003 form when it is time to sell the mortgage.

On March 1, 2021, an industry-wide mandate to use the redesigned 1003 form went into effect, meaning that any new loan applications after that date must use the updated form. Further, on March 1, 2022, new applications using the legacy format will no longer be underwritten by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, even if they had been started prior to March 1, 2021.

Tip

Generally, borrowers have to fill out a 1003 form twice during a mortgage transaction: once during the initial application, and again at closing to confirm the terms of the loan.

What Information Is Needed on the 1003 Form?

The 1003 form is intended to collect all the information that a mortgage lender needs to determine whether a potential borrower is worth the risk. Though some lenders do not require employment information to consider a new mortgage, the 1003 form calls for at least two years of employment history, including monthly income.

The 1003 form also requires the borrower to note any other household income, as well as provide an itemized list of their assets and liabilities.

A borrower’s assets include anything that could help cover or liquidate loan payments:

  • Life insurance policies
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investments
  • IRA, 401(k), or similar retirement accounts

The borrower also needs to make lenders aware of any other debts for which the borrower may be liable (in addition to mortgage payments), such as car loans, credit card debt, student loans, or open collection accounts.

If the borrower owns any other property, as either an investment or a second home, the 1003 form requires the disclosure of these assets and any mortgages tied to them. In addition, the 1003 form requests information about the property that the borrower wishes to buy with the new mortgage.

Note

Lenders may only consider life insurance policies that accumulate cash value, such as universal life insurance, rather than term life policies.

1003 Application Example

The 1003 mortgage application, or Uniform Residential Loan Application, was redesigned in 2021. It currently consists of nine sections, as follows:

Section 1: Borrower Information. This includes your personal, employment, and income information.

Section 2: Financial Information—Assets and Liabilities. Here, you list your savings and investments (including financial institution names and account numbers), as well as any outstanding debts and other financial obligations, such as alimony or child support.

Section 3: Financial Information—Real Estate. This is where you list any other properties that you currently own, along with what (if anything) you owe on them.

Section 4: Loan and Property Information. Here, you describe the property for which you are seeking a mortgage. If it’s a rental property, the form asks how much you expect to receive in monthly rent.

Section 5: Declarations. This page asks a series of questions about the property, how you are paying for it, and other aspects of your finances.

Section 6: Acknowledgments and Agreements. This is the page that you sign, attesting that the information you’ve supplied is accurate and authorizing the lender to perform a credit check and other inquiries.

Section 7: Military Service. If you currently serve or previously served in the U.S. armed forces (or had a deceased spouse who did), you would note that here.

Section 8: Demographic Information. This section asks for your ethnicity, race, and gender. Federal law requires that these questions appear on the application, but they are optional for the applicant, and you can indicate that you do not wish to answer some or all of them.

Section 9: Loan Originator Information. This is a section that the lender must complete.

Important

Before completing Form 1003, it's important to make sure you're using the most up-to-date version.

What Is a Form 1003?

The 1003 loan application, or Uniform Residential Loan Application, is a standard form most U.S. mortgage lenders use. This form is required by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) for mortgages that they purchase from lenders.

How Many Sections Are There in Form 1003?

The most recent version of Form 1003 has nine sections. Borrowers must provide information about their income, assets, credit, and other financial details to complete the form.

What Is the Purpose of a Uniform Residential Loan Application?

Lenders use the Uniform Residential Loan Application or Form 1003 to evaluate and determine your creditworthiness when applying for a home loan. This form is designed to help lenders make more informed decisions when extending mortgages to borrowers.

The Bottom Line

Completing Form 1003 can be a little time-consuming, but it's a necessary part of the mortgage progress. Understanding what's included on this form and why it's required can make navigating homebuying easier. Before moving ahead with this step, however, it may be helpful to check your credit reports and scores so you have a better idea of how likely you are to qualify for a mortgage loan.

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