First Home Buyer: Pre-Approval Checklist

19 February, 2020
Buying your first home and going through the pre-approval process can be a daunting experience.

How do you prepare? What documents do you need to provide? When do you know you’re ready?

At CWCU, we believe this process doesn’t have to be stressful. Preparation is key!

So we have put together a helpful checklist, so you can sit down and get organised.

We invite you to download our pre-approval checklist, which you can print out - and tick each item off as you go!

If you’d like a more in depth explanation of the pre approval process, read this article. It outlines what to expect, from beginning to end.

Are you ready for Pre-Approval?

Some first home buyers prefer to get pre approval before they find their dream home.

Getting it early on means you have a licence to go shopping - and it generally lasts around three months (depending on your institution.)

The first step is to decide on your price limit and assess it against your savings. How much can you afford as a deposit? How much can you afford to borrow?

To make this decision you need to ascertain what your repayments will be. You can use a loan calculator to help get to this figure - or speak directly with the lender.

Once you’ve decided how much you’d like to borrow, then you can start getting ready to approach lenders.

Getting your pre-approval documents ready


You are generally required to provide 100 points of ID.

The following are primary documents - List A - One required
  • Australian passport / foreign passport / an Australian visa grant notice evidencing an Australian resident visa
  • Current driver photo licence issued by an Australian state of territory
  • Photo ID Card issued by a State or Territory

The following are secondary documents - List B - you need one from this list plus another from List C
  • Birth Certificate or Extract issued by a State or Territory
  • Citizenship certificate issued by the Commonwealth
  • Identification card issued by the Australian or any state government as evidence of a person’s entitlement to a financial benefit
  • Identification card issued to a student at a tertiary education institution

The following are secondary documents - List C
  • Current Account Statement from a Bank, Credit Union or Building Society
  • Current telephone, water, gas , electricity bill or Council Rates Notice
  • ATO notice of assessment issued within the preceding 12 months
  • Centrelink Statement of Benefits received within the preceding 12 months

Proof of Income

You will need to provide documents that demonstrate your type of employment, how regularly you are paid and how much you are paid.

You should provide:
  • Your last three payslips - No more than three months old with YTD totals
  • A signed letter from your employer – confirming employment basis (Fulltime/part time) and Income

Are you self-employed?

Things will be more detailed if you are self employed. The lender will generally require:
  • The Last two years of Personal Tax Returns with ATO Notice of Assessment.

Other income

Do you have any other income or employee benefits worth noting?

This might be things like
  • Centrelink payments - Pension payments/Parenting payment/Family Allowance/Newstart.. )You can ask for a letter from Centrelink to confirm this)
  • Income from Rental Property -­ Copy of Lease or Rental Statement from Real Estate agent OR a letter from the real estate agent stating what the property could be rented for if the property is not already leased.


You will need to provide evidence of funds to complete the purchase (or construction of the property, if you’re building a home.) This will include
  • Account statements for the last three months

Liabilities and Debt

You will generally be required to provide statements for the last three months on any other loans you already have - and the most recent statement for your credit cards.

And don’t forget about any HECS/HELP payments you are still making!

The lender will also be interested in checking things like Afterpay accounts and Payday Loans.

The next step

Once you’ve gathered everything you need, you can apply for pre approval!

Once granted - you can officially make offers for your dream home. Congratulations.

Don’t forget to download our pre approval checklist document to help you stay organised.

You can also talk with someone from our Loans team, if you want more help getting sorted. They can guide you on how the process works. Contact us today to make an appointment - whether that’s in branch, on the phone, with our mobile relationship officer, or via skype.