In tougher new mortgage reality, preparation is key

WASHINGTON – May 16, 2011 – All you needed was a pulse. In the not-so-distant past, that’s practically all it took to qualify for a mortgage. Now an exhaustive array of paperwork awaits potential borrowers.

Call it the new mortgage reality. Lenders that got burned when the housing market collapsed are taking extra steps to protect themselves and are requiring more financial documents than ever.

But these tougher requirements don’t mean getting a mortgage has to be too stressful, as long as you’re prepared.

Here are five ways to cut down on the hassles and help you anticipate the records you may need:

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