Did you know that your income is such a big factor in many situations in your life? It can determine several things and affect different areas in your life, including personal loans, insurance plans, etc.

Proof of income is very important for lenders and landlords because it helps them determine your ability to pay. It can be a single document or a set of documents. Sometimes an income letter is requested as proof. The income letter should verify and summarize your income and employment. It can be written by:

  • Your employer
  • An accountant
  • Social worker
  • You

Make sure it includes all the basic information about your earnings. This can be in the form of:

  • Yearly salary
  • Hourly wage
  • Average workweek hours
  • Raises in the past and if you anticipate them in the future.

You might be requested to include some additional documents as proof. If you are curious, check the list below.

What Can Be Used as Proof of Income?

When it comes to proving your income, it all depends on the lender. Some of them will prefer different documents or consider them more valid. Some lenders and landlords will accept just a pay stub, while others will need a copy of last year’s federal taxes. As stated by the experts at mrpaystubs.com/, it has become more difficult to generate pay stubs manually, and the process is more complex than it was a few years ago. But, luckily, there are many options online, and they can be quite helpful.

Most of the documents we have listed below should include:

  1. Full name
  2. Income amount
  3. Date
  4. Employer name (when applicable)
  5. Additional identifying information (like your social security number)

Common Proof of Income Documents

From Your Employer

Documents from your employer can give the best picture of your income because it shows any wage changes from the past year.

  • Pay Stubs: Some lenders or landlords might require your pay stub to have your pay frequency and pay period listed. Try providing your most recent pay stub so that it will give the most up-to-date representation of your income.
  • Proof of Income Letter: This can act as verification of income or a letter of recommendation from your employer.

Unearned Income

Only a handful of documents fall under this category, and they are government-issued. These can also be reliable documents for landlords and lenders, but you should be careful with this income stream since it’s not always consistent. 

These documents are helpful to prove steady income for a short period of time, but be aware that you’ll need a more stable stream of income.

  • Social Security Proof of Income Letter
  • Annuity Statement
  • Pension Distribution Statement 
  • Court-Ordered Agreements
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • Workers Compensation letter

Tax Documents

The most reliable sources are copies of your recent tax documents. They may be difficult to retrieve sometimes, but they are one of the best options. If you include a pay stub or bank statement, success will be guaranteed. The problem with tax documents is that they are only filed once a year, and therefore they may be inaccurate and might not paint a full picture.

  • Last Year’s Tax Return (1040). 

This complete document contains all the sources of income in one place. Make sure you keep the copy, it can be very useful.

  • Wage and Tax Statement (W-2). 

W-2 can be requested from your employer to give an accurate picture of your income.

Proof of Income for Self Employed Individuals

If you are self-employed, you may need to put extra effort to provide income information, so try to stay organized. Here is a list of documents you might find helpful:

  • Wage and Tax Statement for Self Employed (1099): This legal document is a very reliable proof of your income if you are self-employed.
  • Profit and Loss Statement or Ledger Documentation: This is a summary of your expenses, costs, and revenues that can demonstrate your income to a lender or a landlord.    
  •  Bank Statements: A bank statement is proof of a stable income flow if your deposits’ history is steady. It’s a good idea to keep a separate account for business expenses. That way, your transactions won’t get confused with any personal expenses.

Proof of Income for Apartment Dwellers

Landlords and renters usually ask for income verification, so they can be sure you will be able to pay. It’s best to use documents that provide proof of steady income, at least during your lease.

You may be asked to provide:

  • Pay stubs
  • Bank statements
  • Proof of income letter
  • Last year’s tax return

writing information to verify your income

Make sure you double-check your documents, keep copies of important documents, and produce them as required. You need to know these numbers and where you stand. Verified income is essential to your financial health.