When purchasing on credit or filing a loan application, the lender usually wants you to provide proof of income. In most cases, a paycheck stub is acceptable. But in today's electronic-banking world, a paycheck stub may not be as easily accessible when your check is direct-deposited. In most cases, any proof of income that a lender or seller can verify with a phone call will be acceptable if you cannot provide a check stub.
Paychecks and Stubs
Even paychecks that are direct-deposited to your bank generate a pay stub. Employers generally provide a pay stub in one of three ways: electronically, by mail or when they pass out pay checks on pay day. In most cases, when you have a direct deposit, you will also receive a nonnegotiable copy of your pay stub. If for some reason you did not receive yours, ask your employer's human resources or payroll department for a duplicate copy of the stubs you need. If your employer cannot provide copies of the stubs, ask for a printout showing the dates and amounts of your most recent paychecks and have this printout notarized.
While most regular government checks are now direct-deposited, they also generate receipts or stubs you can use in the same fashion as payroll check stubs. In some cases, these documents are mailed to you at about the same time money is deposited to your bank account or you can access them from your online account. If for some reason you are not receiving these documents, you can call the originating agency and request new copies be mailed to you. If you have copies of your award letter, lenders often accept that as income proof when combined with your bank statement showing proof of deposit.
If you can't get check-stub documentation in a timely manner, log on to your bank account and print the monthly bank statements that show your deposits over the last three to six months, including the name of the depositing agency. In addition to this documentation, have the name and phone number of your income provider available so the lender can verify your income over the phone.
Federal Tax Forms
Many lenders and sellers also accept copies of your IRS tax documents filed for reporting income as proof of income. If this is not an acceptable proof of income, ask what other options are available. In most cases, lenders and buyers can mutually agree on an appropriate form that substantiates how much you make each month. For self-employed people, you might also have to submit three months or more of your profit and loss statements to show your income.
It is simple to falsify documents to prove income. But falsification of tax forms or federal checks is a federal crime, and falsification of non-federal documents is also a crime in most states. In addition, lenders and creditors are likely to call and verify your income. For borrowers, it is best to be honest and take the chance you may be turned down. For lenders, the adage "trust, but verify" is the wisest course of action.
Jamie Wilson has written online content for over a decade on a wide variety of subjects. Currently, she is the Augusta Military Lifestyles expert for a prominent website. She is also a published fiction writer and experienced Web designer working on a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.