March 23, 2023
Fees Free Mortgage Team

The Mortgage Application Process: How to Scan Documents Without a Scanner

March 23, 2023 - Fees Free Mortgage Team

The Mortgage Application Process: How to Scan Documents Without a Scanner

Ready to start applying for a mortgage? Congratulations on making it this far in your journey towards homeownership! By now, you’ve likely done your research, checked your credit score, and started exploring your options – but the task list doesn’t end there. That’s right, a whole world of paperwork and form-filling lies ahead.

Even with the help of a mortgage broker, you’ll need to gather and submit various documents to support your application. But what if you don’t have a scanner to digitise your paperwork? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Our application whizzes have put together a simple, handy guide on how to scan documents without a scanner. Read on to be on the right track in no time.

Gathering Your Documents: The Essential Checklist

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of how to scan without a scanner, let’s review the key documents you’ll likely need to submit as part of the mortgage application process:

Proof of Identity

Before diving into the financial aspects of your application, you’ll need to do one simple thing – confirm your identity. This means that a form of government-issued photo ID, such as your driving licence, passport, or national identification card will be first on the ‘to scan’ list. Whatever your chosen option, ensure that it’s fully up-to-date and valid! 

Income Verification

Your prospective lenders will need a full overview of your earnings in order to determine whether or not your income is stable and sufficient enough to cover your mortgage payments. Most will request copies of your last 3 month’s payslips, and P60 forms from the past two years (if you’re a salaried employee). 

Other forms of income, such as benefits, government allowances, pensions, and maintenance payments can also be put towards your mortgage. Should you be planning to use them, be prepared to scan and submit a letter showing your awarded status, or evidence of the associated payments in the form of a bank statement.

Credit History

Mortgage applications aren’t just about your income – your credit score can also have a big impact on eligibility. Though lenders will often access it directly, it’s a good idea to have a recent copy on hand to verify the information and address any discrepancies. We recommend obtaining a multi-agency credit report via checkmyfile in order to cover all of your bases. 

Other Supporting Documents

Your mortgage broker, advisor, or lender may well ask you to submit additional documents depending on your circumstances. These might include (but aren’t limited to) proof of employment, gift letters (if you’re receiving help with your deposit), and divorce decree agreements or bankruptcy discharge papers (if applicable).

Feeling lost? If you need any assistance at all in determining what kinds of evidence you’ll need to submit as part of your application, seek free mortgage advice from a trusted advisor like us. We’ll be happy to talk you through the process, no matter what stage you’re at.

Our Top Mobile Scanning Apps

With our checklist in hand, you’re now ready to move on to the next step: submitting your documents. No scanner? No problem. Our rundown of the top four mobile scanning apps is here to help. 

The following easy-to-use apps turn your smartphone into a portable scanner, allowing you to quickly capture, edit, and save high-quality digital copies of your essential mortgage application documents.

Adobe Scan

Adobe Scan is a powerful, free self-scanning tool available on both iOS and android. Our team love it for its user-friendly interface, and ability to convert documents into picture-perfect PDFs. Its text recognition feature (which allows for easy annotation, copying, pasting, and more) is an added bonus. 

Microsoft Office Lens

An ideal option for existing Microsoft Office suite users, Microsoft Office Lens is a free mobile scanner app available to Apple and Android users. It’s mainly known for its acute ability to capture handwritten notes, but works just as well for the formal documents you’ll be required to submit during the mortgage application process. The app integrates wonderfully with other Microsoft tools, and offers a wide range of export formats including Word, PowerPoint, and PDF.


CamScanner is a firm favourite within the Fees Free Mortgages office, and is perfect for those not already familiar with the Adobe, Office, and Google platforms. It’s simple to use and install, available on iOS and Android, and boasts a range of features such as smart cropping, automatic enhancement, and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for extracting text from images. The app also allows you to add watermarks and annotations, making it a great option for organising and securing your documents.

Google Drive’s Built-In Scanner

Google Drive is revered across the world for its flexible storage options and intuitive collaboration tools – but did you know that it comes with a built-in scanning feature? To access it, simply open the Drive app, tap the ‘+’ button, and select ‘Scan’. In doing this, you’ll convert your chosen documents into searchable PDFs, all of which will be saved directly to your Drive.

A Step-by-Step Guide: Scanning Documents with Your Smartphone

With your app picked out and your documents piled up and ready to scan, you’re almost set. All that’s left to do is download, save, and send! Just in case you need any further assistance, we’ve put together some top tips for the scanning process itself.

Downloading Your Chosen Mobile Scanning App

To get started, you’ll need to install your mobile scanning app. Do this by opening your smartphone’s app store (Google Play for Android or App Store for iOS), and searching for the scanner’s name, e.g. Adobe Scan or Microsoft Office Lens. Tap ‘Install’ or ‘Get’, and the rest will be history! All of the apps suggested above should be completely free with no initial payments required.

Preparing Your Documents for Scanning

With your app installed and ready to go, you’ll need to ensure that your scans turn out as well as possible. Do this by obtaining clean copies of your documents that are free of folds, creases, or marks. Place them within a well-lit, shadow-free environment – ideally on a flat surface. The more professional your environment, the better the results.

Capturing the Document Image

Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. In order to ‘scan’ your document, you’ll need to launch your chosen scanning app, open its capture tool, and position your phone camera directly above the document, making sure all corners, text, and content are visible within the frame. Hold steady and take a photo – ensuring the end result is clear and legible.

Editing the Scanned Image

Even if your scanning setup isn’t the most ideal, you should still be able to produce a passable end-file thanks to our top apps’ in-house editing software. We suggest that after capturing the image, you crop it to include only the document – straightening edges using the rotation tool where required. If necessary, adjust the brightness, contrast, and sharpness to ensure the text is clear and legible.

Saving and Exporting

After capturing and editing your mobile scan, you’ll need to select the file type you’d like to save it as. Your mortgage broker or lender will likely specify this, with the vast majority preferring PDFs. Be sure to name it accurately and descriptively – nobody wants to be left searching through a dozen copies of ‘document-1-final-final-FINAL’! Something along the lines of ‘Bank-Statement-March-2023’ should do. Save the final result to your preferred location, and send away!

Ready, Set, Scan!  

We hope that this step of the application process has gone from headache-inducing to a doddle now that you’ve got the right tools and knowledge at your fingertips. Simply follow our guide, get your chosen app installed, and snap, save, and send! You’ll be well on your way to securing a mortgage in no time.

If you’re in need of some extra guidance or looking for ongoing support throughout the rest of your mortgage journey, a broker could be the answer. Fees Free Mortgages, for example, are proud to provide a fully independent brokerage service at no added cost at all – helping buyers like you discover the best possible deals at the best possible rates, and sail through the application process with ease from start to finish. 

To discuss our services, or for free mortgage advice contact us today, visit us in our flagship branch, or reach out to your local advisor. We’ll be happy to help!

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