Proof of income is simply documentation that shows how much income you made. Many applications will require some kind of proof when trying to apply for car, house, or apartment.
Whether you made money from a job, an investment, or a hobby, any income can be used as proof of income as long as it is documented.
Proof of Income Documents
We will show you 25 ways to show proof of income, so you can move forward in your application process.
Table of Contents
- Proof of Income Documents
1. Pay Stubs
- Who typically accepts Pay Stubs as proof of income?
- Proof of Income for Apartments
- Proof of Income for Self Employed
- Proof of Income for Car Dealerships
- Proof of Income for Mortgage Lenders
- Proof of Income for Social Security
- Proof of Income for Investors
- How to Get Pay Stubs
- How long to Keep Pay Stubs
- 2. W-2s or Wage and Tax Statements
- 3. 1099s
- 4. Bank Statements
- 5. Tax Returns
- 6. Proof of Income Letter
- 7. Accountant Letter
- 8. Letter from Clients
- 9. Employment Contract
- 10. Company Dividends
- 11. Investment Property Payments
- 12. Disability Payments
- 13. Alimony Statement or Check
- 14. Social Security Benefits
- 15. Annuity Statement
- 16. Pension or Retirement Distributions
- 17. Worker’s Compensation
- 18. Benefactor Letter
- 19. Child Support Payments
- 20. Court Ordered Awards
- 21. Interest and Dividend Income
- 22. Severance Statement
- 23. Bonus and Commission Payments
- 24. Unemployment Statement
- 25. Student Scholarship
- Frequently Asked Questions about Proof of Income
1. Pay Stubs
Your pay stubs are probably the easiest and most common way to prove your income. Simply because they include tons of information. What is a Pay Stub? A pay stub is a summary of your earnings for a specific date, usually the day you were paid. It includes your income, pay schedule, after-tax net pay, and information about your employer.
Who typically accepts Pay Stubs as proof of income?
Landlords use Pay Stubs as proof of income for rental purposes. Many landlords require three (3) to six (6) months of Pay Stubs as proof of income. This is to protect their interest in getting paid each month.
Pay Stubs are often the number one requested proof of income document for apartments. Apartment complexes prefer to see at least 3 months’ worth of pay stubs.
Pay Stubs can be used for individuals who are self employed. A self employed individual is someone who is not an employee of any company, but rather owns a business and employs their own working.
Proof of Income for Car Dealerships
Car dealerships may ask to see your most recent three (3) months of Pay Stubs for income verification. This is so they can verify you have adequate income to pay your monthly payments on time, ultimately protecting their own interests.
Proof of Income for Mortgage Lenders
Mortgage lenders also accept Pay Stubs as proof of income. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender wants to make sure you have enough income to make your mortgage payments each month after taxes and other expenses. The lender assumes that sufficient income will be available for this purpose.
Proof of Income for Social Security
Social Security departments must verify proof of income and eligibility for benefits and services using one of several acceptable forms of proof or combination thereof.
Proof of Income for Investors
Some investors or lenders will ask for Pay Stubs as proof of income to use in determining your ability to borrow funds to start a business or go into an investment field
If you don’t have pay stubs, you can get your pay stubs from your employer. Simply ask your manager or HR department for a copy of your pay stubs.
Check out our article on How to Make Pay Stubs for more information.
The general rule of thumb is to keep them for at least 3 years. However, that may vary depending on your situation.
2. W-2s or Wage and Tax Statements
W-2s or Wage and Tax Statements are used to report wages paid and taxes withheld for each employee for a given year. Employers are required to provide W-2s to all their employees following the end of the calendar year.
You can use your W-2 as proof of income if you are applying for a mortgage, a car, home or apartment. W-2s can be used as proof of income because they contain all the necessary information to calculate your gross income.
Keep in mind that W-2s are yearly statements. Therefore, they will only show earnings for the previous year.
1099s: Any form of income that is documented on a 1099 is also acceptable as proof of income. A 1099 form is filled with any person or entity that has paid you $600 or more per year in income.
This form is received by the taxpayer at the beginning of his/her tax year or in January. Copies of 1099s can be used in place of W-2 for proof of income on your loan, car, home or apartment application.
Although some employers may give a 1099 after work is performed, most people will receive it after the end of the year. Therefore, some people may not have access to their 1099s to prove income until the following year. Similar to W-2s, 1099s are a yearly account of income earned from a given employer.
4. Bank Statements
Bank statements provide proof of income in three main ways.
Firstly, bank statements can be used to show how much money you have available. The amount of money in your bank account will directly affect the amount of money you have available to make payments. This can also show you are able to save money.
Secondly, bank statements can be used to show that you have sufficient income to be able to manage any payments. The average amount and frequency of deposits are key indicators on assessing whether or not you have sufficient and stable income.
Lastly, bank statements give an indicator on your spending habits. It is also important to note that even if you are receiving income from different sources, what you are actually spending money on is more important. Not only will the bank need to see evidence of your income, they will also want to see proof of where you spend all the money.
Bank statements are one of several documents that can be used to show proof of income. They can also be used to prove that you are able to make onetime payments.
5. Tax Returns
Your tax returns can be used as proof of income because your earning can come from different sources, like salary, wages, tips, rental property income Dividends, interest, business income or any other income. And your tax returns can show all of your income in one convenient place.
Here are three main reasons how tax returns can be used as proof of income:
Firstly, tax returns can be used as proof of income because they represent a person’s source of income.
Secondly, your tax returns include information about specific amounts withheld to get your net income.
Thirdly, your tax returns are official documents prepared by the IRS which are signed by the preparer. Your tax return should include your name, address, social security number and all of your income.
So, if you’re struggling with a lender for a Mortgage loan, a car loan, a business loan, a student loan application or any kind of credit. You can always show your tax returns to prove your income.
6. Proof of Income Letter
You can use a proof of income letter from your employee as proof of income. Also known as employee verification letter. A proof of income letter from your employee can be used as proof of income because of the following reasons.
Firstly, the letter certifies you get paid (that part is obvious), the pay period, and amount. Secondly. the letter has the company name, address, and is signed by employer describing what your duties are. Thirdly, the letter is a written confirmation from a third party, that you are getting paid.
7. Accountant Letter
A letter from your accountant can be used as proof of income. Accountants may be willing to write you a letter stating that you are profitable during the previous year. If the business is successful, the accountant can go over last year’s financial statements and help to confirm your yearly income.
If you are self-employed, the accountant will likely need to go over your business bank statements, business IRS return or any other type of financial records he or she needs to confirm your profits to the lender while running the business.
8. Letter from Clients
A letter from clients that detailing the amount and time. Each month, you may receive an invoice from your clients that pay you money based on their contract with you. If this is the case, you can provide a letter from these clients stating exactly what your expected income will be each month. This can be used as proof of income for your loan application.
9. Employment Contract
If you are currently an employee for a particular company, you can show your employment contract as a proof of income. This is particularly helpful if you just started the job but have not received any wages.
The contract should include details on wages, employment dates, job title, bonuses and any other wages other than your fixed wage. The letter may need to be notarized if it is not an original version.
10. Company Dividends
Any dividends you receive from your company can be used as proof of income. If you’ve recently sold shares of stock, you can provide a copy of the sale and what you were paid as proof of income.
11. Investment Property Payments
If you own real estate and it provides you with an income stream, any rental income checks can be used as proof of income. Any rental payments you receive on your primary residence, vacation home, or real estate property can be documented as income verification.
Rent checks, rent receipts, or renter contracts are often used as proof of income as long as they are consistent. If you hold a rental property, any proof of ownership will help present proof of income if you plan to use rental income as one of your sources of income on your loan application.
This proof includes the deed, title to the property and insurance policies and any other paperwork related to this property.
You should also provide a copy of the last two years’ worth of change in value and rent rolls/rental history if you want to use rental income will as your source of income.
12. Disability Payments
Any disability payments can be used as proof of income. If you receive a long-term disability payment, your disability insurance company should issue a check each month and mail it to you. You can take a picture of the front and back of the check showing how much income you receive each month.
You can provide documentation showing how much you receive on a regular basis. This documentation will be necessary if the disability income is not on a fixed schedule. If you file because you are unable to work due to a disability, you may be eligible for disability income that can be used as proof of income. Income from a disability policy is a common source of proof of income.
13. Alimony Statement or Check
If you are still receiving alimony payments from your ex-spouse, you can take pictures of the check that are mailed to your home as proof of income. Permanent alimony checks are often used as proof of income by family courts. You can provide copies or a statement indicating how much you receive or a copy of a check stub.
14. Social Security Benefits
Any social security benefits can be used as proof of income. If you receive a disability check based on your social security number, the company will mail the check directly to you. Any social security benefits received can be used as proof of income on your loan application. Your loan officer will most likely need to see all of your most recent social security statements. In addition, if you were recently added to someone’s Social Security Administration records you can provide a copy of that document as well.
15. Annuity Statement
If you are getting annuity payments, you can show these as part of your income on your loan application. Similar to social security payments, it is best to provide all of your most recent annuity statements that you have received. Your loan officer will need to see both an explanation of these payments, including what they are for, how much you are paid monthly/annually, the date that the payments began and most importantly, why these payments are taxable. It is usually recommended that you provide only the amount of money being received every month in order to avoid any confusion with interest calculations.
16. Pension or Retirement Distributions
Any pension or retirement distributions can be used as proof of income on your loan application. If you plan on retiring soon but would like to borrow money in the interim, providing your expected monthly pension distribution can be used as proof of income. For self-employed people, you can provide estimated income tax returns to document your income. You can also provide a letter from your retirement company stating you are eligible for pension distributions, how much these distributions will be each month, the amount of savings you have accumulated, and when you are expected to receive this distribution.
17. Worker’s Compensation
Any worker’s compensation can be used as proof of income. If you are disabled due to an injury at work, the worker’s compensation policy may state how much you are able to make per week or month. This can be used as proof of income, but a recent doctor’s letter stating the amount you are able to make and that this is a disability payment from work would be required in addition to the worker’s compensation paperwork.
18. Benefactor Letter
You can also show proof of income if you received money from others by simply providing the recipient names and the amounts that were given to you. If none of these options work for you, it may be beneficial to start saving for an expense or project so that you can more clearly prove your income or even provide some monetary documentation.
19. Child Support Payments
If you receive support from a non-custodial parent, a copy of the child support order can be used as proof of income. In addition, if the
20. Court Ordered Awards
If you have just been awarded a settlement in a court proceeding based on your physical injuries (e.g., work injury or accident), documentation from the attorney can serve as proof of income. In addition, if you have a workers compensation settlement, a copy of the check from the company for the settlement can be used as proof of income.
21. Interest and Dividend Income
If you receive income from stocks or bonds, you can provide a statement of income from your broker indicating how much you have received in interest and/or dividend payments. If you receive income from interest bearing accounts (checking, savings, money market), any statements indicating the amount in your accounts at any given time can be used as proof of income.
22. Severance Statement
A recent statement from your employer indicating your remaining entitlement can be used as proof of income. If you are in the process of collecting severance after losing your job, an estimate of when you will receive the money can also be produced when providing proof of income.
23. Bonus and Commission Payments
A recent bonus or commission check can be used as proof of income. In addition, if you work on commission, provide any statements of income from your employer can be used as proof of income.
24. Unemployment Statement
If you were laid off, an unemployment statement might be the only proof of income you can provide. An Unemployment Statement can be used as proof of income because for the following reasons. First, it is income. Secondly, the funds are well documented, showing how much and when each payment will be sent. Lastly, it is verified by the Division of Employment Services.
25. Student Scholarship
The amount of your scholarship may be used as proof of income. A copy of the scholarship award letter can be used as proof of income if it contains information on the amount and payment schedules. In addition, if you recently received a check from the scholarship award letter, a copy of this document can be used as proof of income as well.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding proof of income:
Frequently Asked Questions about Proof of Income
Proof of income is simply documentation that shows how much income you made.
How to show proof of income?
You can show proof of income by providing your pay stubs, bank statements, a recent tax return, a letter from your employer on company letterhead that shows how much you were paid, or a combination of these. We have outlined 25 ways to show proof of income here.
If employers paid you in cash, it is possible to get bank statements showing deposits. The statement should show the exact amount you deposited into your bank account. Note that the bank statement does not have to show a direct deposit from your employer. In addition, a proof of income letter from your employer will also support your proof of income application.
How to show proof of income without pay stubs?
You can show proof of income without pay stubs by providing bank statements that show deposits from your employer, a letter from your employer on company letterhead that shows how much you were paid, or a combination of these. We have outlined 25 ways to show proof of income here.
How to show proof of income if unemployed?
If you are unemployed and you are collecting unemployment benefits, the unemployment benefits can be used as proof of income. It helps to have a letter that shows the reasons for your unemployment and indicates when you expect to work again.
How to get proof of income?
It depends on your income situation. If are currently employed, have your employer provide you with paystubs. If you are not employed, contact the department that is paying you benefits, or contact your bank for a bank statement that shows deposits into your account.
How to provide proof of income?
Any documentation that illustrates how much money you make and how often can be used as proof of income. For example, you can use paystubs, bank statements, tax returns or even proof of unemployment benefits.
How to get proof of income from unemployment?
You can request for an unemployment benefits statement. What you receive is a summary of your earnings and the dates that you earned unemployment benefits. It is important to note that the statement needs to include the amounts and payment schedule.
What counts as proof of income?
Any documentation that shows how much and when you are getting paid is proof of income. Having a pay stub is a good and consistency way for anyone to show proof of income.
How to write a proof of income letter?
For proof of income letters, you need to show your current income and pay schedule. Ideally, the letter should be on a company letterhead, and contain contact information of the employer.
How to get a loan without proof of income?
Your bank statement can be used as a proof of income, as long as it provides great repayment ability. You can show a statement that indicates you have a long history in a bank. In addition, you can show a brief summary of your income in a tax return in the period of the application.
How to buy a car without proof of income?
Your credit worthiness can be used as proof of income. Your credit is an indicator of how well you can repay a loan. If you have bad credit, try using any form of collateral as your proof of income.
How to get a car loan with no proof of income?
If you can show you have good history of repayment ability, the loan with no proof of income is possible. You have to have a good credit score and a long history of payments.
How to use unemployment as proof of income?
If you are unemployed, you can use your unemployment benefits as proof of income. A statement of unemployment benefits should contain the amount and pay schedule. Also, it is better to include a letter that explains the reason why you are unemployed, your expected date for return to work, and the amount of money you should expect to make at your next job.
What is considered proof of income?
A pay stub that includes the amount you made and the period you worked, is the most common proof of income. Other documents that can show proof of income include; W-2s, Bank Statements, Employment Verification Letters, and even unemployment benefits statements. If you are active in your community, the community leaders might be willing to vouch for you
How to buy a house without proof of income?
Since banks require proof of income to lend money, you will need to show proof of income before you can buy a house. If you cannot qualify for a mortgage on your own, you can look into using a co-signer.
We have provided you with many ways to show proof of income so that your chance of receiving future credit becomes more likely. While some methods are easier than others, the best method of showing proof of income using a combination.
If you are employed, your Pay Stubs, W-2s, and Bank Statements are a strong combination to get an application approved. If you are self-employed, using Tax Returns, Bank Statements maybe all that is needed to get an application approved.
No matter how you look at it, there are many ways to show proof of income. You will be glad you looked into ways to show proof of income before submitting an application because it could help your chances at getting the item, property, or residence that you want.
It can also help you to know if you will qualify for a loan or not. Thats why it’s important to keep documentation about your income.
If you need pay stubs, our Pay Stub Generator can help you make pay stubs to verify your income.