How to scan the perfect document

Mortgage lenders require a copy of your documents in order to assess your application and we also need them to carry out electronic identification, address and background checks before we proceed with your application. We require all documents to be sent to us in PDF format and full colour. Most scanning problems can be overcome by following our guide below.


ID photos by smartphone or tablet camera

Now that smartphones and tablets come with even more powerful cameras, scanning your documents couldn’t be simpler. Many apps such as Scanbot allow you to take a picture with your iOS or Android device and then save these files as a PDF.


1. To take the perfect scan photo, make sure that your camera lens is clean and place your ID or document in the middle of a blank A4 piece of paper.


2. Make sure that all edges of your ID or document are within the A4 page. If the document is too big for the A4 page, use a separate clear and plain white background. 

3. Take a picture of the entire A4  page. Do not zoom in on the ID or document. For ID’s: The borders of the photo should end where the A4 piece of paper ends. For documents: The entire document must be visible (including blank edges) and there must be a white border around the document photo as per the image above.


Lenders will reject your documentation if:

1. Any edges are missing, regardless if they are blank or not. 

2. The image quality is poor and/or text is not readable.

3. Fingers or thumbs are shown in the picture, or other objects are in the background.

4. There are shadows on the photos or extreme light reflections.


ID scans by computer scanner

Now fast becoming the old fashion way!

The most common mistake we see is ‘auto cropping’. Most modern scanners include an automatic cropping function that might ‘auto select’ parts of a document, such as pictures or text.


1. Make sure that you scan the document as a whole A4 page.

2. Turn off auto select, or make sure that when the preview scan has loaded, that your scanner is selecting the entire A4 page area and not zooming in or selecting just an outline of your document.

3. Ensure that you select a scan resolution of at least 150 DPI (dots per inch) and scan in full colour, not black and white. Combine all pages into one single PDF document.


Scan settings for multiple documents

The above image shows the best scan settings for your documents on a Mac computer. 



Please make sure that you do not alter or edit your scans in any way.

We have special software that can detect alterations and so do the lenders. If we find that your documents have been altered or changed in any way from the original, we will not proceed with your mortgage application.

We require all documents to be sent to us in PDF format.

We cannot accept documents sent as a word document, rich text file, spreadsheet or other editable files.


How to send us your documents

You can upload your documents via our chat window. In the online chat window you will see a ? icon. Or email them directly to your Glow mortgage broker. 

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First Published: 18 July 2017 @ 10:48