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Can I Apply for a Home Loan Without My Spouse?

Updated: Jan 29

Securing a mortgage is often a part of buying a home. During this process, you will have to decide whether to include your spouse on the application for a loan. In some situations, going solo might be more beneficial than filing a joint application.


Can I Apply for a Home Loan Without My Spouse?

Can I Apply for a Home Loan Without My Spouse?


Yes, you can apply for a home loan without your spouse.  Whether that's a good idea depends on several factors, which we will cover in this post.


When to Include Your Spouse


Combined Income is a Strength


Including your spouse on the loan application can enhance your combined income, making qualifying for a larger loan amount easier. This is particularly advantageous if one partner has a higher income or a more stable financial history.


Clear Credit Score Benefits


If your spouse has a higher credit score than you, including them on the loan could lead to a better interest rate. A higher credit score generally results in more favorable loan terms, potentially saving you money over the life of the mortgage.


 


 

Which credit score is used for a joint mortgage?


In the case of a joint mortgage, both your credit scores will be considered. The lender will review your credit scores from all three of the major credit bureaus and look for the "lower middle" out of them all. 


When your three credit scores are 745, 720, and 710, and your partner's scores are 705, 685, and 680, lenders will take your two middle scores - 720 and 685 - and use the lower of the two - in this case, 688. 


As you can see, if you are trying to obtain a joint mortgage, getting the best mortgage rate requires you and your partner to have good to excellent credit scores. 


Utilizing Spousal Income for Debt-to-Income Ratio


Lenders often consider the debt-to-income ratio when approving a mortgage. Including your spouse's income can help lower this ratio, making it more likely for you to qualify for the loan.


 


 

When Not to Include Your Spouse


Credit Issues


If your spouse has a lower credit score or a history of financial troubles, it will drive down the "lower middle" credit score of a joint mortgage application. 


Reducing Debt-to-Income Ratio


Consider leaving your spouse off the loan application if your spouse carries significant debt but earns minimal income, damaging the debt-to-income ratio of a joint application. 


The Decision Can Be Tough


Deciding whether to include your spouse on a home loan is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. Each couple's financial situation is unique, and weighing the pros and cons based on individual circumstances is crucial. Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage professional can provide personalized guidance to ensure your decision aligns with your financial goals and aspirations.


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