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Can I Apply For a Mortgage Without My Spouse?

April 26, 2022

husband applying for a mortgage without the wife

We often get asked: “Can I apply for a mortgage without my spouse?” The short answer is yes. Sometimes a married home buyer may want only to have their name on the mortgage. Applying for a mortgage without a spouse is perfectly acceptable and could be a better option for some buyers. Let’s answer some FAQs.

Can My Husband Apply for a Mortgage Without Me?

Yes, he can. And, there can be several reasons it might be a good idea. For example if you don’t have good credit, or you’re not working.

Does My Husband Have to Be on the Mortgage?

No, he doesn’t.

There are generally two reasons why a couple would want only one of their names on the mortgage.

  1. One Spouse Has a Low Credit Score – Lenders don’t just use the highest credit score or the average of the two. They will look at the lower score. And if one of you has a bad score, you may want to apply without both names. If you need that spouse’s income to qualify, this can be a tough decision.
  2. One Spouse’s Income Is Insufficient for the Requirements – the documentation requirements are usually two years of W-2s, two years of tax returns, and two months of bank statements.

Overall, the type of loan you are looking for will determine what is needed. If one spouse does not have these (they have been self-employed but only for a year), it may be wise to leave them off the application.

What Happens If There Is Only One Applicant For The Mortgage?

Having only one name on the mortgage usually will mean that you will qualify for a smaller loan amount because the unnamed spouse’s income will not count. Although USDA and some other loans are the exceptions. And they will consider the household income, not just the applicant.

Even if just one of you is applying for the mortgage, the lender will usually look at joint bank accounts as the applicant’s property, so this is of benefit. However, some states have community property laws, so your spouse will still be evaluated if you live in a community property state. And if the unincluded spouse has a high debt to income ratio, this will still negatively affect your approval chances.

Can a Spouse’s Name Be on the Title but Not on the Mortgage?

Yes, the names on the title will not affect the mortgage nor change who is responsible for the mortgage payment. Whoever’s name is on the mortgage is the responsible party for the loan. The unnamed spouse has no legal or financial responsibility to the lender.

What If I Want To Change The Name On The Title Or The Mortgage?

Wife applying for loan without the husband

If there is only one person’s name on the title and you wish to add the spouse’s name to it, you can easily do so with a quitclaim deed. If you have a mortgage with only one name and want to add the unnamed spouse, you must go through the refinance process. And a new mortgage with both applicants named will have to be approved.

Don’t be shy in asking, “Can I apply for a mortgage without my spouse?” You’re not the only borrower who wants to know. Deciding who should apply for a mortgage can be complicated in some situations, but we’re willing to go over the pros and cons so you can decide. And hopefully, the information in this article has made it easier to choose.

Homestead Financial Mortgage’s low-interest home loans are some of the best in the states we serve. We’re licensed in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Contact us today to learn more about the home loan products we offer that are right for you.

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