Marriage or mortgage, agreeing to a long-term commitment isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. A real connection, and the confidence it will last, is critical to the success of either.
However, shopping for a mortgage as a married couple can bring some added considerations to the table.
For Richer, For Poorer
Marital status itself won’t actually impact your ability to get a mortgage. But, you and your spouse will have to decide the wisest approach: applying jointly, or staking the funding on just one applicant.
A joint application will likely increase your borrowing power since it allows lenders to look at your combined income. While this might be a critical advantage in purchasing the home you’re hoping for, it could come at a cost. A disparity between the credit histories of you and your partner may negatively impact the terms of your loan, or even disqualify both of you.
Finding “The One”
If one of you has a significantly better credit score, and enough income to support the loan amount needed, it might make sense to go it alone. In a joint application the lender will base their decision on the worse of the two credit histories, so a gap between scores will drag the better-qualified borrower down. While you might get a larger loan as a couple, a single applicant could get a lower interest rate and save you both a lot of money.
Even if just one spouse applies for the loan, both partners can be included on the home’s title, so there’s no need to feel left out—you will still own the home together.
Keeping your Options Open
Married couples aren’t the only ones with options when it comes to mortgage applications. Unmarried partners can also apply jointly, and will face the same choices. But keep in mind; if the relationship doesn’t work out, your legal obligations may differ from a married couple, depending on your state’s laws.
And if you haven’t yet found the love of your life, but are ready to commit to home, consider using a co-signer. A close friend or relative can give your application a boost, especially if your credit history still needs a little TLC or isn’t robust enough.
For help finding the mortgage of your dreams, contact me at Open Mortgage today.