Being married means sharing your life together. Still, there may be some circumstances in which one person may want to apply for a home loan without their spouse. Perhaps you and your spouse have chosen to keep your finances separate. Or maybe you’d like to leave the home to children you had from a previous marriage after you pass away. But is it possible to obtain a home loan without your spouse, even though you’re married? Here’s what you need to know.
Leaving Your Spouse Off the Title vs. the Mortgage
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between leaving your spouse off the title of your home vs. the mortgage. The title is a document that states who has ownership of the property. The mortgage is the loan. Whoever is on the mortgage is financially responsible for making the payments on the loan.
If you live in a common law state, it’s possible to leave your spouse off the title. But if you live in a community property state (there are nine of them), then all assets you gain during marriage are considered to be both yours and your spouse’s property. You cannot leave your spouse off the title if you live in one of these nine states.
Can I Leave My Spouse Off the Mortgage?
When you’re married, whether you live in a community property state or a common law state can also affect your home loan application. Depending on where you live and the type of loan you apply for, your lender may have to factor in your spouse’s finances.
In a community property state, it is possible to leave your spouse off the mortgage. However, if you’re trying to obtain an FHA or VA loan, your lender may have to consider your spouse’s debts when you apply. This may impact your eligibility.
If you live in a common law state, it’s less complicated. Your lender cannot factor in your spouse’s finances if they’re not on the mortgage application.
Reasons You May Want to Leave Your Spouse Off the Mortgage
There are various reasons why you may want to leave your spouse off the mortgage such as:
- Sole ownership: You live in a common law state and want sole ownership of the property. In that case, you would not put your spouse on the title. Therefore, it makes sense to leave them off the mortgage.
- Low credit score: Perhaps your spouse has a lower credit score. If you leave them off the home loan application, you may get a better rate.
- Other financial circumstances: There are other financial circumstances that may prompt you to leave your spouse off the mortgage application. Perhaps they’ve recently changed jobs and haven’t had a stable source of income for the past two years. If they have debt, but unverifiable income, it could negatively impact your debt-to-income ratio. In this case, your lender will be able to advise you on the best option and you and your spouse can make a decision about how to move forward.
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