When you are ready to buy a home, applying for a mortgage is one of the first and most important steps. For married couples, this usually involves applying for a mortgage loan jointly. This means that the loan will be in both of your names and you will be co-owners of the house. While it may seem like the obvious thing to do, there are a few situations when applying with only one name might be wise. Here are a few tips on joint mortgage applications.
Is Your Credit Looking Good?
If one of you has a poor credit rating, it could strongly affect your chances of qualifying for the loan and will definitely raise the interest rate even if you do qualify. If the person with poor credit does not make a large sum of money and their income is not required to qualify for the loan, it might make more sense not to apply jointly.
Employment Doesn't Matter
If one of the partners is unemployed, a stay at home mom or dad or homemaker, or for any other reason, they won't have much impact on the amount of money you can qualify for. That doesn't mean you shouldn't apply jointly. First of all, marriage is a partnership, and having the home in both names gives a feeling of equality even if one person makes the income. Secondly, the person with no income might still have a very good credit rating, making it easier to get the best interest rate!
A Financial Commitment
When you apply for a home loan together, you are connecting yourselves financially in a major way. Joint mortgage loans aren't just for spouses; many life partners also purchase a home together. Just be certain that you are committed to the relationship before you sign mortgage papers. It can make things very complicated later if you don't.
A joint mortgage is usually a good choice for any couple, because you can combine your income to get approved for a larger mortgage or a better rate. Just bear in mind that there are situations when you are better off keeping the loan in one name only, mainly for financial reasons.