Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

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need403bhelp
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Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm

My wife and I are planning to buy a home in the next several (let's say 1-4) years, planning to put 20% down.

My FICO is quite good (850 per freecreditscore.com which is owned by Experian), but hers is around 712 (she is dinged for (i) credit history length as she only came to this country for graduate school & they don't seem to count AU cards when determining this, and (ii) one 30-day late payment ~4 years ago when she was attending a conference and forgot to pay a store card bill).

I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).

Is there any downside to doing this? Is this something that requires a special lender?

Thank you so much!

EDIT: for future readers of this thread, I found an article on this subject from mortgage professor:
https://www.mtgprofessor.com/A%20-%20Qu ... ingle.html
Last edited by need403bhelp on Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

runner540
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by runner540 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:05 pm

Can you qualify for the mortgage on your income alone?

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:07 pm

runner540 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:05 pm
Can you qualify for the mortgage on your income alone?
Yes.

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dm200
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by dm200 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:07 pm

runner540 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:05 pm
Can you qualify for the mortgage on your income alone?
Why?

I see zero benefit for you at all.

712 is a very good credit score.

It could, in my opinion, become an issue of marital "discord".

student
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by student » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:10 pm

The late payment from 4 years ago will be dropped off in three years in time for your purchase.

Carefreeap
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Carefreeap » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:23 pm

I think your scores are good enough to get the best rate especially if you are talking about a year or two. Credit length will increase bumping her score a bit. From what I've read recently the rates don't get better after 740. With your combined scores, extra income and 20% down you'll be fine.

It's possible that if the late pay is still showing when you finally buy it's possible the lender may ask for a letter of explanation. Not a big deal. Many, many borrowers have to write them.

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:26 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:07 pm
runner540 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:05 pm
Can you qualify for the mortgage on your income alone?
Why?

I see zero benefit for you at all.

712 is a very good credit score.

It could, in my opinion, become an issue of marital "discord".
I see. I thought that the best interest rates were not available at that FICO score, is that incorrect? (I thought the cutoff was in the mid to high 700s).

Also, if we both own the house (I thought that is what being on the deed means), I guess I'm not sure I understand the "discord" portion, unless she decides she doesn't want to contribute to the mortgage at all with any of her earnings?

Thanks so much!

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:27 pm

Carefreeap wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:23 pm
I think your scores are good enough to get the best rate especially if you are talking about a year or two. Credit length will increase bumping her score a bit. From what I've read recently the rates don't get better after 740. With your combined scores, extra income and 20% down you'll be fine.

It's possible that if the late pay is still showing when you finally buy it's possible the lender may ask for a letter of explanation. Not a big deal. Many, many borrowers have to write them.
I see, thanks so much for the clarification.

I was actually going to talk to her about maybe calling the company in question to see if they might stop "un-report" that late payment, as she was never late with them (or anyone else) again. But good to know that it likely wouldn't be a huge problem.

True about the credit length increasing with time, which makes sense.

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jfn111
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by jfn111 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:28 pm

Actually, one spouse buying the property isn't that uncommon. I've had to redo PA's, several times, when the lender calls and tells me to remove one party from the agreement. In MN it takes one signature to buy but two to sell (If married).

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:33 pm

jfn111 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:28 pm
Actually, one spouse buying the property isn't that uncommon. I've had to redo PA's, several times, when the lender calls and tells me to remove one party from the agreement. In MN it takes one signature to buy but two to sell (If married).
I see, thanks so much for the information. We live in a community property state (TX), so I'm guessing we would need both signatures to sell as well (although haven't looked it up).

NYGiantsFan
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by NYGiantsFan » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:47 pm

need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
My wife and I are planning to buy a home in the next several (let's say 1-4) years, planning to put 20% down.

My FICO is quite good (850 per freecreditscore.com which is owned by Experian), but hers is around 712 (she is dinged for (i) credit history length as she only came to this country for graduate school & they don't seem to count AU cards when determining this, and (ii) one 30-day late payment ~4 years ago when she was attending a conference and forgot to pay a store card bill).
Why don't you add your spouse as authorized user to your credit cards first? That will bump up her score very quickly due ratio of credit used v/s available credit will become better.

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:50 pm

NYGiantsFan wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:47 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
My wife and I are planning to buy a home in the next several (let's say 1-4) years, planning to put 20% down.

My FICO is quite good (850 per freecreditscore.com which is owned by Experian), but hers is around 712 (she is dinged for (i) credit history length as she only came to this country for graduate school & they don't seem to count AU cards when determining this, and (ii) one 30-day late payment ~4 years ago when she was attending a conference and forgot to pay a store card bill).
Why don't you add your spouse as authorized user to your credit cards first? That will bump up her score very quickly due ratio of credit used v/s available credit will become better.
Thanks. I already have some time ago.

This was before she started checking freecreditscore.com so not sure how much her FICO increased.

The increase in her FAKO scores from creditkarma at the time was meaningful in terminology (she went to a higher "category") but not a huge amount (30-50 points, I believe).

Thanks for the suggestion, though!

TheHouse7
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by TheHouse7 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:01 pm

You can easily qualify for a better rate without her. I did. She felt bad for not "contributing"???

Never regretted not getting the best loan possible. :mrgreen:
"PSX will always go up 20%, why invest in anything else?!" -Father-in-law early retired.

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:15 pm

TheHouse7 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:01 pm
You can easily qualify for a better rate without her. I did. She felt bad for not "contributing"???

Never regretted not getting the best loan possible. :mrgreen:
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your experience!

staythecourse
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by staythecourse » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:32 pm

Just a heads up the FICO score you are getting is likely NOT the same scores the mortgage lenders use. They use different scoring systems. I went through the process when we built a house a couple of years ago and the scoring system they use is different (usually lower scores then you would think).

So, first, I would get the credit scores they are likely to use by having a lender pull both your scores. It might make the rest of you query moot.

I did put the mortgage on my wife's name and both of us on the deed. The reason is we still owned the last property when we were applying for a mortgage. The last property mortgage was under my name solely. It made the DTI Idebt to income ratio) work out better.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

JGoneRiding
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by JGoneRiding » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:47 pm

need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:33 pm
jfn111 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:28 pm
Actually, one spouse buying the property isn't that uncommon. I've had to redo PA's, several times, when the lender calls and tells me to remove one party from the agreement. In MN it takes one signature to buy but two to sell (If married).
I see, thanks so much for the information. We live in a community property state (TX), so I'm guessing we would need both signatures to sell as well (although haven't looked it up).
That might affect things. I also live in a community property state and unless legally separated you couldn't do what you suggest here,
but I too think the lender averages the scores and hers wont matter.

Meg is in TX I am sure she can help

slowbutsteady
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by slowbutsteady » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:13 pm

If your wife is fine with it, I think it's fine to proceed. We did the same, but for a refinance. About 4 years ago, we refinanced to my name alone for best rates. My wife's name is on the deed - that part was very important to me (us).
The tortoise wins every time I read that story.

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Watty
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Watty » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:54 pm

I have not used one in years but you could look into using a mortgage broker to find a loan that works in your situation.

TropikThunder
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by TropikThunder » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 am

JGoneRiding wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:47 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:33 pm
jfn111 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:28 pm
Actually, one spouse buying the property isn't that uncommon. I've had to redo PA's, several times, when the lender calls and tells me to remove one party from the agreement. In MN it takes one signature to buy but two to sell (If married).
I see, thanks so much for the information. We live in a community property state (TX), so I'm guessing we would need both signatures to sell as well (although haven't looked it up).
That might affect things. I also live in a community property state and unless legally separated you couldn't do what you suggest here,
but I too think the lender averages the scores and hers wont matter.

Meg is in TX I am sure she can help
Being in a community property state has nothing to do with who has to be on the mortgage. It does however affect who has ownership rights (and selling rights). And lenders don’t average scores, they use the lower of the two spouses. Her score will most definitely matter.

OP, what you’re describing happens every day, and it’s quite common for home purchasing decisions to be made for precisely the reason you describe (i.e., one spouse’s credit is much better). If you can qualify by yourself, then I would have a lender run the numbers both ways, with and without your wife. You’ll likely find that, all else being equal, you’ll qualify for a rate ~.250% lower by yourself then together (because if her score is really <720 then she’s two tiers below the optimal of 740+).

That said, if your timeline is >3 years, her score will improve by aging the positive trade line she has while also aging the late pay until it finally falls off (negative entries remain for 7 years). That will at least get her to 720+ if not 740+.

bada bing
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by bada bing » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:40 am

Credit Karma - and other sites offering FAKO scores - can be very misleading with
respect to where you stand for a mortgage application. There are lots of places
to get a true FICO8 score, which is what your mortgage qualifies on.
Creditchecktotal.com will give a free 3-bureau introductory score, just be sure
to cancel before the subscription charges start unless you want to monitor your
credit (which isn't a bad idea for a year or two prior to mortgage application).

If your wife does not have an active installment loan (auto loan, mortgage or
personal loan), she will get a bump in scores for opening one. The easiest way
to maintain an open installment loan for FICO scoring purposes is to join a
credit union and open a "Shared Secured" loan. That is basically where you fund
your own loan with the balance in a savings account. One trick is to pay almost
the whole loan balance off immediately after opening it and then let a very small
balance go until maturity. A 3 year shared secured loan is a good term length. You
can have multiple shared secured loans open and stagger them so you always have
one active and "seasoned". If you have an active installment loan of some other type
there isn't much benefit in opening a shared secured loan though.

You can do a lot to improve FICO scores in a couple years and your wife is doing
pretty well already. A google search will get you started with credit score boosting
techniques and your wife is so close that it a slam dunk. A FICO score of 760 is the
absolute highest that makes any difference for any loan and most top out at 740 or
even 720. Anything above 760 is just buffer not making any difference in terms or
qualifying.

Bungo
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Bungo » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 am

need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).

Is there any downside to doing this? Is this something that requires a special lender?
I can only offer one data point, but my wife and I did exactly this in California, with no problems and no special lender required (just an ordinary credit union). The mortgage is in my name, the house is in both our names. She was not yet a citizen at the time of purchase, but she did have a green card. Our reason for going this route was that she had not yet established any US credit history. Dunno if there is any downside; probably not unless there's a divorce, and if that happens, the male will probably get the short end of the stick no matter what the housing arrangement is. So, avoid divorce. :D

Natsdoc
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Natsdoc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:26 am

When we bought I was in grad school and working part time. (About 20% of my usual salary) We applied for the mortgage jointly, and were preapproved. However, when it came time for underwriting they used only my husbands income/assets etc. Both of our names are on the mortgage and on the deed.

overthought
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by overthought » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:31 am

I just wanted to chime in on the importance of getting both of you on the deed. When we lived in Canada, the lender wouldn't let my (homemaker) spouse on the mortgage and our agent incorrectly informed us that this meant my wife couldn't be on the deed. Once we learned she could (and should) be on the deed, it was too late: re-titling the house to include her would have triggered a property transfer tax (~$15k) whether done immediately or at my death during probate. We decided $15k was too high an insurance premium and left it unchanged. Fortunately I'm still alive and we moved for work after just a few years, so the lapse in estate planning didn't matter.

Carefreeap
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:29 am

Bungo wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 am
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).

Is there any downside to doing this? Is this something that requires a special lender?
I can only offer one data point, but my wife and I did exactly this in California, with no problems and no special lender required (just an ordinary credit union). The mortgage is in my name, the house is in both our names. She was not yet a citizen at the time of purchase, but she did have a green card. Our reason for going this route was that she had not yet established any US credit history. Dunno if there is any downside; probably not unless there's a divorce, and if that happens, the male will probably get the short end of the stick no matter what the housing arrangement is. So, avoid divorce. :D
Wow.

Statistically, you will find that women typically do worse financially then men after a divorce.
Last edited by Carefreeap on Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

Carefreeap
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:31 am

overthought wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:31 am
I just wanted to chime in on the importance of getting both of you on the deed. When we lived in Canada, the lender wouldn't let my (homemaker) spouse on the mortgage and our agent incorrectly informed us that this meant my wife couldn't be on the deed. Once we learned she could (and should) be on the deed, it was too late: re-titling the house to include her would have triggered a property transfer tax (~$15k) whether done immediately or at my death during probate. We decided $15k was too high an insurance premium and left it unchanged. Fortunately I'm still alive and we moved for work after just a few years, so the lapse in estate planning didn't matter.
Interesting. I can't speak for all states but in CA adding a spouse is an exempt transfer from reassessment.

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:05 pm

bada bing wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:40 am
Credit Karma - and other sites offering FAKO scores - can be very misleading with
respect to where you stand for a mortgage application. There are lots of places
to get a true FICO8 score, which is what your mortgage qualifies on.
Creditchecktotal.com will give a free 3-bureau introductory score, just be sure
to cancel before the subscription charges start unless you want to monitor your
credit (which isn't a bad idea for a year or two prior to mortgage application).

If your wife does not have an active installment loan (auto loan, mortgage or
personal loan), she will get a bump in scores for opening one. The easiest way
to maintain an open installment loan for FICO scoring purposes is to join a
credit union and open a "Shared Secured" loan. That is basically where you fund
your own loan with the balance in a savings account. One trick is to pay almost
the whole loan balance off immediately after opening it and then let a very small
balance go until maturity. A 3 year shared secured loan is a good term length. You
can have multiple shared secured loans open and stagger them so you always have
one active and "seasoned". If you have an active installment loan of some other type
there isn't much benefit in opening a shared secured loan though.

You can do a lot to improve FICO scores in a couple years and your wife is doing
pretty well already. A google search will get you started with credit score boosting
techniques and your wife is so close that it a slam dunk. A FICO score of 760 is the
absolute highest that makes any difference for any loan and most top out at 740 or
even 720. Anything above 760 is just buffer not making any difference in terms or
qualifying.
Thanks for the helpful information.

To be clear, I am talking about REAL FICO8 scores from freecreditscore.com (owned by Experian, they provide a true FICO8 and Experian credit report updated monthly for free). Also, I realize this is different than the mortgage-specific FICO score, which is not provided for free, and can be lower.

Looking carefully, the "What impacts your Experian FICO score" on that site, I see:
- Payment History (35%): mine is exceptional, DW's is very good (1 late payment)
- Amount of Debt (30%): mine is exceptional, DW's is very good (I notice here that it lists accounts with balances as "-" and her revolving utilization as 0% and $0, presumably because since being added to my credit card as AUs which have better rewards, she isn't using hers at all; would her credit score go up significantly if we made nominal charges to her personal, non-AU credit cards?)
- Credit History Length (15%): mine is exceptional, DW's is good
- Amount of New Credit (10%): we both have exceptional
- Credit Mix (10%): mine is exceptional, hers is very good - of note, we BOTH have "Yes" for all 3 of revolving accounts, bank-issued credit card accounts, and installment loans - would adding a secured shared loan really help her credit score in light of this?

Thank you so much!

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:08 pm

Thank you all for your help comments!

It sounds like:
(a) doing a mortgage in one spouse's name only is not unusual at all (as long as my spouse is ok with it) and
(b) we should definitely have both our names on the deed

Thank you again!

bsteiner
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Location: NYC/NJ/FL

Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by bsteiner » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:09 pm

need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
My wife and I are planning to buy a home in the next several (let's say 1-4) years, planning to put 20% down.
...
I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).
...
The lender should be willing to make the loan to you alone (in other words, your name alone would be on the note). However, if her name is on the deed (in other words, if she's a co-owner, whether as tenants in common, joint tenants, or tenants by the entirety), she'll have to sign the mortgage. In some states where spouses have dower or homestead rights, she may have to sign the mortgage even if she's not an owner.

need403bhelp
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:09 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
My wife and I are planning to buy a home in the next several (let's say 1-4) years, planning to put 20% down.
...
I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).
...
The lender should be willing to make the loan to you alone (in other words, your name alone would be on the note). However, if her name is on the deed (in other words, if she's a co-owner, whether as tenants in common, joint tenants, or tenants by the entirety), she'll have to sign the mortgage. In some states where spouses have dower or homestead rights, she may have to sign the mortgage even if she's not an owner.
I see. If the loan is to me alone but she signs the mortgage, does her credit score come into account in terms of the loan?

We are in TX (community property state). Thanks!

chevca
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by chevca » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:25 pm

Are you eligible for the VA loan? DW and I just went through a similar deal with different but not bad credit scores, and the VA loan is not as strict as conventional for best rates and credit scores. That may be an option.

Also, your wife had a good score now and it should improve over the next few years. Even if it didn't make for best rates possible to put you both on there, it's likely not going to make a big difference. Would a .125% or whatever higher rate break the bank? Probably not, or pay points, or... If you really want to both be on the mortgage, it's more than workable to do so.

need403bhelp
Posts: 432
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:30 pm

chevca wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:25 pm
Are you eligible for the VA loan? DW and I just went through a similar deal with different but not bad credit scores, and the VA loan is not as strict as conventional for best rates and credit scores. That may be an option.

Also, your wife had a good score now and it should improve over the next few years. Even if it didn't make for best rates possible to put you both on there, it's likely not going to make a big difference. Would a .125% or whatever higher rate break the bank? Probably not, or pay points, or... If you really want to both be on the mortgage, it's more than workable to do so.
Thanks for your advice! No military affiliation, so doubt would be eligible. Yes, I realize the rate would not be a huge difference, but still would prefer not to pay more than necessary...

Thanks again though for putting things in perspective!

bsteiner
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by bsteiner » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:57 pm

need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 pm
bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:09 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
My wife and I are planning to buy a home in the next several (let's say 1-4) years, planning to put 20% down.
...
I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).
...
The lender should be willing to make the loan to you alone (in other words, your name alone would be on the note). However, if her name is on the deed (in other words, if she's a co-owner, whether as tenants in common, joint tenants, or tenants by the entirety), she'll have to sign the mortgage. In some states where spouses have dower or homestead rights, she may have to sign the mortgage even if she's not an owner.
I see. If the loan is to me alone but she signs the mortgage, does her credit score come into account in terms of the loan?

We are in TX (community property state). Thanks!
No, her credit wouldn't be involved. But if she has or might have an interest in the property, she'll have to sign the mortgage. Otherwise, if the lender forecloses on your interest in the property, that wouldn't affect her interest in the property.

need403bhelp
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:02 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:57 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 pm
bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:09 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
My wife and I are planning to buy a home in the next several (let's say 1-4) years, planning to put 20% down.
...
I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).
...
The lender should be willing to make the loan to you alone (in other words, your name alone would be on the note). However, if her name is on the deed (in other words, if she's a co-owner, whether as tenants in common, joint tenants, or tenants by the entirety), she'll have to sign the mortgage. In some states where spouses have dower or homestead rights, she may have to sign the mortgage even if she's not an owner.
I see. If the loan is to me alone but she signs the mortgage, does her credit score come into account in terms of the loan?

We are in TX (community property state). Thanks!
No, her credit wouldn't be involved. But if she has or might have an interest in the property, she'll have to sign the mortgage. Otherwise, if the lender forecloses on your interest in the property, that wouldn't affect her interest in the property.
Perfect! Thanks so much for the clarification/details.

Carefreeap
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:05 pm

need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:02 pm
bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:57 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 pm
bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:09 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
My wife and I are planning to buy a home in the next several (let's say 1-4) years, planning to put 20% down.
...
I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).
...
The lender should be willing to make the loan to you alone (in other words, your name alone would be on the note). However, if her name is on the deed (in other words, if she's a co-owner, whether as tenants in common, joint tenants, or tenants by the entirety), she'll have to sign the mortgage. In some states where spouses have dower or homestead rights, she may have to sign the mortgage even if she's not an owner.
I see. If the loan is to me alone but she signs the mortgage, does her credit score come into account in terms of the loan?

We are in TX (community property state). Thanks!
No, her credit wouldn't be involved. But if she has or might have an interest in the property, she'll have to sign the mortgage. Otherwise, if the lender forecloses on your interest in the property, that wouldn't affect her interest in the property.
Perfect! Thanks so much for the clarification/details.
t
Typically in a community property state a spouse would have to sign a Quitclaim Deed to "disclaim" any interest in a real property transaction. After closing you could execute another Quitclaim Deed to put her on the Deed. Under the Garn St. Germain Act a lender is prohibited from calling the loan if you transfer interest in the property to your spouse.

But if I were your spouse I would be leery about going this route. If something happened to you between the time you closed escrow and executed the second quitclaim, things could get complicated and more expensive for your wife.

I know you don't want to spend any more money than you have to but I think you are over thinking the situation and making things more complicated than necessary. I also think you may inadvertently wind up hurting or discounting your wife's feelings and contributions to the purchase.

You can revisit the situation when you are closer to buying a place. Just be mindful that while money is important, it shouldn't be the only thing driving the purchase transaction.

sciliz
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by sciliz » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:22 pm

Carefreeap wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:29 am
Bungo wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 am
need403bhelp wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm
I just learned on this forum that one can get a home mortgage for a primary residence without one's spouse. Additionally, both names could be on the deed (this is essential as my wife is not yet a US citizen, and I understand that gift taxes would come into play for amounts larger than ~140-150k for non-US citizen spouse).

Is there any downside to doing this? Is this something that requires a special lender?
I can only offer one data point, but my wife and I did exactly this in California, with no problems and no special lender required (just an ordinary credit union). The mortgage is in my name, the house is in both our names. She was not yet a citizen at the time of purchase, but she did have a green card. Our reason for going this route was that she had not yet established any US credit history. Dunno if there is any downside; probably not unless there's a divorce, and if that happens, the male will probably get the short end of the stick no matter what the housing arrangement is. So, avoid divorce. :D
Wow.

Statistically, you will find that women typically do worse financially then men after a divorce.
This was my thought too. :wink:
I can say that from an optimal financial perspective, "avoid divorce" is sound advice. Based on a friend's experience, I would also suggest "avoid being a woman in Texas" (which is where the original poster is from). In CA or elsewhere, YMMV.

need403bhelp
Posts: 432
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:06 pm

Carefreeap wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:05 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:02 pm
bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:57 pm
need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 pm
bsteiner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:09 pm


The lender should be willing to make the loan to you alone (in other words, your name alone would be on the note). However, if her name is on the deed (in other words, if she's a co-owner, whether as tenants in common, joint tenants, or tenants by the entirety), she'll have to sign the mortgage. In some states where spouses have dower or homestead rights, she may have to sign the mortgage even if she's not an owner.
I see. If the loan is to me alone but she signs the mortgage, does her credit score come into account in terms of the loan?

We are in TX (community property state). Thanks!
No, her credit wouldn't be involved. But if she has or might have an interest in the property, she'll have to sign the mortgage. Otherwise, if the lender forecloses on your interest in the property, that wouldn't affect her interest in the property.
Perfect! Thanks so much for the clarification/details.
t
Typically in a community property state a spouse would have to sign a Quitclaim Deed to "disclaim" any interest in a real property transaction. After closing you could execute another Quitclaim Deed to put her on the Deed. Under the Garn St. Germain Act a lender is prohibited from calling the loan if you transfer interest in the property to your spouse.

But if I were your spouse I would be leery about going this route. If something happened to you between the time you closed escrow and executed the second quitclaim, things could get complicated and more expensive for your wife.

I know you don't want to spend any more money than you have to but I think you are over thinking the situation and making things more complicated than necessary. I also think you may inadvertently wind up hurting or discounting your wife's feelings and contributions to the purchase.

You can revisit the situation when you are closer to buying a place. Just be mindful that while money is important, it shouldn't be the only thing driving the purchase transaction.
Thank you. If this is indeed the case, I would be weary of going this route due to gift tax implications - as I am limited to ~140-150k per year in gifts to a non-citizen spouse, I would imagine adding her to a deed afterwards would imply a large gift for which I would owe tax, no?

My specific interest is :
(1) have a mortgage based ONLY on my credit score AND
(2) have both my and my wife's names on the deed from the get go

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I'll definitely revisit again closer to home purchase also.

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dm200
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:14 pm

Even though married four decades (same wife), I am no marital relationhip "expert". Just my opinion of how this might be perceived by the wife. She might "hear" or "perceive":

You see, dear, that I have this really high credit score - but yours (in the low 700's) is so inferior to mine because you screwed up on some accounts, I will just get the mortgage in my name only - so your record does not stain my near perfect credit.

Be prepared to sleep on the couch - or worse.

need403bhelp
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:43 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:14 pm
Even though married four decades (same wife), I am no marital relationhip "expert". Just my opinion of how this might be perceived by the wife. She might "hear" or "perceive":

You see, dear, that I have this really high credit score - but yours (in the low 700's) is so inferior to mine because you screwed up on some accounts, I will just get the mortgage in my name only - so your record does not stain my near perfect credit.

Be prepared to sleep on the couch - or worse.
I see. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective.

To be fair, I'm still personally not sure how much of it is (or could possibly be?) the one 30 day late payment on one of her accounts - ever.

It seems like that is a pretty steep decrease for one mistake 4 years ago (the only mistake ever).

I am assuming the overall shorter duration of credit history due to her only coming to the US for graduate school is affecting the credit as well (especially as that is the only factor that is listed as "good" instead of "very good," although it does count for a smaller percentage of her FICO than the "on-time-payments" factor).

In any case, thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I will definitely make sure she is fully on board before we take any steps where she is not on the mortgage. Thank you again!

PFInterest
Posts: 393
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by PFInterest » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:46 pm

"True about the credit length increasing with time, which makes sense."

Just had to chuckle at that one. 🤣

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dm200
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:47 pm

PFInterest wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:46 pm
"True about the credit length increasing with time, which makes sense."
Just had to chuckle at that one. 🤣
:happy :oops:

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:54 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:14 pm
Even though married four decades (same wife), I am no marital relationhip "expert". Just my opinion of how this might be perceived by the wife. She might "hear" or "perceive":

You see, dear, that I have this really high credit score - but yours (in the low 700's) is so inferior to mine because you screwed up on some accounts, I will just get the mortgage in my name only - so your record does not stain my near perfect credit.

Be prepared to sleep on the couch - or worse.
As that would inaccurate, I can't imagine why it would be said. The spouse's credit would not have any affect on the OP's credit score, just the rate that they pay on a joint mortgage. The proper phrasing would be, "We might be able get a better interest rate with just my score, let's check and see."
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

mrsytf
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by mrsytf » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:55 pm

Didn’t read through the whole thread but my husband and I did this. I was starting a new job but was negotiating the contract. Rather than deal with justifying my income without a contract or pay stub we applied for the mortgage on the basis of my husband’s income. Both names are on the deed. Only downside I guess would be if we got divorced. If I keep the house, he would be on the hook for the payment or else I would have to buy him out or refinance.
Some states do not allow this. My dad bought a vacation home in FL. My mother was not excited about the idea. She hates the heat. So my dad proceeded on his own but was told just before closing that if you are married both spouses had to sign off on the mortgage. So he had to drag my disgruntled mother down to Florida with him unexpectedly to sign papers.

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dm200
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:57 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:54 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:14 pm
Even though married four decades (same wife), I am no marital relationhip "expert". Just my opinion of how this might be perceived by the wife. She might "hear" or "perceive":
You see, dear, that I have this really high credit score - but yours (in the low 700's) is so inferior to mine because you screwed up on some accounts, I will just get the mortgage in my name only - so your record does not stain my near perfect credit.
Be prepared to sleep on the couch - or worse.
As that would inaccurate, I can't imagine why it would be said. The spouse's credit would not have any affect on the OP's credit score, just the rate that they pay on a joint mortgage. The proper phrasing would be, "We might be able get a better interest rate with just my score, let's check and see."
It is my experience, in dealing with a spouse, it is often less important what you actually say than what she "hears" or "interprets" what you say (or mean). Others may have different experiences or interpretations.

Carefreeap
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Re: Getting a home mortgage without spouse?

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:50 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:57 pm
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:54 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:14 pm
Even though married four decades (same wife), I am no marital relationhip "expert". Just my opinion of how this might be perceived by the wife. She might "hear" or "perceive":
You see, dear, that I have this really high credit score - but yours (in the low 700's) is so inferior to mine because you screwed up on some accounts, I will just get the mortgage in my name only - so your record does not stain my near perfect credit.
Be prepared to sleep on the couch - or worse.
As that would inaccurate, I can't imagine why it would be said. The spouse's credit would not have any affect on the OP's credit score, just the rate that they pay on a joint mortgage. The proper phrasing would be, "We might be able get a better interest rate with just my score, let's check and see."
It is my experience, in dealing with a spouse, it is often less important what you actually say than what she "hears" or "interprets" what you say (or mean). Others may have different experiences or interpretations.
Approaching 30 years of marriage and I agree with you.
Tone is also very important.
We all bring baggage to a relationship. Being mindful and sensitive to other peoples feelings is one important way to maintain relationships.

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