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Which is Better: Getting a Mortgage As a Couple vs. As a Single Applicant?

02-17-2014About MortgagesEddie Knoell

Getting a mortgage can be a very trying time for you and your spouse, or even just you if you’re going at it alone. Choosing to co-sign a mortgage can be a very tough decision to make; even a simple Google search will show many mixed opinions on the topic. It’s crucial that you weigh the pros and cons before you make any decision and put your signature on the line.

Whether you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage as a single applicant or as a couple, it’s crucial that you take the time to understand all of your options and do any background research. For instance: taking the time to look at your credit score.

The following are the pros and cons of getting a mortgage as a single applicant versus as a couple, as well as a recommendation to increase your chances of getting the best mortgage rate possible.

What are the pros and cons to getting a mortgage as a single applicant?

As a single applicant the only person you’ll have to worry about is you. This can be beneficial if you know you have a good credit history, this means you essentially know what you’re getting and there won’t be any surprises.

However, if you don’t have good credit it can be harder to get a fair rate from your mortgage lender. If this is the case it makes sense to spend some time improving your credit, before you go through the process of applying for a mortgage.

Also, as a single applicant there’s a good chance your income won’t be as high as a couple. If this is the case, you may have a smaller down payment, but a longer loan repayment or higher interest rate.

Overall, if you make a good income and have good credit then applying for a mortgage should be a straightforward.

What are the pros and cons to getting a mortgage as a couple?

When buying a home as a couple, if your spouse has bad credit history, it can have a negative impact on your financial future. When you apply for a mortgage each of your credit histories holds equal value, so you could end up paying higher interest rates. It’s as if both of your credit histories are blended together.

If you are interested in getting a mortgage as a couple it can be beneficial to take the time beforehand to raise your credit score. That means obtaining a report from a few major credit bureaus, scanning over each report and taking the necessary steps to raise your credit. Then, once you’ve repaired your credit you can get a mortgage with a lower interest rate. It takes an investment of time, but the lowered interest rate from the mortgage lender will be worth it.

Overall, the mortgage process as a couple is the same as a single applicant as your incomes and credit histories are combined. However, if this isn’t taken into account properly on your end before you begin the process of applying for a mortgage you can run into trouble right away.

Obviously, there is no yes or no answer and it depends on your unique set of circumstances more than anything else. Getting a mortgage doesn’t have to be a scary process, just make sure you do your research beforehand. In this case, taking the extra time to make sure you or both of you are clear with your decision is imperative.

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