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Registered: ‎11-14-2008
Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?
[ Edited ]

I am married and have good credit; however, my husband has very poor credit and due to circumstances beyond his control he will be unable to improve his score until 2012. We are currently renting and want to buy. I would be considered a First Time Home Buyer. My scores: 701, 688, 698 (these are low due to credit problems over 4 years ago). My net income: $120K+. I am self-employed and have an S-Corp. I have one 3 year car loan at $800/month which will be paid off in November and two credit cards that I pay off monthly with limits: $13K and $11K. I plan on putting 20% down and want to spend around $200K for a home (in VA)

 

My questions:

 

1) Can I get a mortgage, under my name only, without the bank (or FHA) considering or using my husband's credit scores and history? In other words, can I buy a house on my own?

 

2) Will a bank (or FHA) give me a loan for the purchase of land (purchase price of land about $100K with 20% down) if I plan on building within a year?

 

Thank you.

Message Edited by HappyMainiac on 02-17-2009 07:54 AM
Established Contributor
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Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?
Yes. If you can qualify for the mortgage on your own you do not need to put your spouse on the mortgage.
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Registered: ‎03-06-2007
Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?

HappyMainiac wrote:

I am married and have good credit; however, my husband has very poor credit and due to circumstances beyond his control he will be unable to improve his score until 2012. We are currently renting and want to buy. I would be considered a First Time Home Buyer. My scores: 701, 688, 698 (these are low due to credit problems over 4 years ago). My income: $120K+. I have one 3 year car loan at $800/month which will be paid off in November and two credit cards that I pay off monthly with limits: $13K and $11K.

 

My question: Can I get a mortgage, under my name only, without the bank (or FHA) considering or using my husband's credit scores and history? In other words, can I buy a house on my own?


 

You can but can be tricky if you are buying in a community property state.  What happens is you can leave your husbands credit off but his monthly debt payments will be calculated into yours basically making you approved for less of a loan.  The good thing is your auto loan has less than 10 months left so that won't be counted in your dti. If you are in a community property state try to pay down as much as your husbands debt as possible to shrink the monthly payment amount required
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 388
Registered: ‎09-09-2008
Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?

so... what state are you in?

 

In Ohio where I live, statue of limitations and other rules tend to not be very consumer friendly, but creditors are required to keep my debt and my husband's completely separate.

Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎06-08-2008
Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?
I believe that as long as you can qualify by yourself, you can buy it by yourself.

Kathy


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Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?

 

As others have noted, if (1) you can qualify based on your income alone and (2) you don't live in a community property State then you should be able to buy it on your own.  My mother once bought a timeshare on her own, not because either of my parents had any credit issues but simply because at the time my father was elsewhere and therefore not available to sign papers (she did talk about it with him on the phone).  When my wife and I bought our current residence we did both sign the loan paperwork and both our names are on the deed since we both have good credit; however at the time her income would have been tedious to document because she was working as a freelance writer and editor, so we qualified based on my income and put "homemaker" for her occupation.

 

I am not a lawyer so the list below of Community Property States that I found in a Google search should not be considered authoritative and should not be a substitute for seeking qualified local advice on your jurisdiction:

 

* Arizona.
* California.
* Idaho.
* Louisiana.
* Nevada.
* New Mexico.
* Texas.
* Washington.
* Wisconsin.

 

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Valued Member
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎03-11-2007
Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?

Recently married here. We knew we wanted to buy a house sometime this year however her credit has been an issue as far as qualifying for a mortgage. We worked around this problem by using just mine. This means all my debt including the new mortgage would have to be approved(DTI) using just my income .... We (I) got approved and awaiting the final stages of closing (March 10th) so yes, we got the ball rolling a little faster by using just my credit.

 

We are still repairing her credit tho....never know what the future brings =)

New Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-01-2009
Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?
I'm in a similar situation as well and live in VA too and looking to purchase a place at the end of the summer. If it is possible according to the responses and loan is just based on our own credit I'm wondering if we would fall into the category of first-time homebuyers under the new stimulus bill. According to the rules, they say "Applies only to first-time homebuyers, defined as those who have not owned a home within the previous three tax years."  In other words, when I go to file next year if I would qualify if I filed separately. 
Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,299
Registered: ‎04-22-2008
Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?

To ganap0627

 

when did you last own a home.  Even if your wife owned a home but you guys filed jointly and therefore jointly took the tax writeoffs I believe you would have to file separatle for 3 years.  I don;t think you could have any house deductions on the past 3 years or have your name on any deeds for 3 years prior to closing. 

 

To OP.  As long as VA is not a community property state you should be fine.

 

To DeeMac

 

Yes, credit is generally kept separpate, but in a community property state FHA and most (if not all) government programs make you account for both husband and wife's credit obligations for DTI qualifications.  That is because in a community property state, in a divorce, one party can be held accountable for the others debts.  Therefore one party could ring up all the debt in one name and then the other could get a house in their name and be WAY overextended putting the person holding the mortgage in financial trouble of the marriage were to dissolve.  The lender is then bearing the risk of not only the mortgage debt (which even though the courts can require stuff, the lender can still only go after the orignal signer), but large debts the partner has taken on.  There is more to it than that but that is the main point. The partners credit score is not used, they just pull credit to determine any credit liabilities (loans/payments/etc..)

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Posts: 388
Registered: ‎09-09-2008
Re: Married...Do I have To Use My Husband's Credit?

To DeeMac

 

Yes, credit is generally kept separpate, but in a community property state FHA and most (if not all) government programs make you account for both husband and wife's credit obligations for DTI qualifications. 

 

That's why I asked what state the OP is in and noted that I'm in Ohio. Most states are not community property states, but I realize that some are and that California is a big one. We're in the process of getting a USDA loan right now in my husband's name only. Any income I had would have to be noted for USDA to verify that we're within the limits for the household, but my debt was not considered for DTI.