Tips for Singles and Couples Searching for the Best Mortgage

Photo by Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

As marriage realities have changed over the years, so have homebuyer statistics.

Three decades ago, for example, more than 80 percent of homebuyers were married. But as of 2016, that figure had dropped to 66 percent, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports this Valentine’s Day.

One tenet of financially savvy homebuying remains the same, though — doing your homework. As the CFPB puts it:

“Whether you’re looking to buy a home by yourself or with someone else, it pays to do your homework, know what you’re getting into, and shop around for a mortgage.”

Still, mortgage shopping differs depending on whether you are a single, or part of a couple.

Singles

Mortgage shopping as a single person is arguably less complicated in that you have no other half to consider. There are key caveats for single homebuyers, though:

  • Know the rules regarding discrimination. By law, lenders cannot discriminate against you simply because you are unmarried. As the CFPB notes: “If you have enough money for a down payment, enough income to support the monthly payments, and if you meet the other eligibility criteria … then you can qualify for a mortgage as a single person.
  • Make sure your finances are in order after a divorce. Before shopping, make sure your finances are separated from those of your ex. One example the CFPB notes is that you should make sure the mortgage is paid off on any home you previously owned with a former spouse.

Single women seeking to improve their finances in general should also check out “The Single Woman’s Path to a Happy Retirement.”

Couples

Couples, whether married or not, also have key decisions to make before signing off on a mortgage:

  • Understand how your partner’s credit score affects you. Lenders generally use the credit score of the person with the lowest score when evaluating mortgage applications, according to the CFPB. If only one person applies for the mortgage, know that lenders generally won’t consider the other person’s income.
  • Consider getting a mortgage in one person’s name only. If you have great credit, and your partner has lousy credit — or vice-versa — it might make sense to have just one person apply for the mortgage. You’ll need to qualify based on your own credit and income. The CFPB notes that lenders are not allowed to discriminate against applicants because they are married but want to get a mortgage on their own.

If you’re in the market for a mortgage — whether on your own or with someone else — search for the best rates in our Solutions Center.

For more mortgage-shopping advice, check out:

What’s the one piece of mortgage advice you would give to others? Let us know below or on Facebook.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
7 Secret Perks of Individual Retirement Accounts
7 Secret Perks of Individual Retirement Accounts

IRAs come with bells and whistles that many other savings and investment accounts lack — including some that you may not know exist.

3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone
3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone

Counting on Medicare to cover health care costs can jeopardize your retirement plans.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You don’t need to hire a contractor or do extensive renovations to add value to your home.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Comments

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.