Last reviewed on 28th November 2023 by Martin Alexander (Mortgage Advisor)
Applying for a mortgage as a single applicant while married is quite common. Several reasons can warrant applying for a mortgage in just one name, and most lenders will consider this arrangement.
A single application can be more suitable than a joint mortgage if:
- Your partner has bad credit
- You want to retain certain stamp duty benefits
- One applicant is unemployed
- You’re using a deposit from your savings
- Your partner already has a residential mortgage
There are many more reasons to get a sole mortgage when married. Nonetheless, you must prepare your application to improve your chances of approval. Our advisors can also help you with your application.
Can I get a single mortgage if I’m married?
You can get a mortgage without your partner, especially if the title deeds are just in your name. However, most lenders prefer married applicants on joint mortgages to avoid disputes in the future, such as who can and can’t live in the property.
Lenders require a genuine reason for getting a mortgage in one name. For instance, your spouse may have credit problems or no income, or one partner may be moving out.
Some lenders won’t accept a single application and will insist on a joint mortgage if an applicant is married and will be living in the home. If one applicant isn’t living in the property, a mortgage in one name is much easier.
If your partner is on the title deeds, getting a mortgage without them will be difficult. Most lenders require those named on the property deeds to be on the mortgage.
Why get a single mortgage instead of a joint one when married?
Many reasons warrant a mortgage in one name when married, such as:
Your partner has bad credit
If your partner has poor credit, it can make a joint mortgage challenging. Applying yourself can make perfect sense, especially with a good credit rating.
If you don’t wish to apply for a joint mortgage because your partner has bad credit, you may find that you can get a joint mortgage even if one applicant has bad credit. That said, you’ll perhaps have a better choice of lenders without credit issues.
One partner doesn’t work
If your partner earns little or no income, some lenders may insist you’re both on the mortgage. Although your partner is unemployed now, they may find employment at a later date.
It’s understandable if you don’t want your partner on a mortgage when unemployed, as it’s a financial commitment. Some lenders will consider this arrangement.
If your partner has a low income or claims benefits, it may still be worth adding them to a mortgage. Lenders will assess your total household income, so every bit counts towards how much you can borrow.
You already own a property
One partner may already own a home. Meeting the affordability of paying two mortgages can be challenging. However, if you’re moving in together under one roof, you can get a joint mortgage and switch the empty home to a buy to let mortgage.
A partner hasn’t contributed to the deposit
If you’ve saved for a deposit without your partner, getting a mortgage only in your name can protect your investment. You’ll benefit from making a deed of trust, which can make a mortgage easier and give you security.
You can get a joint mortgage, even if only one applicant has contributed to the deposit. That said, some lenders don’t like this and prefer a single application if one applicant pays the deposit.
Stamp duty benefits
If your partner already owns a home and you don’t, buying a property in your name can reduce the stamp duty to pay. Otherwise, you’d have to pay 3% on top of stamp duty rates as you’re buying a second home.
Can I get a mortgage while a divorce goes through?
If you’re separating from your partner or going through a divorce, it makes sense why you’d need a mortgage in one name married. You may even want to buy your partner’s share of the property to remove them from the mortgage.
There are several mortgage options under these circumstances. Furthermore, there can be many different scenarios regarding divorce and your mortgage. You may be moving into another home or staying put and buying your partner out. Nevertheless, both situations would warrant a new mortgage.
Lenders may ask for evidence of separation, so gather your paperwork before applying for a mortgage. Our advisors will also check your paperwork before an application.
Pros and cons of getting a sole mortgage when married
When married, there are pros and cons to getting a mortgage on your own. A joint mortgage can offer more benefits, as you can share the responsibility of paying your mortgage with a partner.
- Improve your application – If your partner has a poor credit rating or is unemployed, applying yourself can strengthen your application. Strong applications often unlock better rates and a larger choice of lenders.
- Freedom – Instead of sharing a mortgage, getting a mortgage in your name can give you the freedom to make your own choices. As joint applicants, you must make decisions and sign paperwork together.
- Tax benefits – You can save money on stamp duty if one applicant owns a property and is buying a second home.
- Security – If circumstances change in the future, having a mortgage only in your name can give you more financial security, especially if you’re paying the mortgage.
- Fewer lenders – Few lenders will agree to a sole mortgage if you and your partner are both named on the property deeds. A married couple getting a joint mortgage is much more straightforward for a lender to assess.
- Borrow less – A combined income is better than one, as you can borrow more. Applying by yourself means your lender won’t allow you to borrow as much, as they won’t consider your partner’s income. It won’t affect your affordability if your partner isn’t working and has no income.
- Affordability – If your partner isn’t working, they could be viewed as financially dependent, affecting the amount you can borrow. You’ll also need an income large enough to pay for the mortgage you want.
- Risk – If your partner has contributed to the deposit and pays towards the mortgage, you risk future disputes if your relationship turns sour.
- Multiple costs – Paying a mortgage with a partner can be more manageable than paying alone. You’ll also have other costs, such as paying the bills and maintaining the home.
Mortgage advisors for married applicants
Getting the right advice before applying for a mortgage is very important, especially if you’re married but want to get a mortgage in one name.
Our advisors specialise in mortgage applications that aren’t straightforward. Being married and applying for a mortgage as a sole applicant is a complex case, so not all lenders will consider you.
Make an enquiry to get started, and an advisor will call you back. Alternatively, you can contact us on 0800 195 0490 for further help.
About the author
Martin is a senior mortgage advisor and has held a CeMAP qualification for over 15 years while also completing an MBA in Global Banking & Finance.