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Mortgage in one name when married

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HomeMortgage Help GuidesMortgage in one name when married

Mortgage in one name when married

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Last reviewed on 19th April 2022

Applying for a mortgage as a single applicant while married is quite common. A number of 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 own savings
  • Your partner already has a residential mortgage
  • One applicant has a low income

There are many more reasons to get a sole mortgage when you’re married. Nonetheless, you must prepare your application to improve your chances of approval. Our advisors are also available to help you with your application.

Applying for a sole mortgage when you’re married

Most lenders will insist on a joint mortgage if you’re married. As a result, you’ll need to take a tactful approach if you want to apply for a mortgage as a sole applicant. In doing so, you should not only gain approval but also a competitive rate.

It’s important to not select a mortgage simply because a lender has agreed to your circumstances. Getting a great deal should also be at the top of your list.

Your reason for getting a mortgage in one name is an important factor for our advisors to understand. For instance, if you don’t wish to apply for a joint mortgage because your partner has bad credit, you may find that you’re able to get a joint mortgage even if one applicant has bad credit.

In addition, if your partner earns little or no income, there may be lenders willing to place you both on the mortgage. On the other hand, if you want to purchase in your sole name for personal reasons, then we can approach lenders that are likely to approve you.

The main reason most lenders aren’t comfortable with this arrangement is that you’re purchasing a marital home for you and your partner. As permanent residents, lenders prefer both partners to be on the mortgage. This is to avoid potential disputes in the future regarding who can and can’t live in the property.

Disadvantages of getting a single mortgage when you’re married

Getting a mortgage in one name when you’re married can have disadvantages. The main disadvantage is the number of lenders that you’ll be able to approach. As we’ve said, most lenders prefer married applicants to have a joint mortgage. This is especially true if you’re buying a family home. Nonetheless, there are other things to consider before you make your decision on what to do.

If you’re married but want to apply as a sole applicant, you may have issues with affordability. Now, this may sound strange at first, especially if your partner doesn’t have an income or you earn a large salary. The issue here is that lenders may class your partner as financially dependent as they won’t be on the mortgage. In doing so, this can affect the amount you’re able to borrow.

When lenders make affordability assessments, they won’t just assess your income, but also your expenditure and any financial dependants you may have. Having children can usually bring affordability figures down too. This is because the more children and dependents you have, the more expense you’ll have.

If you apply for a mortgage by yourself and your partner is working, then lenders won’t take your partner’s income into consideration. In comparison, applying for a joint mortgage may allow you to borrow more. This can be important if you fall short of affordability. Nonetheless, if you have a large enough income, this perhaps won’t be an issue.

Using a joint deposit on a sole mortgage when married

If you’re using a deposit from a joint savings account, then you will struggle to get a mortgage in one name. Your partner may be able to gift you their part of the deposit but will have to sign a waiver of rights to the property. In reality, this is quite difficult to do.

This isn’t really advised, especially on your partner’s behalf. This is because your partner would be signing their rights to the property away, despite having paid part of a deposit towards it. This could leave your partner in a very difficult position if your relationship changed in the future.

Most lenders also won’t approve arrangements like this. Lenders prefer gifted mortgage deposits to come from family or friends that won’t be living in the property with you. This is so that there’s a clear distinction of the deposit being a gift.

That said, there are a few lenders that may consider a gift from your partner so do make an enquiry if you find yourself in this position. Your application will need to be flawless, so if you approach lenders by yourself you do risk being declined.

ask a mortgage broker

You need a mortgage while a divorce goes through

If you’re separating from your partner or going through a divorce, then it makes perfect sense why you’d need a mortgage in one name while you’re still married. You may even want to buy your partner’s share of the property from them and in doing so, remove them completely from the mortgage.

There are a number of mortgage options under these circumstances. Furthermore, there can be many different scenarios regarding divorce and your mortgage. You may be moving out and buying an entirely new home, or you may be staying put and buying your partner out. Nevertheless, both situations would warrant a new mortgage.

Divorce and separation can be simple if both parties are amicable. That being said, if the relationship has turned sour, then it can make things a lot more difficult. As there are so many different options and variables here, consult our advisors who can provide you with a more tailored answer regarding your circumstances

Lenders may ask for evidence of separation, so do have all of your paperwork to hand before applying with a lender. Our advisors will also check this before the application stage.

What if I want a buy to let mortgage as a sole applicant when married?

Getting a buy to let mortgage in one name is a lot easier than a residential mortgage, even when you’re married. This is because your partner won’t be living in the rental property so there is little risk of future disputes. Furthermore, purchasing a buy to let in a sole name may make more financial sense for some and can also have certain tax benefits.

Many buy to let lenders also check the rental value of the property to assess affordability, rather than your income. As a result, applying as a single applicant shouldn’t impact the amount you’re able to borrow. Just be sure that the rental income can cover your mortgage by at least 125% as a bare minimum but do aim for 135% to be safe.

Buy to let lenders also understand that property investment may not be everyone’s cup of tea. While you may be interested in property investment, your partner may have reservations.

If you’re using your own income as a deposit, then getting a buy to let mortgage in one name while you’re married shouldn’t pose any problems. Nonetheless, it’s still important to consult a specialist before applying.

Mortgage advisors for married applicants

Getting the right advice before applying for a mortgage is very important. This is especially true 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 considered to be a complex case. As a result, it’s certainly where the expertise of our advisors can help.

Make an enquiry to get started and an advisor will call you straight back. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 195 0490 for further help.

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About the author

Mortgage Advisor | More Articles

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.