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Common questions when having a co-borrower on a mortgage in 2021

Co-borrowers are common when getting a mortgage, but having multiple incomes, assets, credit scores and liabilities, can add some complexity. Especially when it comes to knowing what you can qualify for. Here are some questions we’ve answered about mortgages where multiple borrowers are involved:

Whose credit score is used when buying a home with a spouse?

Lenders will use the lowest mid credit score of all borrowers. The “mid credit score” is the middle score returned by the three credit score bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

If my spouse makes more than me, should I still be on the loan?

It’s usually better not to be on the loan if you don’t have to. There are a few minor benefits to being on a loan (ex: building up good credit) but generally they’re not appealing enough for most people to put themselves on mortgages unnecessarily.

Will my spouse not having any credit history affect us qualifying for a mortgage?

Many loans don’t require a minimum number of credit lines (aka “tradelines”). Your mortgage broker should tell you if the loan you are considering does have a tradeline requirement. Even if there is a requirement, there are many ways to quickly build tradelines depending on when you’re planning to secure financing. For example: your spouse can apply for a couple of credit cards or you can also add them as an authorized user to some of your accounts, which might help improve their credit profile as well.

If you don’t see your question answered, just contact us OR use our online evaluation process and we can get back to you asap

PS Check out our simple eval process where you can choose whether you want to: get real rates specific for your scenario (beware of teaser rates!), see how much home you can afford, get pre-approved, or quickly submit your contact info so we can get back in touch.


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The Turnkey Foundation, Inc. d/b/a Arbor Financial Group is an Equal Housing Lender. In all jurisdictions, the principal {NMLS: 236669} licensed location is 2932 Daimler Street, Santa Ana, CA, 92705. {Julie Aragon MLO #250691}