Marriage is a big deal, both personally and financially.
Once you say those “I dos,” everything changes. Your lives are intertwined forever—and that includes your money, your credit score and your financial history.
As such, marriage can have a huge impact on your ability to buy a home.
But is that a good or bad thing? Can it help matters or will it hurt your chances in the end?
Let’s look at it from all angles.
The Good: When Marriage Positively Impacts the Home Buying Process
There are some definite positives to going into home buying as a married couple. For one, if you both work, you’re bringing two incomes to the table. That means you’ve got more funds to cover your mortgage payment, and you’re a safer bet for lenders. That could equate to a larger loan and a better rate. All good things.
If your spouse has good credit or a hefty savings account, that’s another big plus, giving you more for a down payment and a better shot at a decent interest rate.
The Bad: How Being Married Can Make Buying a Home More Difficult
Buying a home with your husband or wife isn’t always all sunshine and rainbows. Remember, you’re not just getting your spouse’s money now; you’re getting their entire financial history right along with it. Those medical bills they let go to collections 10 years ago? They’re now yours to own. That sub-600 credit score he’s got going on? That’s another stain on your mortgage application. The 22 credit cards she’s maxed out? They’re now your responsibility, too.
If your spouse hasn’t been the best at managing money, it’s going to impact your ability to buy a home—and probably quite significantly.
The Honest Truth
The simple fact that you’re married doesn’t mean you have to purchase your home together. If one of you has better credit than the other or makes the bulk of your household income, it’s perfectly acceptable to apply for your mortgage solo (if your spouse is comfortable with it, of course!)
Just make sure you’re both on the deed or that you have a prenuptial agreement in place. You don’t want issues over ownership or sales proceeds to come up later on, should you decide to part ways.