The Benefits of Getting a Mortgage as a Married Couple

There are real benefits to getting a mortgage as a married couple. These benefits are greater in some states than in others, depending on how the law allows property to be owned. Regardless of the state, however, you will have an easier time obtaining a mortgage with favorable rates as a married couple.

Mortgage Applications as a Married Couple

When you apply for a mortgage as a married couple, there are certain advantages that you receive. First, particularly if both spouses are employed, your two incomes are considered. As this is one of the most critical criteria used by a lender in determining both eligibility and terms, the higher the income you can report, the better. Terms are improved and chances of being approved are increased for most married couples.

In addition to the above, many lenders prefer to lend to couples. While this is never a stated criteria, couples are considered by some as being more stable. A couple is more likely to fight to keep their home than a single person. If you are single, you are more likely to default and rebuild. Since both spouses are affected by a default, a lender reasons that a couple is a safer borrower.

State Laws

Different states allow for different ways for you to own property with your spouse. In all states, you may own property as joint tenants or tenants in common. The former gives you each a full, undivided interest in the property and the right of survivorship – the property automatically passes to the living spouse upon the death of the other spouse. Under tenants in common, you each own a specific percentage of the property that may be willed independently.

In a number of states, you may own property under what is known as tenants by the entirety. This is an advantageous way to own property that is only available to married couples. Furthermore, it is only available for your primary residence. Under tenants by the entirety, each spouse owns the property completely. The impact of this, and what makes it different, is that it protects the property from the creditors of one spouse. While joint debts may still move against the property, the debts of one spouse are barred from using the property to satisfy a debt. Essentially in debt situation, the property is considered an asset of the couple, but not an asset of either spouse individually.

The right of survivorship still applies, meaning that the property can pass from one spouse to the other without going through probate. In fact, in every other way, when you own a home as tenants by the entirety it is identical to owning the home as joint tenants. This additional method of owning property provides a significant advantage to married couples. Lenders prefer this method as well. It means that properties will be less likely to have liens placed on them or otherwise encumbered if this form of ownership is used. As lenders prefer things simple, this provides you with an additional advantage throughout the process.

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