Mortgage  Question?
Can I buy home in my name only if I am married?

Can I apply for a mortgage and buy a home in my name only if I am married?

Harry Jensen, Trusted Mortgage Expert with 45+ Years of Experience
, Trusted Mortgage Expert with 45+ Years of Experience

The answer to your question depends on several factors but generally speaking, you should be able to obtain a mortgage and own a home in your name only even though you are married. As long as you can qualify for the mortgage based solely on your financial profile including your monthly income, debt and credit score then the mortgage can be in your name alone. We provide a thorough overview of borrower mortgage qualification requirements on FREEandCLEAR.  Please note that if you do not live in a community property state then lenders should not consider your spouse's income, debt or credit score in assessing your mortgage application.  If you do live in a community property state and are applying for an FHA or VA mortgage then lenders review your spouse's financial profile even though he or she is not applying for the mortgage as a co-borrower.  With FHA and VA mortgages, in community property states lenders are required to determine that the non-borrower spouse does not have excessive debt that could impose a financial burden on the sole borrower spouse.

Additionally, as long as you do not live in a community property state then you can own the home solely in your name.  If the state where you live is not a community property state, you can be listed as the sole property owner on the grant deed for the home without submitting additional paperwork to the lender or county recorder office.  Please note that if you do live in a community property state, lenders typically require that the spouse who is not on the mortgage submit a document that conveys property ownership rights to the spouse who is on the mortgage. The non-borrower spouse is required to file a quit claim deed that transfers his or her ownership interest in the property to the borrower spouse who will be on the mortgage and own the property outright. When the mortgage closes the quit claim deed is filed with the county recorder office along with the grant deed showing sole title ownership of the property by the borrower spouse.

Because some lenders are unfamiliar with the state real estate laws that are applicable to a married person applying for a mortgage as a sole borrower and buying a home in their name only, we recommend that you contact multiple lenders to find ones that have experience in this area. You can contact lenders in your area by clicking INTEREST RATES We advise you to contact three-to-four lenders as lender knowledge and policies on this matter may vary.

Additionally, it is illegal for mortgage lenders to discriminate against applicants on the basis of marital status, race, age, gender, sexual orientation or other factors. If you feel like you are being discriminated against due to one of these factors we would recommend that you contact the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) or a real estate attorney. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a government agency that may be able to offer free assistance and a real estate attorney may be able to provide additional guidance.

Finally, we are not lawyers and do not provide legal advice but please note that some states are equitable distribution states which means that marital property must be divided "equitably" in the event of divorce.  In short, marital property is property acquired during the course of the marriage regardless of which spouse owns the property or how ownership title to the property is held. So in the event of a divorce or termination of the marriage a spouse may have a legal claim to marital property even if he or she has no ownership interest in the property.  Again, we are not lawyers so we highly recommend that you contact a real estate or family law attorney to review these issues.

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About the author

Harry Jensen, Mortgage Expert

Harry is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. He is a mortgage expert with over 45 years of industry experience. Over his career, Harry has closed thousands of loans for satisfied borrowers and now offers his advice and insights on FREEandCLEAR. More about Harry

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