Mortgage  Question?
How long after being unemployed before apply mortgage?

My husband and I are considering buying a home or refinancing our mortgage. I make a good income but my husband is currently unemployed. How long would we have to wait after my husband gets a job before we can apply for a mortgage as co-borrowers? Are the employment rules different for a home purchase mortgage than for a refinance?

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru
, Mortgage and Finance Guru

The answer to your question depends on how long your husband was unemployed, the reason for the break in his employment and what line of work his new job is in. If his break in employment was relatively short, he can provide a reasonable explanation for the break (in the form of a letter) and his new job is generally in the same line of work as his prior job, then you probably do not need to wait before his income can be used to help you qualify for a mortgage as co-borrowers. Please note that lenders will verify that your husband's new job does not require a temporary probationary period before his employment becomes permanent. If the job includes an initial probationary period then most lenders will wait until the period expires before they approve an applicant for a mortgage. These guidelines apply to both home purchase loans and refinances. In addition to employment history, lender also consider your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and other borrower qualification guidelines to determine your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

I encourage you to use our Mortgage Qualification Calculator to better understand what size mortgage you can afford as a sole borrower and as co-borrowers with your husband. You can also use our Mortgage Refinance Calculator to compare refinance options with different loan amounts, interest rates and closing costs to determine the financing approach that is right for you.

Finally, we always recommend that you contact multiple lenders to understand how they would handle your unique situation. You can compare lenders in your area by clicking INTEREST RATES We advise you to contact at least four lenders as qualification guidelines vary. Plus, comparing multiple lenders is the best way to save money on your mortgage.

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About the author

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Michael is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. Michael possesses extensive knowledge about mortgages and finance and has been writing about mortgages for nearly a decade. His work has been featured in leading national and industry publications. More about Michael

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