For all loan programs, if an individual is not listed as a borrower on the mortgage then their income is not included in the loan application. If you want to use someone's income to qualify for a mortgage, they need to be on the mortgage and responsible for the loan.
The HomeReady Mortgage Program, however, allows the use of income from non-borrower household members as a supporting factor for your application. This is income from a relative who resides in the property but who is not listed on the mortgage.
For example, a spouse's income may be considered by the lender and used to boost your application even though the spouse is not listed as a borrower on the loan. This approach usually makes sense if a spouse's credit score is too low to qualify for the loan or if they have high monthly debt expense.
Review our HomeReady Mortgage Guide
Although income from the non-borrower household member, the spouse this case, is not added to the applicant's income, it can provide a helpful nudge if a mortgage application is on the border in terms of being approved. Additionally, using the spouse's income as a supporting factor may allow the lender to use a higher debt-to-income ratio which increases the mortgage amount you qualify for.
Please note, however, that despite this extra help, you typically qualify for a smaller mortgage amount on your own than if you apply for the loan as co-borrowers and your spouse's income is included. We should also highlight that because your spouse is not listed on the mortgage note, you are solely responsible for the loan.
The HomeReady Mortgage Program is offered by participating lenders. I recommend that you contact multiple lenders in the table below to understand how they would handle your unique situation as program availability and qualification guidelines vary. Shopping lenders is also the best way to save money on your mortgage.
You can also use the FREEandCLEAR Lender Directory to search over 3,900 lenders by state, type and loan program. For example, you can search for top-rated lenders in your state that offer the HomeReady Program.
HomeReady Mortgage Guidelines: https://www.fanniemae.com/content/fact_sheet/homeready-product-matrix.pdf