Perhaps your partner’s less than perfect credit rating is preventing you from accessing the most competitive rates, or maybe you want to purchase a buy-to-let (BTL) property and reap the tax benefits of applying as a sole applicant.
Whatever the reason for your decision, this guide will talk you through the process, explain your options, and draw attention to the common obstacles you may face, and how to overcome them, when applying for a mortgage in a sole name when married.
Can I apply for a single applicant mortgage if I’m married?While it’s possible to get approved for a mortgage as a sole applicant if you’re married, many lenders prefer both applicants to be named on the deeds - especially if you’re both going to be living in the property.
That being said, provided you are able to justify your reasoning, there are lenders who will be happy to consider a single applicant mortgage.
If you discuss your circumstances with a broker, they can advise whether a joint mortgage might still be more suitable, and work with you to locate a favourable deal that suits both applicants.
Why might a single applicant mortgage be more suitable than a joint one if I’m married?Getting a single applicant mortgage when married is more common than you might think. What’s more, many lenders are happy to consider this arrangement, providing you meet their eligibility criteria.
Here are a few reasons why a single application might be considered more suitable than a joint mortgage arrangement with your spouse:
Your partner has a low income or is unemployed.
Your partner has bad credit.
Your partner already has a residential mortgage.
You want to save money on tax.
In some scenarios, a joint application could actually strengthen your chances of approval, even if the circumstances aren’t perfect.
What issues are associated with getting a sole applicant mortgage when married?There are a number of factors that could hinder your chances of approval for a single applicant mortgage if you’re married. Lenders will consider your application in relation to the following when determining your eligibility.
The applicant’s reasoningsUnless there’s a solid, justifiable reason for getting a mortgage in the name of one spouse, mortgage providers can be skeptical about lending. As a result, your choice of lenders may be limited, and the rates you receive could be less competitive.
This is especially true if the property is being purchased as a family home. If the deeds are only in one name, lenders can be wary of the repercussions of disputes that could occur in the future regarding living arrangements.
- Divorce or separation
Where the deposit comes fromIf your spouse has contributed to the deposit but you’re applying for the mortgage as a sole name, many lenders can be reluctant to approve a mortgage as it creates problems surrounding ownership rights if you were to separate later down the line.
It may be possible for your partner to gift you their part of the deposit and sign a waiver of rights, but this isn’t generally advised in case your circumstances change in the future.
Very few lenders would allow arrangements like this, as most specify that gifted deposits will only be accepted from friends or family that won’t be living in the property, so there is a clear distinction as to the agreement.
How affordability is affectedMortgage providers carry out affordability assessments to establish how much you can reasonably afford to borrow, and how much they are willing to lend. They do this by calculating your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which looks at your monthly expenses in relation to your income.
If you apply as a sole applicant, any income your partner earns will not be considered, which could negatively impact your affordability and could mean you’re not able to borrow as much as you could have if you applied for a joint mortgage.
If you’re applying as a sole applicant because your partner earns little or no income, being married could still affect your affordability. This is because they, like any children you have, may be deemed a ‘financial dependent’ by lenders.
Can I get a buy-to-let mortgage as a sole applicant when married?It’s far easier to get approved for a BTL mortgage than a residential one as a single applicant. Providing you meet the lending criteria and have a solid repayment plan, the process can be relatively straightforward.
This is because there are less personal complexities associated with applications of this nature, and lenders are aware that having an investment in a sole name often makes more financial sense and has certain tax benefits.
Most BTL mortgage providers will assess affordability by looking at your predicted rental income and repayment plan if you’re unable to find tenants, so applying a single applicant shouldn’t impact the amount you’re able to borrow if you have contingencies in place.
If you’re using your own savings as a deposit, getting a BTL in one name when married shouldn’t be problematic, but complications could arise if your spouse has made financial contributions - contact a specialist if you’re unsure.
Speak to a broker specialising in sole applicant mortgagesSecuring a residential mortgage as a sole applicant can be a complex process if you’re married, and there are plenty of variables to consider before moving forward with an application.
To find out whether it is the most viable and cost-effective route, speak to a mortgage broker who has experience in arranging solo mortgages for married applicants. Our advisors will take the time to get to know you, understand your specific circumstances, and recommend the best way forward.
If a single applicant mortgage is deemed most suitable, they can point you in the direction of willing lenders. If a joint mortgage is considered more appropriate despite factors hindering your application, our brokers can refer you to providers specialising in these exact situations - such as bad credit or low income mortgages.
Whatever your circumstances, our advisors will use their market knowledge and expertise to secure you the most competitive rates and favourable deals. Call us on 02380 980304 or submit an online enquiry, and we’ll be in touch for a chat.