Refinance My Home Under One Name

If a home is in both mine and my husbands name, can a refinance loan only be in one person's name...or must it be in both?

3 Answers

You may refinance in only one person's name. Most lenders will want to make sure that both you and your husband have been on the title of the property for six months. The reason for the seasoning requirement on the title is to avoid people transferring the title to keep a house out of foreclosure.

One thing that you are going to want to be careful about is if both of you have income that is needed to qualify for the loan. If a person is not on the loan, their income cannot be used.

Many couples look to have the financing done in one spouse's name to try to protect the others credit.

This question comes up frequently and usually there is no issue so long as one spouse qualifies for the mortgage on their own.

Typically, both a husband and wife can be in title (to protect their marital rights), but only one spouse may be on the mortgage, e.g., the husband is the only spouse employed and there is no need to include the wife if she makes no income. Depending on state law, she may be required to sign the mortgage but not the promissory note.

However, what we see as lenders more often is that if both spouses are in title, but only one spouse is on the mortgage, there may have been a credit issue at the time the original mortgage was funded. As an example, your spouse had a bankruptcy when you were purchasing and you qualified for the mortgage with only one income. So, the mortgage is in your name, but your spouse is in title with you - actually this is more common than one might think in today's society.

Some State laws and some lenders -when you refinance - may require that you Quit Claim the spouse out of title who is not on a mortgage loan when refinancing and then quit claim them back into title after the closing and recording of the mortgage or deed of trust.

When you refinance, the lender will leave the non-qualifying co-borrower's information on the loan application blank, will pull an individual credit report, and will use the income, assets, and credit payment history of the qualifying primary borrower for the loan approval process. If you are approved as the primary borrower then only you will sign the Promissory Note.

Keep in mind, though, that if you are not using the credit of a co-borrower/spouse - then you also cannot "count" that spouse's income and non-joint assets in qualifying for the loan. And, in your state, your spouse may have to sign the mortgage as a sign that their marital rights are "protected". His, or her, signature on the mortgage signifies that they are aware of a new mortgage against the property. BUT, if you qualify alone, then it should not be an issue for your refinancing as an individual.

The short answer is yes. If you and your husband are both on the current deed you can refinance with either of you on the mortgage note itself. Both of you would remain on title (deeded owners).

This happens frequently and can include a variety of different circumstances. One spouse may be self employed and unable or unwilling to document income.

If one spouse has poor credit and a high level of debt it may be better to not use that person for qualifying purposes. The bank will focus on the credit score of the individual who contributes the most income. If that person has a poor score it can result in a high interest rate and it could be better to only use the spouse with the higher credit and lower income. The only down side of this is that frequently one spouse alone can not provide enough documented income to meet debt to income requirements.