Q: I’m marrying soon, and we recently found out my fiancé’s credit score is in the mid 500s. My score is in the low 700s. He has debt to resolve (minor cell phone), and I have some $6,000 in credit card debt. We want to buy a house. Should I apply for a mortgage alone if his score won’t help but only hurt us? He was recently laid off; looking for work now. So, we have one income (both single parents), looking to buy a home rather than pay for a pricey large apartment.
A: Lenders have tightened their standards; so, unless you have a sizable downpayment and a well-paying job, you may find you can’t qualify for a loan on your own, even with a good credit score. The times when lenders would make a loan to anybody and their grandmamma are gone.
But, let’s say you can qualify for a loan on your own, that means only you would be on the hook for the mortgage on a home that you and your husband would be occupying with the children. You both should share in the financial obligation and pleasure of owning a piece of property. A marriage is about becoming one, and that means sharing all the income and debt.
Further, just based on the little information I have, you aren’t ready for homeownership at this point. You have a fiancé who is out of work. You have $6,000 in credit card debt, which suggests you don’t have any savings. Otherwise, why are you carrying that debt?
Wait to buy the home when you have gotten married, paid off that credit card debt and your soon-to-be husband has a job. Wait until he has improved his credit. At that point you will be ready to buy a house.
For tips on how to help your honey improve his credit score, visit MyFICO.