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Can I Get A Mortgage With Bad Credit If My Partner Has Good Credit?

Thinking of taking out a mortgage with your spouse, but your credit score is poor? Then here’s everything you need to know before applying for a mortgage with bad credit.
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Thinking of getting a joint mortgage with your partner? 

In most circumstances, this can be the best option. After all, you can combine your income and hopefully be able to purchase your dream home to live in together. 

A joint mortgage is also a good option for people getting a mortgage for the first time, as you can split the loan with your partner. 

Much like single-person mortgages, the credit history of both applicants matters when it comes to getting a joint mortgage. Getting a mortgage can be easier if both of you have a strong credit history. 

But the same cannot be said when your credit history is poor but your partner’s is good. Like many first-time buyers and home movers, are you, too, wondering if you can get a mortgage with bad credit when your partner has good credit?

If yes, read this guide to know if you qualify for a joint mortgage application with one bad credit!  

How Do Joint Mortgage Applications Work?

What is a Joint Mortgage

Before you apply for a joint mortgage, it’s important to understand that meeting lenders’ criteria is important

In joint mortgage applications, lenders do not review applicants individually but as a combined risk between both parties on the mortgage. Lenders will consider the risk between both applicants as both will be jointly responsible for the mortgage repayments

As the application and your affordability for the amount you can borrow will be based on your combined income, the lenders need to make sure that they can trust that the full mortgage repayment will be made based on your previous credit history. 

What Do Lenders Look For In A Joint Mortgage Application With Bad Credit?

Mortgage lenders want joint mortgage applicants to establish the following when making an application:

  • Single or joint names
  • Relationship of applicants, whether married, cohabiting or family
  • Ages of each applicant
  • Employment status (self-employed, working, contractor, etc.)
  • Current outstanding credit amount, if any

In most cases if you are married, the lender will require you to apply for a mortgage in joint names. Some lenders however can allow married couples to apply for the mortgage on their own.

Just be aware that you will usually need to provide a reason for this and if you’re only doing it due to your spouse having bad credit, this could cause issues with your application. 

In these cases, it’s always worth speaking to a mortgage advisor who can find the right lender for you based on your circumstances. 

Types Of Bad Credit That Can Affect Your Joint Application

Types of Bad Credit

Certain credits are said to have an adverse impact on the joint mortgage application more than others. If your joint application has one or more of the following issues, your likelihood of getting a mortgage mayl be reduced:

Would You Secure A Mortgage If Credit Issues Took Place A Long Time Ago?

Not just the severity but how recent the credit issue is also determines whether your joint mortgage application will be approved. Lenders review credit reports over the last 6 years.

As credit issues become more historic on your credit file, your chances of obtaining a mortgage and a lower interest rate increase. 

If you’re currently part of an active DMP, lenders will evaluate the way you manage your repayments.

In most cases, lenders will want to be assured that you have been in your Debt Management Plan for a minimum of 12 months and that you have not missed any payments on the plan within that time.

Some lenders will not accept applications from applicants in a DMP so consider talking to a mortgage advisor who can talk through your options.  

A few other factors that lenders take into consideration when approving joint mortgage applications are as follows:

  • Whether the credit issue has been resolved or not
  • Credit issue type and severity
  • The type of credit involved like utility bills, mortgages, credit cards, etc
  • Debt amount involved
  • Credit issues reasons like repetitive or on-off
  • How recent were the credit issues 

What Happens When Your Partner Has Good Credit But You Have Poor Credit?

Partner Has Good Credit But You Have Poor Credit

One thing that we’d like to bring to your attention is that the scoring system varies from lender to lender. That’s why there is no straightforward answer to this question. 

Each lender has their own policies regarding adverse credit and the way they process joint mortgages. 

Some lenders can look at combining your credit scores on a joint application which in some cases can be enough to counteract the bad credit if the combined score is strong enough and acceptable to the lender.

This can be particularly helpful if one applicant has a low credit score due to a lack of credit commitments in the past but the other has a strong score. Combining scores in this scenario usually has a positive outcome. 

But bear in mind that a good credit score doesn’t mean your application will be accepted. Sometimes, despite having a high credit score, applications are rejected. This could be due to affordability, high credit usage or a variety of other factors. 

On the other hand, your application may be approved despite your poor credit score because you meet the rest of the lender’s criteria. 

Can I Get A Mortgage With Bad Credit If My Partner Has Good Credit?

Yes, it isn’t impossible to get a joint mortgage if you have bad credit, though it may not be as straightforward. Lenders tend to see this type of application as higher risk. 

This is why finding the right lender early on in the mortgage process is key as too many declined applications can affect your credit score and limit your chances of obtaining a mortgage even more. 

Consider speaking to a mortgage advisor to find the best mortgage lender for your specific circumstances.

They will be able to assess the severity of your credit issues and then decide whether you would be eligible for a mortgage with a high street lender or specialist lenders that can be more flexible when it comes to mortgages for applicants with adverse credit. 

How Can Credit Score Be Improved?

There are numerous factors that can affect your credit score but there are ways in which you can improve your score in the short and long term:

1. Credit Utilisation

This is how much credit you are using compared to the amount available to you. For example if you have a credit card with a limit of £7,500 and you currently have £7,500 outstanding on your credit card then you are using a high utilisation of your credit.

Bringing this down shows to lenders that you have credit available to you but you are managing this sensibly. 

2. Pay Each Payment on Time

Whilst this seems very obvious to most people, some don’t realise that even making a payment a couple of days late can be registered as a missed payment on your credit file. Always look to pay atleast the minimum amount on your credit and on time. 

3. Electoral Roll 

Get registered on the electoral roll at your current address. This can be a very effective way to boost your credit score in the short term.

As this is registered with credit reference agencies and is something lenders look for during their application process, it can sometimes be the difference between passing a lenders credit score or not. 


Q1. What Happens To A Joint Mortgage If One Person Defaults?

More often than not, mortgage leaders hold both parties liable, which is why they have the right to chase each one for the debt. Also, remember that the action of another party will impact your credit report. 

Q2. Can I Buy A House With Someone Else’s Credit?

Not exactly, but if you have family members willing to assist you, they could act as a guarantor to your mortgage which can be especially helpful for someone with a lower credit score or previous missed payments.  

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

All content is written by qualified mortgage advisors to provide current, reliable and accurate mortgage information. The information on this website is not specific for each individual reader and therefore does not constitute financial advice.

Mortgage & Protection Advisor | 03337892035

I am CeMAP (Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice) qualified mortgage adviser with a strong background in Finance. I specialise in providing expert advice on a range of mortgage products, including first-time buyers, remortgages, buy-to-let mortgages and bad credit mortgages.

CeMAP & CERER Qualified Mortgage Adviser

I am CeMAP & CERER qualified mortgage adviser and have helped a number of clients realise their dreams when they thought it would not be possible. I’m skilled at getting mortgages sorted for people with a history of missed payments, CCJs, defaults, debt management programmes, IVAs and bankruptcies.

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