Home Buying in Oakland>Question Details

Brandon B, Home Owner in Oakland, CA

Preparing for pre-approval

Asked by Brandon B, Oakland, CA Sun Mar 25, 2012

Should a newly married couple combine all bank accounts and credit card accounts before applying for pre-approval? What are the pros/cons of doing this, or not doing this?

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Rene' De Blanco, MBA’s answer
Combine as in jointly own the accounts? If so, you really aren't improving the situation much since you are simply shifting your debt load around. Now, if one of you is unemployed, or there is a huge disparity in incomes, then you would want the spouse with the highest income and lowest debt burden on the application. The other spouse can remain on title but will not be obligated on the loan. This will free him/her to buy a property on his/her own in the future (e.g. an investment property).

Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 27, 2012
Hi Brandon,
Not neccessary....in this day and age there are all kinds of partnerships - as long as both of you have all your paperwork thats needed for pre-approval available, and good credit is maintained by both, its fine. People have different names even when married, or not....they share accounts, and have seperate accounts.....as long as you show everything to the Lender to get your numbers crunched....its fine.
Here is a list of Documnets needed for pre-approval:
-Copies of your current pay stubs for one month
-Copies of your W2s for the last two years: 2010 and 2011
-Most current asset statements including: retirement accounts, 401K, life insurance, stocks, bonds and any other assets you may have**Please be sure to send ALL PAGES
-Copies of your Federal Tax Returns with all Schedules for the last 2 years: 2009 and 2010**Only if you are self employed or receive fixed income from a government or state agency
-Current copies of your bank statements for the last two months: checking, savings**ALL PAGES

Hope this helps. If you would like to sit down and discuss the Process of Purchase, please do get in touch with me, hapy to help,
Be well and Safe, regards,
Nina Daruwalla
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 25, 2012
Hi Brandon,

My best advice is this: Go to a good mortgage lender.. either bank you like and trust or even better, a Direct Lender such as Holmgren and Associates in Oakland, (definately get someone local). Holmgren is part of Opes Advisors and they do in house processing, and can run everything through Underwriting at the start.
http://www.mortgageholmgren.com 510-339-2121 1900 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to use a local, trusted, known lender for your loan, regardless of who you use. A good lender will evaluate your situation, and answer the question you posed here. Frankly, I would not go to realtors for mortgage related questions, and be wary of realtors who do loans as well! Real estate is a full time job, and so is the mortgage field. Let a good mortgage person sit down with you, evaluate where you are and advise you about how to proceed. Sometimes homebuyers make all sorts of moves with their money and credit prior to going to a mortgage broker/bank and it turns out they did not make the right moves! There is the issue of "seasoned" money..money needing to be in a certain account for around three months, and if credit issues are present what approach to take to dealing with them..and believe me, the good mortgage people know best what to do. Be honest with your mortgage person, and let them give you all the scenarios for a loan that best suits you. I've worked with many different lenders and banks, and again, if you are in Oakland, and don't have a great lender lined up, please consider talking to someone at Holmgren,, either John Holmgren or Mari Parsnick,, (I send clients to Mari all the time..she is wonderful and always gives great advice and gets the best loan for people). Good luck! Feel free to contact me (if you aren't working with a realtor) if I can help in any way.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 25, 2012
Hello Brandon,

All great answers to your question but I would like to add that IF you or your wife can get pre-qualified on your own...that would be the best way to go. In case something goes wrong in the future, only one of your credit history will be effected. The other ones will stay clean and you can purchase again.

However, if you do not qualify alone, then you do not need to combine anything...as the lender will look at your information as it is...when two people apply for a loan together, they usually look at everything from both sides so no need to go transferring accounts and such.

I work with a lot of people in the Oakland area....please let me know if you would like to go see some properties after you have been pre-approved. If you are not working with a lender....I would recommend Carolyn Thomas...she's a miracle worker!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 26, 2012
Hello Brandon,

A lot of good responses below...Do speak with a mortgage consultant before any consolidation is done.

Foreseeable pros: possibly less paperwork.
Cons: Closing any credit accounts could have a negative impact, Sourcing of fund transfers and seasoning of funds could cause more of a headache.

If you want detailed information, my contact info is below!

Ivan Diaz
Home Mortgage Consultant
(415) 271-7740 direct/cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 26, 2012
Brandon B:

No need to combine accounts; perhaps a pro might be reducing the amount of paper showing up in your mailbox; a potential con would be one of the spouses dragging down both credit scores for missing payments, etc.

There's a right way and a wrong way to go about buying a home and I am congratulating you in your decision to obtain a Pre-Approval. Here's what you need to know to make sure you obtain a “True Pre-Approval” and understand the numerous benefits of taking this most important step:


0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 25, 2012
That sounds like a great question for a mortgage lender. If you need the name of one that first time buyers love working with, please let me know. I would be happy to refer you to him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 25, 2012
Before you do anything speak to a home mortgage consultant. He or she can guide you and let you know what would be best in terms of the loan. It doesn't cost anything to speak to someone and you are not obligated to work with the person. As a previous agent mentioned, I would speak to someone who is local. I like Diane Crosby from La Salle and Chris Hudson. You can find them both on YELP. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 25, 2012
You should apply to become pre-approved first. The loan officer can guide you on which route works best for you. Being married and having separate bank accounts, in and of itself, will have no bearing on your ability to become approved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 25, 2012
To be more appropriate to that question must be addressed by the couple to the mortgage broker, but I still remember just a while ago I had a couple of buyers who were in that same situation in which one of the two did not have very good credit and my recommendation was that only will use the loan which had the highest score and that's exactly what the mortgage broker recommended.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 25, 2012
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