If my husbands credit score (704) is better than mine(695), is it best to have mortgage in his name to qualify for a better rate?

Asked by smallhouse, 11518 Thu Oct 14, 2010

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Gerard Dunn’s answer
Gerard Dunn, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Thu Oct 14, 2010
Small -

First determine what the difference in rate will be between the 695 and 704 scores.

Calculate the difference in mortgage payment based upon this difference.

If the difference in payment on a monthly basis is significant - in your opinion - then proceed on your husbands scores and credit alone.

If the difference is nominal - or not worth the time and effort - proceed with both of you.

Good Luck!

If you like the answer - please consider making it a "Best Answer" !

Gerard Dunn
Associate Broker
Licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Assisting Homebuyer's and Seller's for 28 years
1 vote
James Ryan, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Leesburg, VA
Fri Oct 15, 2010
hi smallhouse, you have received some good information, some not so good. The first thing I would address is the credit and your scores to see if there are any ways to get your scores higher. In general, higher scores equate to better rates until you are over 740 scores. We at Home Savings of America offer credit repair and rapid rescoring with no charge to our borrowers! In some cases, we have improved a borrower's scores by over 100 points!

The next aspect of your loan application to address is what type of downpayment can you afford? If you are able to put down 20%, in most cases, Fannie and Freddie products are best. Almost without exception, lenders across the US require 740 for the best Fannie or Freddie rates. However, especially if you are putting down 10% or less, FHA is the only game in town, and most FHA lenders require only a 660 score for their best rates, although some lenders do offer discounts for higher scores.

Next, should you both be on the loan? Well, if you get you and your husband's scores over 740, and you can put down the 20%, sure. Other than that, an analysis of your incomes vs credit scores vs downpayment amount will dictate whom to include on the loan application. As you can tell, FHA is more forgiving AND requires a much lower credit score...that might be your fall back. In any case, you both may be on the title of the home without adversely affecting your loan application or rate!

Get in contact with a great lender and go over your options based on today's scores, and discuss credit rescoring based on what the lender thinks if your scores can be increased significantly. Many times, paying a lower downpayment and using the extra money to pay off other debt is smarter than putting more down on the home.

These days, rather than choosing a local mortgage broker, working with a national bank that offers products from twenty other major lenders in the US gives you a much broader choice in products and rates. Add to that the ability to raise your credit scores, many times within 72 hours, you allow your husband and yourself the most options to choose from.

Best wishes and good luck in your home search! Jim Ryan, Home Savings of America. 703 591 5626 ext 419.
0 votes
William Pola…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Suwanee, GA
Thu Oct 14, 2010
The person with the higher income will be the one whose credit will be used. If one of you is not working, then the one who is will be the score driver. If both are working then let's look at that.

First decide what kind of loan program you want. Conventional is best done with at least 700 scores. FHA is best with 660 scores. Conventional allows, in most cases gives you the ability to avoid mortgage insurance (MI) with 20% down, allows for higher loan limits and for second homes and investment properties aside from primary residence.

FHA allows for smaller down payments, in some areas down payment assistance is available,, requires MI regardless of down payment, allows for slower credit, higher debt to income ratios, offers rehab loans among other specialty products. With FHA the rate is the same regardless of a score over 660 for most lenders whereas with conventional the preferred score is 720.

You will also need to know what your middle of 3 scores are (not average).

So, think about how much down payment you want to pay, how much closing costs you want paid by someone else, if any, the size of the loan, and the type of property you want to buy. That will dictate your program choice.
0 votes
Robin Silver…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Garden City, NY
Thu Oct 14, 2010
Smallhouse, as you see, I am a local mortgage broker, and I am sure that there will be people here to back up the fact that I know what I am talking about. If your husband's income is enough to qualify for the loan, and/or you don't work, you do not have to be on the loan but can be on title. If you are planning on an FHA loan, those 2 credit scores are treated exactly the same. If not, then the scenario has to be as I stated above in order to use your husband's score only. If you need both your incomes to qualify, it is not your choice which score to use, it is always the lowest of the 2 middle scores. Are these scores you obtained on your own, or did a loan officer run them for you and give those to you? The ones you get on your own almost always vary. If you are not in contract yet, I can look at your report and might be able to give you some pointers on what to do to increase both of your scores. Just this week I did what is known as a rapid rescore for someone by getting a Verizon collection account deleted from their report, and their score rose from 692 to 760.
0 votes
James Deskins, Agent, Worthington, OH
Thu Oct 14, 2010
If you're going FHA it doesn't matter based on your scores. If you're going conventional it might. Lenders use a sliding scale these days for conventional mortgages but for FHA if you make the cutoff you get prime rate and 620 is the cutoff. Assuming you are a first-time buyer you may be better off going FHA anyway. Consult your local mortgage professional.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Oct 14, 2010
You should contact a local and trusted mortgage broker, they can prequailify you at no cost, they will look at your credit plus your financials and let you know the best way to proceed, they can outline what mortgage programs that you may quailify for and teh difference between using both of you and him alone.

Please see my blog for advice and tips on getting a mortgage
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Oct 14, 2010
these days the banks are preferring higher scores then they used to but income is another very important factor. you might make more then him and that could make a difference in what you will qualify for. The scores you provided are very close so speak with a mortgage professional and let them tell you what will be the best route to take. Each bank will have different programs an options.


Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
Legends Realty Group

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