Whose Credit Score Is Used On A Joint Mortgage?

joint credit mortgage

You’re happily married and ready to buy your first house, but you and your spouse both have different credit scores. So what does this mean? By now, you’re probably worrying about whose credit score is used on a joint credit mortgage.

Don’t worry! We have all you need to know about joint mortgages, whose credit score is going on one, and how to get the best deal possible even if you or your partner has bad credit.

Everything You Need to Know About a Joint Credit Mortgage

Whose Credit Score Is Used On A Joint Mortgage?

All credit scores are used on a joint mortgage—and you can have more than two people. Financial and credit information is collected from all parties who wish to be on the mortgage, and the loan approval is based on the collective results. The approval comes after a review has been done of each applicant’s credit history, income, and current debt load.

Sometimes applying for a joint credit mortgage is necessary if one applicant has a few minor credit issues but sufficient income while the other has an excellent credit history. However, their income couldn’t cover the mortgage. How much the applicants’ combined income amounts to will determine how much they can get for a loan.

What if your partner has terrible credit?

Let’s say the person you’re getting the joint mortgage with has an awful credit history. What do you do? For starters, don’t panic. This doesn’t mean you won’t get to buy that house you’ve been eyeing. You should first understand how everything works.

How do lenders calculate your mortgage score?

When they say they use the “collective results,” it doesn’t mean they take the average credit score of the applicants. Instead, they use their “lower mid score.” Each applicant has three scores—one from each major credit bureau—and the lender looks at the middle score for each.

  • Here’s an example: Applicant #1 has three scores of 725, 715 and 699. Applicant #2 has three scores of 688, 652 and 644. The two middle scores are 715 and 652, and the lowest is 652, so that is the score the lender will go with.

How do you keep the bad credit from ruining everything?

If your partner has bad credit, you may be concerned about qualifying for a loan. Here are some simple ways you can keep bad credit from ruining your chances of getting a good deal on a loan:

Improve your partner’s credit

Check your partner’s credit report for mistakes. Having an error on a credit report can hurt your credit up to 100 points, so that’s a great place to start.

If it’s credit cards that are causing the problem, then get them paid off. Make sure the balances are under 30% of their high-limit because that plays a significant role in your credit score. You can also improve your spouse’s credit by making them an authorized user on an account with good standing.

Leave your partner off the loan

This sounds harsh, but sometimes it has to be done. When your partner has bad credit, having him/her on the mortgage can often do more harm than good. While combining your incomes can help you get a better rate, sometimes it’s best for the person with the best credit to sign on their own. The good news is, if it’s your spouse you’re leaving out, you can both still be on the deed regardless of who is on the loan.

Find a co-signer

If your partner has problems with his/her credit, you can always ask a relative who has excellent credit to co-sign can help you get approved. However, there are different rules regarding co-signers with every lender.

Usually, the co-signer is a good short-term solution while you’re getting into your new home or while your partner is working to rebuild his/her credit. And when you’re ready, you can take the co-signer off the loan and add your partner.

Do you have anything to add about whose credit score is used on a joint mortgage? Let us know! We can help with your credit issues at Go Clean Credit.


No matter what your situation, Go Clean Credit has a solution. We have many credit repair programs that are available to help you overcome your credit situation and place you back on the path to financial success. Real credit restoration is not a once size fits all model and we tailor your needs to the right program, but most people can start for just $99 per month.

We have fixed price programs that get you back on track in as little as five months, debt resolution solutions, programs geared toward people who have had recent short sales or foreclosures and many others. Help is just a free phone call away, or you can fill out an appointment request. Contact Go Clean Credit to schedule a free consultation today.

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