Mortgage Co-Borrower

by Ono
(Luton)

Ask Kate: Mortgage Co-Borrower - How do I add my wife to my mortgage? Hi Kate, I bought my house when I was single. I am now married with a son and another on the way. Because I bought the house before I met my wife, it is only my name that is on the mortgage.

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Recently, I have started to worry whether or not to include my wife's in the mortgage. Could you tell me if this can be done and how it will affect my monthly payments. And also the terms of the mortgage? Thank you, Ono

Kate Answers: Mortgage Co-Borrower - How do I add my wife to my mortgage?

Hi Ono, First of all, for the benefit of everyone reading this, let's differentiate between title and mortgage. The title to your house relates to home ownership, an asset. The mortgage, a repayment contract between you and your lender, is a debt.

Secondly, please note that I am in the US while you are in the UK. Since US laws and practices governing mortgages and home ownership may differ from those in the UK, please consult a local professional for comparisons.

Keeping that in mind, let's get back to your question, how to make your wife a mortgage co-borrower. My experience with home loan companies is that they show a reluctance to simply adding a co-borrower at a later date since doing so bypasses their qualifying process. Not to say it has never been done so if you decide you want your spouse to be a mortgage co-borrower, you could certainly ask.

But keep in mind this would not automatically give your wife co-owner status. So ask the lender about both the mortgage and the title. Otherwise you'll give your wife the mortgage debt but not the asset of home ownership.

Sometimes sellers forget this too, especially when they are desperate to sell a house. So if you go to this article I've written Sell Your House - Real Estate Investment Advice you can read more about the difference between title and mortgage.

You bring up two additional questions which need to be directed to your lender since mortgage programs carry various terms. Ask specifically if adding your wife to either title or the mortgage can affect the terms of the loan such as triggering the repayment (called a due on sale clause) or an increase of your monthly house payments. Don't forget to ask if there are any related fees associated with adding your wife to either. Better safe than sorry!

In the meanwhile, I hope you'll follow my links found at the bottom of this page. My articles will give you an insider's overview of home ownership and each page leads to many more. Let me know if you have further questions, of course!

Ono, please come back and visit often. Help me spread the word by sharing my website with your friends. Remember, all of my information is free!

Best Wishes,

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You can also ask Kate about your mortgage at Refinancing Advice The Nuts and Bolts.

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