Can You Qualify for a Mortgage if Your Spouse is Still in School?

Whether you're getting married young or your spouse has decided to pursue a more advanced degree, buying a house while one partner is in school can be a little intimidating. But being in school isn’t going to automatically disqualify you from getting a mortgage.

Your lenders are going to look to at both your debt-to-income ratio and credit. So if your partner’s in school, but has great credit, no debt, and works then you’re in pretty good shape. If your partner is more the type that maxed out their credit card freshmen year and is still recovering from it, then you still have some options: 

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If getting a mortgage is a challenge, it’s not a bad idea to wait until your partner is out of school. In the meantime, you can work on your credit scores and your savings accounts. And since your spouse is going to be looking for work after graduation, you might have to relocate in order for you both to have good jobs in your field.

Do it alone

Unless you live in a community property state, there’s nothing that says you have to get a mortgage with your partner. If getting the mortgage alone is the only way you can qualify, by all means, get one without your partner.

You’ll have to decide together whether you can buy the house you want at a good interest rate now, or if you should wait until your partner is out of school and working to help get a better loan.

Sign the agreement

If you and your partner aren’t married and you’re both paying money toward the house, you’ll want to protect each other--even if the mortgage is only in one person’s name. It’s especially important if you’re splitting things like the down payment, home repairs, even the cost of buying furniture.

A cohabitation agreement will make it clear who gets what if you break up and go your separate ways.

So, there you have it. You don't have to put off your dreams of owning your first home while your partner is pursuing their dreams of higher education.