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Getting a Sole Mortgage but Living with Partner

Read our guidance on how to get a Single Mortgage application but you are married or living with a partner

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 28, 2022

There are a whole host of reasons why you might want to make a single mortgage application when you’re married, and there are many people who want to do so. You may want to get the best mortgage possible and whilst you have an excellent credit rating, maybe your partner has had bad credit in the past.

Or perhaps you want a buy-to-let property and, if the property is in your name only, you can claim key tax benefits which you wouldn’t get if you owned the property in joint names with your spouse. Either way, this guide will tell you what your options are.

Can a married person get a mortgage without their spouse?

Yes. If you’re married and getting a mortgage on a property that you and your spouse will both be living in, most mortgage lenders will prefer both applicants to be named on the mortgage; but it’s possible to get a single mortgage when you’re married and still end up with the best interest rate available.

How to get a single mortgage when you’re married

The best place to start is by speaking to a mortgage broker who specialises in arranging solo mortgages for married applicants so you can be certain you will receive bespoke advice and end up with the best deal available. The mortgage advisors we work with can guide you through the process and find the right mortgage broker to suit your particular circumstances.

If, for instance, your partner doesn’t have a clean credit rating, we’ll match you with a broker who specialises in arranging mortgages under these exact circumstances. It may be possible for you to buy a property using your good credit rating and get the best interest rates on the market. You can always add your partner to the mortgage further down the line, when their credit issues have been discharged.

Some things to consider

  • Many lenders aren’t keen on lone applications from two married borrowers, but are usually okay to accept a joint application in the UK, if you’re not in a marriage.
  • The key issue is, can your income cover the mortgage? You need to be aware that if your partner isn’t going on the title deeds, a mortgage lender assessing your application may view them as a financial dependent, thus affecting affordability.
  • Your partner not being on the title deeds will also mean that their income can’t be used to calculate the maximum you can afford.
  • There are more lenders able to accept a solo application when you’re married if you’re purchasing a buy-to-let or investment property, or a second home for work purposes, as opposed to a main residence for you and your family to live in.
  • Buy-to-let is more acceptable for some lenders because they understand that buying in a sole name can have key tax benefits.

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How to overcome problems with single mortgages

There are a number of complications that, while tricky, needn’t be deal-breakers for married mortgage applicants who are applying for finance in their name only. With the right advice and an experienced broker on your side, many issues can be overcome fairly easily.

Potential problems may include…

  • The deposit: If your partner isn’t going on the mortgage, but owns the deposit or current equity, this is deemed as a gift to you and is unacceptable to most lenders. A possible solution would be to sign a waiver of rights to the property.
  • Ownership: If your partner who is gifting equity or a deposit is also living in the property, while many lenders will be reluctant to approve a mortgage, as it would be difficult to separate ownership/rights to the property, there are a handful of lenders who will go along with this kind of arrangement, an experienced mortgage broker, like the ones we work with, would know which lenders to apply to in these circumstances.
  • Bad credit: If you’re trying to avoid adverse credit, then many lenders will force a joint application, although there are mortgage lenders who will consider a loan to the partner with a clean credit rating.
  • Divorce or separation: Getting a solo mortgage if you’re separating or getting divorced when one of you is staying living in the house may mean you can effectively buy your ex out of the mortgage. You may need to provide supporting evidence of your separation, such as initiation of divorce proceedings, and you’ll also need to be able to prove your ability to cover the payments in your sole name.

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See how our customers managed to borrow more after they were matched with a specialist broker.

Mel and Si
Huddersfield, UK
My partner and I wanted to buy a house together but the plan was for only him to be named on the mortgage. The lender we approached said this wasn’t possible and suggested that most banks would think there was something dodgy going on and decline our application. OMA matched us to Lola and assured it was possible, so with the right broker and lender we got approved!
Barnstaple, UK
Me and my wife were keen to keep my name off our mortgage application because we thought my credit history might affect our chances. Rob from OMA specialises in arranging solo mortgages for marital homes and got us approved with the interest rate and terms we were looking for.

How bad credit may affect your application

Getting a mortgage with bad credit can be an issue if you’re married and apply in just your name. Here are some of the main issues and considerations to be aware of…

  • If you or your spouse have a bad credit rating, a single mortgage may be worthwhile although, depending on the severity of the issue, lenders may need a higher deposit.
  • It’s still worth considering a joint mortgage as some of the rates and criteria for mortgages with bad credit are very attractive and much more competitive than you might think. All you need is the right broker.
  • Your broker can help you understand the advantages of getting a mortgage, married vs single, from a tax or poor credit rating point of view.
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Speak to an expert

If you’re interested in pursuing getting a mortgage in your sole name, speak to one of the expert brokers we work with. Call 0808 189 2301 or make an online enquiry – our quick and easy form only takes a matter of minutes to complete and then you can relax while we take care of the hard work for you.

We’ll match you with a mortgage broker who specialises in cases similar to yours. All our brokers have access to mortgage lenders across the UK and know the lenders to approach for the best deals to suit your circumstances.

Our matching service is free. Talking to an expert won’t cost you a penny and there’s no obligation, or marks on your credit report.


Can you use a joint deposit on a sole mortgage when married?

Most mortgage lenders won’t allow this since it would usually require your partner to sign a waiver claiming no legal right to the property, despite having paid money towards the equity you’d hold in it. One of the only legal ways to do this would be if your partner gifted their part of the deposit over to you, but the issue of the waiver would still apply here.

Can you get a buy-to-let mortgage in sole name when married?

Yes, and this is actually more straightforward. Since your partner won’t be living at the property, most buy-to-let lenders won’t see an application of this nature as problematic, provided you meet their lending criteria for buy-to-let mortgages.

You can read more in our guide to buy-to-let mortgages.

What are the disadvantages of getting a sole mortgage if you’re married?

Firstly, your choice of mortgage lenders and products will be more limited since the majority of mortgage providers prefer married couples to apply in joint names. Furthermore, your affordability might not stretch as far since the lender’s assessment would only be based on one income.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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