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How to Add a New Husband to a Mortgage

by Don Rafner, studioD

You've recently married and you'd like to put your husband's name on your mortgage loan. You can do this, but it won't necessarily be an easy task. In most cases, you'll need to refinance your mortgage loan to a new one. That's because adding a new person to your mortgage loan changes the terms of that loan. Most lenders won't change these terms unless they create a new loan for you through the mortgage-refinance process.

Call your existing mortgage servicer -- the company to which you already send your mortgage payments -- and explain that you'd like to add your husband's name to your existing mortgage loan. If you're lucky, your lender will simply add the name. But this is a rarity. In most cases, lenders want to vet your husband to make sure that he is financially healthy enough to make your mortgage payments in case you can no longer make them. They'll usually do this by asking that you refinance your mortgage loan into a new one.

Call several other lenders licensed to do business in your state if you need to refinance your loan to add your husband to it. You might as well get a low interest rate if you are going to refinance. The best way to do this, and to reduce the closing costs of a mortgage refinance, is to call as many lenders as possible to compare rates. You are not required to refinance with your existing lender.

Analyze whether adding your husband to your loan is actually a good idea. Your lender will run both your credit scores when you apply for a loan jointly. But your lender will only use the credit score of the applicant whose three-digit score is the lowest. If you have a credit score of 740 but your husband's clocks in at 640, your lender will toss your score and instead rely on your husband's. This could leave you with a significantly higher interest rate on your new loan.

Fill out the Uniform Residential Loan Application given to you by the lender that you eventually choose for your refinance. If you and your husband are both applying for a loan, you must include both of your names, Social Security numbers and addresses on this application. You'll also have to include the employment, salary and debt information from both of you.

Copy your recent bank-account statements, paycheck stubs and income-tax return statements. Send these along with your completed Uniform Residential Loan Application to your lender. Your lender's underwriting team will analyze this information to determine whether you and your husband have the financial strength to afford the new mortgage loan for which you are applying.

Sign the closing documents -- both you and your husband -- that make your new mortgage loan official if your lender decides that you can qualify for a new loan. You'll also have to pay any closing costs at this time.

About the Author

Don Rafner has been writing professionally since 1992, with work published in "The Washington Post," "Chicago Tribune," "Phoenix Magazine" and several trade magazines. He is also the managing editor of "Midwest Real Estate News." He specializes in writing about mortgage lending, personal finance, business and real-estate topics. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Illinois.

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