Is the husband’s or wife’s credit score used when qualifying for a mortgage loan?

Home Loan And Credit Scores

Credit Scores And Home Loans

Takes take a mortgage case scenario.  Say Mr. and Mrs. Jones are married and they are first time home buyers and needs to qualify for a mortgage loan.  They both have jobs and want to purchase a modest home.  They are aware that their mortgage lender told them that they would need a minimum 640 FICO score to qualify for a mortgage loan.  Whose credit score does the mortgage lender go by and which credit reporting agency does the mortgage lender choose.  There are three credit reporting agencies which are Transunion, Experian, and Equifax.

Six total credit scores for married couples by 3 credit reporting agencies

On the above example, Mr. Jones will have 3 credit scores and Mrs. Jones will have 3 credit scores for a total of six credit scores.  So, which credit scores will the mortgage lender go by.  Calculating which credit score the mortgage lender will go by is a two step simple analysis.   I will explain it on the example below:

Let’s take this scenario for Mr. Jones:

Mr. Jones’s Transunion credit score         720 FICO

Mr. Jones’s Experian credit score               630 FICO

Mr. Jones’s Equifax credit score                  540 FICO

Now, what is Mr. Jones’s middle credit score?  Mr. Jones’s middle credit score is 630 FICO because the 630 credit score is between the 720 and 540.

For Mrs. Jones:

Mrs. Jones’s Transunion credit score           650 FICO

Mrs. Jones’s Experian credit score                640 FICO

Mrs. Jones’s Equifax credit score                   630 FICO

What is Mrs. Jones’s middle credit score?  Mrs. Jones’s middle credit score is 640 FICO because the 640 FICO falls between the high score of 650 and low score of 630.

6 Credit Scores Total but which Credit Score do mortgage lenders go by?

Mortgage lenders will go by the lower of the two borrower’s middle credit scores.  On this case, Mr. Jones’s middle credit score is 630 FICO and Mrs. Jones’s credit score is 640 FICO.  The minimum credit score requirement for this mortgage lender is 640 FICO.  Mrs. Jones qualifies because her middle credit score is 640 but Mr. Jones does not qualify because his credit score is 630 FICO.

On this case scenario, both of these mortgage loan applicants do not qualify for a mortgage loan with this particular mortgage lender because the credit score this mortgage lender will use is Mr. Jones’s 630 credit score since his is the lower of the two middle credit scores and the mortgage lender’s minimum credit score requirement is 640 FICO.

What do I do on such a case?

On the example above, there are several solutions.  First solution can be where Mr. Jones is not on the loan and have just Mrs. Jones on the loan.  Mr. Jones can be on the title after closing the loan.  One problem this causes is that if Mr. Jones is not on the loan, his income cannot be calculated in calculating the debt to income ratio.  If Mr. Jones’s income is not necessary in meeting the minimum debt to income ratio, they are in business.  If they need Mr. Jones’s income to qualify for the loan, then we need to go to option # 2.

Mortgage Lenders With No Overlays

The second option is to get a different mortgage lender with lower credit score limit guidelines.  Consulting with a licensed mortgage broker will be the best solution since mortgage brokers have dozens of correspondence lenders that have different mortgage lending guidelines and overlays.


The third solution is to try to increase Mr. Jones’s credit score.  Boosting his credit scores may be simple such as paying down credit card balances, or getting additonal secured credit cards.

If you have any questions in ways of increasing your credit scores so you can qualify for a mortgage loan, please contact me at 262-716-8151 or email me at  You can also subscribe to our daily mortgage and real estate newsletter at .

Related> Credit Scores In Mortgage Qualification

Related> Under 600 Credit Scores In Mortgage Qualification

Related> Minimum Credit Scores For Loan Programs

The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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