Most of the time, couples apply for a mortgage together. But what if one borrower has great credit, and the other not so much? When considering credit, the lender will take the lowest of the credit scores in determining creditworthiness. While not the ideal, there are options to consider in addressing this fairly common problem.
If you are fortunate enough to have a high credit score, and provide the majority of the income in your household, you may consider applying for the mortgage on your own. This may limit the price of the homes you are looking at, but if you can still find the perfect home in your lower price range, it may make sense. As for your partner, you can still both potentially be on the deed even if only one of you is on the mortgage. Your lender will have a say in this, so check with your loan officer first.
Another option to consider is bringing in another co-signer for the mortgage. If you have a family member or close friend who is willing, you can use their good credit and income to help secure the loan. This should be done with caution, of course, because the co-signer is responsible for the loan equally. So don't be upset if mom or dad don't want to be on the hook with you! Another reason for reluctance on the part of a co-borrower is that he or she will be tying up a large chunk of their credit on your mortgage.
In summary, don't be discouraged if your partner doesn't have perfect credit. There are options, and you can still achieve your combined dream of homeownership.