Owning a home when your partner in life is not born in the states can pose some questions on acquisition. Questions like: “What do I need to present?” “Does it cost more?” or even “Is it possible at all?”
Yes, it may be a little difficult, but it is indeed, possible.
To begin with, you may pursue with the purchase yourself without using your spouse’s income. However, if this does not suffice, you may have to jump through a few hoops to obtain the needed financing with your spouse’s income.
Your spouse must be a legal citizen
The most important thing you need to show to the lender is your spouse’s legality in the country. You must be able to establish a document showing his or her permanent residency. In most cases, this suffices.
However, if your spouse is still not yet a permanent resident, you must instead be able to show the lender a proof that your spouse can continue to stay in the country within the next three years at minimum. If not, you must be able to show that the temporary residency will be renewed.
How about my spouse’s credit?
Another important aspect that needs considering is your spouse’s credit history. If he or she has not been living in the country for more than three years, it is expected that he or she might not have been able to establish a credit score yet. The process of getting a FICO may take around 12 months or a year.
If your plan of getting financing is not urgent, you can work your spouse’s credit score starting now by using credit accounts that will be reported to the credit bureaus.
However, if your plan of getting a mortgage, for example, is in the near future where there is little time to build credit history for your spouse, you may utilize non-traditional credit sources that show your spouse’s creditability as a payor. This includes his or her utility bill payments, rent payments, insurance, and tuition payments, among others.
Your spouse must be able to show consistent payments without delinquencies for the past 12 months.
Your lender will ask for two years worth of job history from your spouse. If he or she has worked in the same industry here and in his or her country, the job history will be accounted at least, if not the income.
Yes, it is extra difficult to prove to the lender that you are a safe deal with an immigrant spouse as co-applicant.
If you can qualify for financing on your own, it would be a smarter idea not to include your spouse’s name on the loan. Many lenders have negative biases on immigrant applicants and that in itself may lower your chances of getting the best terms that you could otherwise get on your own.
Talk to your financial advisor to get a guided, expert advice on a better, wiser option to get around your dilemma.