Moving in with a partner is an exciting milestone. So if you've decided you want to get it in writing, then here's what you need to know.
Adding someone to your mortgage involves changing the legal owners of your property, known as a 'transfer of equity'. To get started, speak to your mortgage provider and let them know you want to add someone on.
They’ll carry out eligibility and identity checks to make sure the new person can afford the repayments – just like when you first applied for your mortgage. This includes:
- credit checks
- ID checks
- affordability checks.
This is so that they can make sure the person you want to add fits their criteria. Your lender can refuse anyone if they don't think they're suitable.
However, most lenders are open to this because it often provides more security when more than one person is liable for the repayments.
There are two options when it comes to adding someone to your mortgage:
- tenants in common – each person owns a percentage of the property
- joint tenants – you own equal parts of the property.
You’ll need to speak to a solicitor to decide which is the best option for you both.
Who can I add to my mortgage?
It’s doesn’t have to be a partner that you add to your mortgage. You can add up to three additional people, including your children as long as they’re over 18 years old.
Can I change the lender?
Yes, but check that you're not tied-in to an initial fixed-term period. If you switch during this time, you might be charged early repayment fees, which wouldn't make it worth changing lenders. In this case, you'd be better off adding your partner to the existing mortgage and then looking for a better deal when the fixed-term is over.
Can I remortgage?
Remortgaging is another option. The advantage of this is that you might be able to find a better deal with a different lender. If you're not tied into a fixed-term period, then you’re free to look for a better deal on a joint mortgage.
Try using a mortgage repayment calculator to see what you could afford.
Will I have to pay any fees?
Yes, there are usually fees involved. If your lender agrees to add your partner, there’ll be an admin charge to cover the cost of carrying out the checks and issuing paperwork.
Normally you’ll have to pay arrangement fees, and if you exit a mortgage while still in a fixed-term period then there may be early repayment fees as well.
Check your existing mortgage terms and conditions to be sure. If there are no early repayment fees you could save money by switching to a joint mortgage with better terms.
Any changes to your mortgage require the property deeds to be amended so you'll need to budget for a solicitor. If you want a tenants in common agreement, there'll be a fee for this too. You might also have to pay a stamp duty fee, so check with your solicitor about this.
Will my credit history be affected?
If you add your partner to your mortgage, then this will be recorded on your credit files – this is called financial association. If the other person’s credit history isn't great, then it could affect yours as well. Check you both have a healthy credit history before trying to change your mortgage or taking out a new one.
Get more information on what to look out for on your credit file.
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