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Ask Dave

Okay For Girlfriend and I To Buy House Together?

Jim has bad credit, a girlfriend and credit card debt. What does Dave say about him buying a house?

QUESTION: Jim has one credit card and wants to know if he should pay it off before buying a house.  What type of mortgage company should he go to since he has bad credit?  Should he buy a house with his girlfriend?

ANSWER: You should pay off the credit card and close the account before you try to get a mortgage.  Since you’ve had bad credit you need to go to a mortgage company that has manual underwriting.  If you go to a mortgage company that only uses a FICO score, a poor credit score will negatively affect your ability to get a home loan.

A smart lender will be glad to see that you’ve paid off debt and closed credit accounts.  You need to pay off any debts and close any accounts you can before getting a mortgage.

You should not buy a house with your girlfriend.  You should not consolidate your assets until you’re married.  If you’re not ready to get married, you’re not ready to buy a house together.