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Joint mortgages

If you're buying a property with someone else, you'll need a joint mortgage. How much you can borrow will depend on both your incomes. You need to think carefully about what would happen to your mortgage if one of you moves out.

How much can we borrow?

A couple who are both earning can usually get a mortgage up to two and a half or three times the higher income, plus one times the lower income. Sometimes the two incomes are added together and multiplied by three and a half - lenders will vary on this.

Unmarried couples are usually treated the same as a husband and wife in working out how much they can borrow. Civil partners should be treated in the same way as married couples. Same sex couples who are not in a civil partnership and groups of two or more friends can also apply for a joint mortgage, though finding a lender may be less easy. As some brokers may be more helpful than others in these situations, it's important to shop around.

What will our rights and responsibilities be?

With a joint mortgage, both or all of the borrowers are equally liable for keeping up the repayments, even if someone moves out. The lender can pursue any one of you for the money if someone fails to pay. It's also important that you have mortgage protection insurance to pay off the loan if one of you dies.

In addition, you will both need to agree to any changes, for example, if you want to extend the term of the mortgage or increase the amount you are borrowing.

What if we want to end the joint mortgage arrangement?

If you want to end the arrangement, for example because you have split up with your partner or one of you wants to move out, your rights will depend on the arrangement you made when you bought the home and your relationship to the other joint owners. For more information see the page on buying a home with other people .

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The important points

  • A couple who are both working can usually borrow two or three times one person's income plus one times the other person's income.
  • Unmarried couples and civil partnerships should both be treated the same as married couples by lenders.
  • Joint mortgages mean that all borrowers are equally liable for the debt.
  • Think about having mortgage protection insurance to cover the debt in case one of the other borrowers dies.

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