Community Property States

Veteran Services


When utilizing your VA loan benefits to purchase a home, having a spouse on the mortgage can greatly impact the outcome. Lenders may consider the additional income as long as it is consistent, dependable, and expected to continue. However, the lender will also assess the debts of the purchasing spouse. If the spouse carries significant debt, it can negatively affect your debt-to-income ratio, potentially hindering your ability to secure the loan. In such cases, it may be advisable to apply for the loan independently, even if that means obtaining a lower loan amount since your spouse's income cannot be included. Regrettably, veterans residing in nine states cannot disregard their spouse's debt, leading to difficulties when attempting to qualify for a VA loan. In these community property states, the process of purchasing a home can be more complex, and special considerations must be taken into account.

Community Property States

The community property states are:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin


In these states, married couples who obtain property usually own it jointly, which means it would be divided upon divorce or other dissolution of the marriage. That adds a layer of potential concern for mortgage lenders, who would otherwise only be concerned with whose name is on the loan.

To counter that, lenders can count the debts of a spouse even if he or she isn't going to be on the mortgage. So even if you have great credit and a healthy debt-to-income ratio, lenders will still take a long, hard look at your spouse's financial profile. Whatever debts your spouse has will be counted when the lender calculates your DTI ratio. The VA generally wants borrowers to have a DTI ratio of 41 percent or less.

If your spouse has any derogatory debt like collections or judgments, that will likely be counted in the lender's derogatory debt cap, which limits the amount of bad debt a borrower can have.


This communication is for informational purposes only. This is not a commitment to lend. All loans are subject to buyer and property qualification. All programs, rates, and fees are subject to change or cancelation at any time and without notice. Contact Mortgages by Richard to learn more about mortgage products and your eligibility.

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