Most married applicants prefer to do joint mortgage applications. Also, with property price inflation outstripping wage increases over the years. In many instances, two salaries are required in order to qualify for a big enough mortgage.
However, sometimes situations occur where one salary is enough to justify the borrowing amount. Furthermore, there is usually a background reason why one applicant doesn’t want to go on the application.
It could well be that one applicant has had a previous credit problem. Such as bankruptcy or a CCJ which is stopping them getting a mortgage at the moment.
In that case, providing the spouse or partner is not connected to that issue then the mortgage could go in their sole name. That person would need to be careful to try and avoid creating a financial association with their partner. Also, they want to guarantee that their own credit score would remain unaffected by that issue.
Another example could be where one partner is not working. The maximum borrowing capacity as a couple is actually lower than if the working applicant took out the mortgage in their sole name. Believe me, this happens quite a lot!
Age also comes into the calculation sometimes. If you have one applicant aged in their 50’s, for example, buying with a younger partner. Usually, it’s possible if the younger applicant is a good earner that they could borrow more like a sole applicant.
It may be that there are stamp duty or other tax implications which would lead to an applicant preferring to apply on their own.
Some Lenders are quite strict about married applicants having to do the mortgage in joint names, probably because they are concerned that this could in some way affect their security in the future if the couple were to divorce. Luckily not all Lenders share this (slightly prejudicial) view.