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Home Equity

Can You Apply for a Home Equity Loan or HELOC Without Your Spouse?

In many cases, you can apply for a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) without your spouse, but you might need their consent.

Applying for a home equity loan may be beneficial in certain situations; for example, if you have good credit and your partner has poor credit. But depending on where you live and what state law dictates, restrictions might limit what you can do without your spouse—regardless of whether they’re on the title of the property. 

Can you get a home equity loan or HELOC without your spouse?

Whether you can meet HELOC or home equity loan requirements with or without your spouse depends on your state’s marriage laws and whether you live in a state with equal distribution— aka community property—or equitable distribution. 

The nine community property states are: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Equal dist. / Comm. propertyEquitable dist.
What it meansBoth spouses receive the same amount of an asset regardless of their needs or income.Takes into account each spouse’s needs, income, etc.
ExampleYou & your spouse decide to sell your $400,000 house. Because you live in an equal dist. state, you each get $200,000 from the sale.If you sell your $400,000 home in a community property state, one spouse may get more of the proceeds because they contributed more to monthly payments throughout the life of the loan.

If you’re not actively separated or going through a divorce, you can apply on your own but will likely need spousal consent for primary residences. The table below shows which state has which type of property laws and whether you can apply without your spouse in that state.

StateProperty lawsApply w/o spouse? 
AlabamaEquitable
AlaskaEquitable (But married couples can choose community)
Only titled spouses
ArizonaCommunity
For community property
ArkansasEquitable
CaliforniaCommunity
ColoradoEquitable
ConnecticutEquitable
DelawareEquitable
(unless mid-divorce)
District of ColumbiaEquitable
FloridaEquitable
GeorgiaEquitable
HawaiiEquitable
IdahoCommunity
IllinoisEquitable
IndianaEquitable
IowaEquitable
KansasEquitable
KentuckyEquitable
LouisianaCommunity
MaineEquitable
MarylandEquitable
MassachusettsEquitable
MichiganEquitable
MinnesotaEquitable
MississippiEquitable
MissouriEquitable
MontanaEquitable
NebraskaEquitable
NevadaCommunity
New HampshireEquitable
New JerseyEquitable
New MexicoCommunity
New YorkEquitable
North CarolinaEquitable
North DakotaEquitable
OhioEquitable
OklahomaEquitable
OregonEquitable
PennsylvaniaEquitable
(unless mid-divorce)
Rhode IslandEquitable
South CarolinaEquitable
South DakotaEquitable
TennesseeEquitable
TexasEquitable
UtahEquitable
VermontEquitable
VirginiaEquitable
WashingtonEquitable
West VirginiaEquitable
WisconsinCommunity
If spouse is non-titled
WyomingEquitable

Our expert’s take

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

I find that spouses who are in good standing—not in the process of or planning separation or divorce—want to obtain mortgages together, in their living trust, or separately (depending on their estate, financial plan, or what state they live in). My recommendation is to discuss the pros and cons with each other and consult the lender or a financial professional to understand the pros and cons for your unique situation. For couples who know they are separating, are in separation, or are recently divorced, and settlement of property isn’t yet complete, I advise waiting to make any major financial changes that could affect the other spouse. This could lead to increased legal problems and costs.

Lenders that allow you to get a home equity loan or HELOC without your spouse

Once you understand your state’s laws, you can look for lenders that will allow you to apply for a home equity loan or HELOC without your spouse if it’s allowed. 

Here are three options to get started with. However, whether the lender will allow you to take out a home equity product without a spouse will depend on the laws in your state:


Figure – Best overall HELOC

HELOC editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Fast funding times
  • Available for primary and secondary residences
  • Requires 100% initial draw

Figure requires your name to be listed on the title to apply. Whether your spouse needs to apply or give consent depends on your state’s specific laws, but you can’t have had any title changes within the last 90 days. 

So if you and your spouse just bought the house, or you were recently divorced and you bought out your spouse’s equity, you may need to wait.

  • Rates: 8.95%16.9% APR
  • Loan amounts: Up to $400,000
  • Repayment terms: Up to 30 years
  • Eligibility requirements: Must be on the title; must be employed, self-employed, or retired
  • Required initial draw: 100% of credit line (minus fees)

Spring EQ – Best multi-product application

HELOC editorial rating: 3.6 out of 5

  • Home equity loan editorial rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Check eligibility for HELOC and home equity loan with one application
  • Required initial HELOC draw: $50,000

Spring EQ offers 100% digital completion of forms, which helps the speed of the application and funding process. 

It also offers instant qualification, so you’ll quickly know whether or not you can apply for a HELOC or home equity loan without your spouse. If you’re still unsure, speak to the dedicated expert Spring EQ provides.

  • Rates: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: Up to $500,000
  • Repayment terms: Up to 30 years
  • Eligibility requirements: Proof of income; 640 credit score or higher; debt-to-income ratio of 45% or less
  • Required initial draw: $50,000 (HELOC only)

Hitch – Best for flexible qualification

HELOC editorial rating: 4.3 out of 5

  • Average funding time is 21 days
  • Borrow up to 95% of your home equity
  • Requires 100% initial draw

With a HELOC from Hitch, you’ll get a dedicated mortgage loan officer to answer any eligibility questions you have. 

Loan officers are licensed by state, which means they can walk you through whether you can apply without your spouse and whether you need your spouse’s consent.

  • Rates: 7.75%13%
  • Loan amounts: Up to $500,000
  • Repayment terms: Up to 30 years
  • Eligibility requirements: 620 credit score minimum; income verification and property evaluation required
  • Required initial draw: 100% of credit line (minus fees)
  • State availability: CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, IL, MD, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, SC, VA, WA, DC.

Should you apply for a home equity loan or HELOC without your spouse?

Valid reasons to apply for a HELOC without a spouse exist, such as:

  • If only one spouse has good credit: If you have good credit but your spouse doesn’t, you may decide it’s best to apply on your own. You may have better approval odds if you meet all other home equity loan and HELOC requirements. This is a possibility, but your spouse may still have to sign the loan.
  • The couple is separated: If you and your spouse are separated and want to apply for a home equity loan or HELOC, whether you can do so depends on the terms of your separation agreement.
  • The property is in one spouse’s name: If a person purchased a home before marriage and never added their spouse to the loan, they can apply for a home equity loan or HELOC alone. However, depending on where you live, you still may need your partner’s consent.
  • One spouse makes all the income: If you earn all your household’s income, a lender may allow you to apply for a home equity loan or HELOC without your spouse depending on where you live. 

FAQ

Will lenders tell me if my spouse applies for a HELOC without me?

Whether a lender will inform you if your spouse applies for a home equity loan or HELOC without you depends on its policies and where you live.

For example, if your spouse lives in Texas and applies for a home equity loan without you, lenders must get your permission in writing. This allows them to foreclose on the home if the loan isn’t repaid.

Can you take out a HELOC during a divorce?

Most states prevent just one spouse from taking out a HELOC during a divorce. However, it may be part of your divorce settlement. Some people take out a HELOC to pay off their ex-spouse’s shared equity. That person then gets to retain ownership of the property and the other gets their share of the value.

Do both spouses need to sign a HELOC or home equity loan agreement?

It depends on your state’s property laws. Most states have restrictions on applying for a HELOC or home equity loan without spousal consent. It depends on the state’s common property and homestead laws. 

Do any lenders have less strict requirements about spousal consent on a home equity loan or HELOC?

Each state determines the rules revolving around spousal consent. Because lenders must follow state laws if they wish to do business within it, individual state property laws determine whether you can get a home equity loan or HELOC without your spouse’s consent.