Can You Change the Name on Your Mortgage When You Refinance?

by Bob Haring, Demand Media

    Refinancing is a good time to change the names on a mortgage because you're essentially getting a new loan to replace and pay off the one you have. You can refinance to get a better interest rate, lower monthly payments or better terms and change names while you're at it. You also can refinance to add another party to the loan; it’s a good way for an older parent to give a child an interest in a house. It's not hard to do, but be prepared to give the lender full information about the changes.

    Explain the Change

    Talk to your lender about changing names on a refinance. Use your existing lender or another one if you want to switch to get better terms. Give the reasons for the changes, such as a marriage or a divorce. Fill out an application with the new names and submit it to the lender. Normally, this will be enough to complete the switch. The new names will be accepted when the application is processed.

    Show Documents

    There are some situations where the lender may demand documentation to support the name change. Be prepared to show her a marriage certificate to add the name of a spouse or change a maiden name. On the other end of things, if the marriage is over, bring your divorce papers to show your name has changed. If a name is being removed from the mortgage, you may have to supply financial information for the names that remain. The lender will need to know the remaining borrowers can meet the loan qualifications.

    Change Title

    Change the names on the house deed to conform to the names on the refinanced loan. This is a separate procedure involving a county or other government agency that records property titles. It will vary from state to state, but it sometimes can be done in advance of refinancing since it deals with property ownership instead of financing.

    Closing Arrangements

    Find out in advance about closing details, especially if those you're adding to the mortgage live in a different state. Many of these deals are closed when the agent brings loan papers to your house or an office to be signed. If those being added are in a different state, you may need to arrange to have this done by mail, which may require getting documents notarized in another area. You'll need some time to get all of that done.

    About the Author

    Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.