What options are available? Do the both of us need to have good credit?
This is a very common scenario when one spouse has good credit and the other has bad credit. One possible solution is to have your mortgage professional or mortgage broker look into doing the loan in only the name of the spouse with the good credit. This may help qualify you for the best mortgage available by doing the financing in the name of only one spouse. Both husband and wife will still be on title to the home and have ownership interest in the home, except only one person will be on the actual mortgage loan. Ask a mortgage consultant (mortgage professional) about this option to see if it may be an option for you.
There are some lenders that will do an average score of both borowers to qualify the loan, this eliminates the traditional Primary Wage earner problems.
If you have bad credit and your spouse has good credit be sure too look over your credit report closely for errors. Many people have incorrect derogatory on their credit reports that will negatively affect their credit score. If you find errors on your credit report be sure to ask your preferred mortgage professional the proper steps to remove the incorrect entries.
Some lenders only care about the credit of the main borrower. If the person making the most is the one with the high score, you would be able to use the income of both borrowers and still get a good interest rate.
There are a number of different options available - some lenders will use the credit score of the primary wage earner, the one who earns the most. Other lenders have programs that allow the highest credit score to be used if not all of the income from the other spouse is needed to qualify. Consult with your mortgage professional to determine what options you have.