Mar 9, 2024 - Business

How divorcees are keeping their 3% mortgage

Illustration of a golden percentage symbol, but the 0's are broken wedding rings.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Divorcees are getting creative to avoid near-7% mortgages.

Why it matters: It's not just the ex causing heartbreak — homeowners around the country are loath to part with their low mortgage rate.

State of play: Some couples who split up are continuing to live together until mortgage rates fall, even if it means one of them moving into the basement, MarketWatch reports.

Zoom in: It's possible for both partners to stay on the mortgage for a set number of years even after divorce, says Alex Jacobson, founder of a Chicago mediation group.

  • Then, either they sell the home, or the person who's keeping the house refinances to get the loan in their name, Jacobson tells Axios.

Between the lines: For many who are recently divorced, refinancing the house or buying a new one could send their monthly mortgage payment soaring, according to the Divorce Lending Association.

Zoom in: "I recently dealt with a situation where the couple owned a very nice home with a sub-3% mortgage and were forced to sell because neither could afford the home on their own," Ryan Preuett, a Chicago-based real estate advisor, tells Axios.

  • Both ended up renting, he says.

What's next: Others are turning to mortgage assumptions, a rare but growing way to take over an existing home loan.

Go deeper: Divorce in America gets a glow-up

Go deeper