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My partner and I want to buy a single-family home. Neither of us has owned a home before.

- I have a solid income, no debt, and an excellent credit score.

- He has a very low reported income and lots of debt (scary debt/income ratio).

For the sake of simplicity, assume that it doesn't matter to us who is on the mortgage; it doesn't matter to us who "owns" the house; we will both be living in the home for the next 30 years; and we will divide all monthly expenses in some equitable manner.

Due to our contrasting financial situations, my feeling is that it would be better for me to apply for a mortgage on my own than it would be for us to apply together. I don't see how adding him to the picture helps us financially, as we would just be adding a lot of debt and little income.

However, we will both be living in the house and sharing expenses. So what I, by myself, can afford on paper is lower than what we, together, can actually afford in practice. For example, it would be a stretch for me to afford our current rent on my own, but it's no problem between the two of us. He can pay a certain amount each month, even if it doesn't look like it on paper.

What are some of our options?

- When applying for a mortgage, is there an "official" way to account for the fact that after you buy a home you will have someone who is not on the mortgage paying part of your mortgage?

- Is it worth our while to look into "no documentation" loans?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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