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Does alimony count as income for a mortgage?

After your divorce, you decide to stop renting and buy a house. You and your ex sold your house during the divorce, and you spent a year just renting an apartment while you got everything in order.

Your ex was ordered to pay you alimony every month. It supplements the income you get from your part-time job. Can you count this money as income when you go to the bank to apply for a mortgage loan? You know that you can afford a much nicer house if the alimony counts along with your paychecks.

It does. It is income. You can use it to get that mortgage.

There are some important factors to consider, however. One is simply how long you are going to get the alimony for in the future. If it's permanent alimony, that helps. But, if your ex was only ordered to pay for five years -- one year of which is already over -- then the mortgage lenders are not going to factor that into the equation when considering a 30-year mortgage. They need to know you can afford the payments for the duration of the loan.

On top of that, your ex might miss payments. Would this make it so that you can't pay the mortgage that month? The lenders may want to take a close look at your payment history. Consistency is key. If they can't trust that you will actually get that money, no matter what the court order says, they may not want to count it as income.

As you can see, alimony is very important to your future. Be sure you understand all of your rights and how the payment structure is set up.

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