Single Parent Mortgage Help
Find out how to get a Mortgage as a Single Parent with the best possible rate
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- Specialists in single applicant mortgages
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Homeownership isn’t an impossible dream if you are a single parent. You can get a mortgage under these circumstances, and in this article, we’ll take you through how to do it, look at government schemes to help single parents buy a home, and explain how a mortgage broker can help
Can you get a mortgage as a single parent?
Yes. Mortgage lenders don’t discriminate against someone purely because of their marital status, but being a single parent can indirectly make it more difficult to get a mortgage.
Single parent families tend to have lower incomes than two parent households, and one of the lowest average levels of savings of any group in the UK, both of which can impact mortgage eligibility.
What if you only work part time?
You can potentially still get a mortgage. The fact of working part-time in itself doesn’t discount you from being able to get an application approved as a single parent, it will depend more on how much you earn in that part-time job, what other income you have coming in and your savings. A mortgage broker will be able to provide you with an accurate idea of how much you could afford to borrow.
See our guide to getting a mortgage with a part-time job for more information.
How to get a mortgage as a single parent
Your first step should be to speak with a mortgage broker who specialises in helping single parents onto the property ladder. Make an enquiry and we’ll match you with a mortgage advisor with the right background and track record for this.
Your handpicked mortgage broker will walk you through the following steps to full application:
- Calculating how much you can borrow and what support you need
- Find the mortgage lenders who are best placed to help you
- Securing the best rate available and helping you file your application
Speak to an expert on how you get get help as a single parent
Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist
What size mortgage can single parents get?
Use our calculator below to get an idea of roughly how much you might be able to borrow based on your current income.
Mortgage Affordability Calculator
Our affordability calculator can tell you how much you can potentially borrow from a mortgage lender. Simply enter your total household income below and our calculator will do the rest.
You could borrow up to
Most lenders would consider letting you borrow
This is based on 4.5 times your household income, the standard calculation used by the majority of mortgage providers. To borrow more than this, you will need to use a mortgage broker to access specialist lenders.
Some lenders would consider letting you borrow
This is based on 5 times your household income, a salary multiple you might struggle to qualify for without the help of a broker. This income multiple is not widely available to customers who are applying directly with a lender.
A minority of lenders would consider letting you borrow
This is based on 6 times your household income, a salary multiple you will struggle to get without a broker. Six-times salary mortgages are usually only available under very specific circumstances.
Get Started with an expert broker to find out exactly how much you could borrow.
If you’re concerned about the amount you can borrow then speak to a broker about the possibility of a 95% LTV mortgage or alternatives such as gifted deposits from family, guarantor mortgages or family offset mortgages, all of which can be good options for single parents on a low income or with minimal savings.
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Do benefits count towards income for a mortgage?
The rules around getting a mortgage on benefits can be confusing as some count as income for the purposes of a lender’s affordability calculations and others are disregarded. Different lenders also have their own policies on benefits, so it’s important that your broker has a clear picture of your entire financial situation before they start their research..
The following benefits may be eligible to be included in your income total, either in full or in part. If yours isn’t on this list then speak to your broker about whether it can be considered:
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Child Benefit
- Carers Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit (IB)
- Maternity Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Widow’s Pension
- Industrial Injuries Benefit (IIB)
- Universal Credit
Can you include child maintenance as income?
Yes, it’s often possible to include child maintenance as part of your annual income, although the details of what’s eligible may vary between lenders. Some for instance may want to see formal evidence of the maintenance arrangement in the form of a court agreement or CSA letter, while others may be content to see evidence of a private arrangement through bank statements. Other lenders may want the agreement to have been in place for a set amount of time, or only count a proportion of the maintenance as income.
Consider too the age of your children and how long you have left on your agreement. If your children are young and the maintenance is expected to continue for 10+ years then that’s a very different prospect for a lender to payments for teenagers, which may be due to stop within the next few years. In this case lenders will rightly want to know how you will cover the shortfall once the maintenance payments stop.
Which lenders will accept child maintenance on an application?
The way that lenders will consider child maintenance can vary significantly, so it’s important that your broker looks at the details of this as part of their research.
To give you an idea of the variation, here are a few examples from the time of writing (Oct 22):
- Cambridge Building Society can potentially accept maintenance as an income type on cases with a maximum LTV of 80%, with a minimum of six months payment history, and a minimum of three years payments still receivable.
- Leek United Building Society may accept private maintenance arrangements subject to six months bank statements showing the maintenance being received. The Society will accept 50% of the maintenance as an income type.
- Santander may consider maintenance payments that are not court ordered but have been historically paid, but will count them as a secondary income at 65%.
How we got Mitchell's mortgage approved!
"As a single dad I needed to borrow 5 times my salary to afford the property I wanted. Every lender I met with capped their borrowing at 4.5 times salary and refused me even though I had great credit. Online Mortgage Advisor recommended a building society who I'd not considered, but borrowed up to 5.5 times salary! Suddenly my application was accepted and me and my daughter were one step closer to our new home."
What government schemes can single parents use?
While there aren’t any government schemes focussed specifically on single parent mortgages, there are a few that are designed to make homeownership more affordable and accessible, and which could be useful for single mums and dads.
If you can’t afford to buy a home outright but want to get your foot on the ladder then shared ownership could be an option. Under the shared ownership scheme you buy an initial share in a property – normally between 25-75% – and pay rent on the remainder. Shared ownership is more affordable as you need a smaller deposit and mortgage, and you have the option to increase your share over time until you own the property outright if you want to.
If you are under 40 and looking ahead to buy a home in the next few years, then it’s worth channelling your savings into a Lifetime ISA (LISA). These have replaced the original Help to Buy ISA and allow anyone aged 18-39 to save up to £4,000 a year and earn a 25% government bonus on top. Savings can only be used to buy a home or for retirement.
Absolute Fab: I got a mortgage as an ex-bankrupt !!!
As an ex-bankrupt with a qualified Annulment I had to take several bridging loans to cover my debt. I found Online Mortgage Advisor who offered fantastic but specific insight to my issues. Within 6 weeks we exchanged contracts and I am now debt-free, and my house is safe.
They pulled out all the stops
Great staff and good communication. Helped us understand the process and gone over and above to help in a difficult situation. Other companies couldn't even be bothered but Thank you so much!
Anneke Woolley, 12 days ago
Our advisor was amazing from the start!
Aaron went above and beyond. He worked late and kept in contact with me and worked tirelessly to find me the best mortgage he could
James, 10 days ago
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Help with mortgage payments for single parents
Yes there is. Should your circumstances change and you find yourself struggling to keep up with repayments as a single parent, there are ways available via the government to access mortgage assistance, depending on where you live, such as:
- Mortgage Rescue Scheme (Wales)
- Home Owners’ Support Fund (Scotland)
- Support for Mortgage Interest (UK-wide)
Aside from government support, if you already own your own home you could look at remortgaging on to a more affordable deal or even look at taking a temporary payment holiday. This is where you’d agree with the lender to temporarily reduce or halt repayments for a specific period of time.
Speak to a broker experienced in single parent mortgages
Being a single parent and responsible for a whole family by yourself can feel overwhelming at the best of times, and finding the time and mental capacity on top of this to research and compare mortgage deals can feel impossible. That’s where a broker comes in – they take all of this responsibility away, saving you time, money and worry.
Give us a call on 0808 189 2301 or make a quick online enquiry and we’ll take a look at your personal situation, think about what you need and match you with the broker that we think is best placed to help you make your dream of homeownership a reality.
Speak to an expert on how you get get help as a single parent
Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist
Yes, depending on how much you’re earning and your broader financial picture. Most lenders will want to see three years of accounts or tax returns for a self-employed mortgage, but if you haven’t been working for yourself for that long then your broker may still be able to find a lender for you.
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