Getting a foot on the property ladder can be tough at the best of times, but if you\u2019re looking to take out a mortgage loan as a single parent, the process can be even more challenging, especially if one of the obstacles you face is low income.\r\n\r\nFortunately, there are several specialist lenders and flexible mortgage products in the UK that are a good fit for single parents.\r\n\r\nThis article provides key information about mortgages for single parents, how to get them and whether any alternatives are available.\r\n\r\nIn this article, we\u2019ll be looking at the following:\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><a href="#single-parent">Mortgage challenges for single parents<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#eligibility-factors">Factors affecting eligibility for a single parent mortgage<\/a>\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><a href="#income">Income<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#affordability">Affordability<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#additional-income">Additional income<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#adverse-credit">Adverse credit issues<\/a><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#schemes-available">What mortgage help is available for single parents?<\/a>\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><a href="#htb-equity-loan">Government Help to Buy equity loan<\/a>\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><a href="#htb-london">Government Help to Buy equity loan London<\/a><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#shared-ownership">Government Shared Ownership Scheme<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#low-deposit-mortgages">Low deposit mortgages<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#guarantor-mortgages">Guarantor mortgages<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#family-gifted-deposits">Family gifted deposits<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#personal-loans">Personal loans<\/a><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#speak-to-expert">Speak to an expert in single parent mortgages today<\/a><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\nTo find lenders with the best deals for single parent applicants, call us on 0808 189 2301 or <a href="https:\/\/onlinemortgageadvisor.outgrow.us\/match-me-with-a-single-mortgage-specialist">make an enquiry<\/a>.\r\n\r\nWe\u2019ll then match you with an experienced broker who can find ideal lenders using their \u2018whole-of-market\u2019 access \u2013 and they may even find deals that aren\u2019t available to the public.\u00a0 All advice you receive is free, impartial and will have no impact on your credit rating.\r\n\r\n[feefo-banner]\r\n<h2 id="single-parent">Mortgage challenges for single parents<\/h2>\r\n'Single parent mortgages\u2019 are not a product in their own right, though it\u2019s important to find a mortgage product and lender\u2019s criteria must fit your needs.\r\n\r\nWhile the prospect of being a single parent with a mortgage to pay may seem impossible, this is not necessarily the case. Finding a provider willing to lend money to single parents may prove difficult due to the additional risk involved, however, there are lenders out there who can help.\r\n\r\nRealistically, you will be looked at more favourably if you were buying a property as a couple. For a single parent the main obstacle usually surrounds the typically lower income, so it may be the case that you need to find a mortgage lender who takes a flexible approach to <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-affordability\/">affordability<\/a>.\r\n<h2>How to find the best mortgage lender for single parents<\/h2>\r\nThe good news is that there are banks who can lend to single parents, and the best way to find one is by applying through a whole-of-market broker. They can offer you bespoke advice on this topic and introduce you to the lender best positioned to offer favourable rates to a single parent borrower.\r\n\r\nBy working with a mortgage broker, they can work to understand your circumstances and find the most suitable deals for you and your family. <a href="https:\/\/onlinemortgageadvisor.outgrow.us\/match-me-with-a-single-mortgage-specialist">Make an enquiry<\/a> to get started.\r\n<h2 id="eligibility-factors">What factors influence getting a mortgage as a single parent?<\/h2>\r\nLenders take several variables into account when assessing the eligibility of single parents, including:\r\n<h3 id="income">Income<\/h3>\r\n<a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/income-types\/low-income\/">Low or no income<\/a> from employment, which is typical of a single mother or father, can significantly reduce the amount you can borrow for a mortgage.\u00a0 Most providers are only willing to loan you <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-affordability\/3-times-income\/">three<\/a> to <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-affordability\/4-half-times-salary\/">four<\/a> times your annual income, although there are a handful of lenders stretch to <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-affordability\/5-times-salary-mortgages\/">five<\/a> or <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-affordability\/6-times-income\/">six times<\/a>.\r\n\r\nHowever, this will vary based on how many dependents you have; essentially, the more you have, the more this impacts your affordability and how much a prospective lender is willing to offer you.\r\n\r\nThe advisors we work with have access to every lender on the market and can introduce you to the provider most likely to offer higher income multiples to a single parent borrower with your needs and circumstances.\r\n<h3 id="affordability">Affordability<\/h3>\r\nAs well as the limitations surrounding income, another factor lenders will prioritise is affordability. For example, while your income may be low, if your monthly outgoings aren\u2019t too high, you may be looked on favourably by certain banks. Lenders assess your affordability by looking at your <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-affordability\/debt-to-income-ratio\/">debt-to-income ratio<\/a>.\r\n\r\nThis gives them insight into your income versus all your outgoings, which allows them to assess whether you can realistically afford to repay the loan you\u2019ve applied for over the agreed period.\u00a0 This moves us on to...\r\n<h3 id="additional-income">Additional sources of income<\/h3>\r\nAs we\u2019ve established, in order for a <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-application\/">mortgage application<\/a> to be considered, you need to be able to demonstrate to the lender that you are capable of paying off the loan.\u00a0 While your income may be low (or even non-existent if you\u2019re unemployed), there may be other sources of income you\u2019re receiving which lenders will consider. Read the section below for more information.\r\n<h2>What additional income sources will lenders accept for single parents?<\/h2>\r\nSo, what else can be factored in when assessing a mortgage application for a single parent? The main forms are child benefit payments, tax credits and maintenance payments that you receive from your ex-partner. There may also be other sources of income, such as universal credit, which will be added to the equation.\r\n\r\nFor example, if you're looking for a <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/income-types\/part-time-jobs-and-mortgages\/">mortgage and also have a part-time job<\/a> where you earn \u00a310,000 a year then based on a bank lending you the \u2018standard\u2019 three to four times the amount of your annual salary, you could be eligible to only borrow between \u00a330,000 \u2013 \u00a340,000 for a mortgage (although this will vary by lender, and will also be looked at alongside other factors).\r\n\r\nHowever, if you add up the total of the benefits you receive, this could raise the amount you\u2019re able to borrow. If all your benefits amount to, say, an additional \u00a310,000 annually, this plus your \u00a310,000 salary from work will be treated as an annual income of \u00a320,000, which theoretically raises the amount a mortgage provider could be willing to lend you.\r\n\r\nOf course, your lender will also take your outgoings into consideration. For example, your average monthly expenditure, including any loans you\u2019re currently paying off, how much is spent on childcare, etc. Some lenders will also include childcare vouchers when assessing affordability.\r\n<h3 id="adverse-credit">How does adverse credit affect mortgage loans for single parents?<\/h3>\r\nAs with any mortgage application, poor credit is not looked at favourably by lenders. Mortgage providers can take adverse credit issues seriously because if a borrower has fallen into financial difficulty in the past, the higher risk they are, as they could fall into further financial difficulty in the future.\r\n\r\nUltimately though, it comes down to how recent and how severe the bad credit issues are and the lender\u2019s criteria.\r\n\r\nFor example, if you have light historic arrears, a satisfied CCJ \/ default or a discharged bankruptcy that is over 6 years old, some banks may consider you.\r\n\r\nHowever, it\u2019s best to be aware of any adverse credit before making an application, as a lender may reject you during any stage of your application before completion if you don\u2019t disclose them. However, they may be more lenient with honest applicants.\r\n\r\nFor more details on <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/bad-credit-mortgages\/how-to-get-a-mortgage-with-bad-credit\/">how to get a mortgage with bad credit<\/a>, read our in-depth guide.\r\n\r\nLuckily, the advisors we work with can check your credit reports from the UK\u2019s three main credit referencing agencies (<a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/your-credit-score\/">Equifax, Experian and CallCredit<\/a>) for free to ensure that nothing is left off your application. Plus, checking these reports will have no impact on your credit.\r\n\r\n[feefo-banner]\r\n<h2 id="schemes-available">What mortgage help is available for single parents?<\/h2>\r\nWhile there are no specific mortgage initiatives for single parent borrowers, we\u2019re fortunate enough in the UK to benefit from several schemes (government-funded or otherwise) that can give you a leg up on the property ladder.\r\n\r\nSo, to all single parents seeking help with your mortgage payments, read on to find out which mortgage schemes could help you out.\r\n<h3 id="htb-equity-loan">Government Help to Buy equity loan<\/h3>\r\nThe government has several schemes available to help those who are finding things tough financially \u2013 a good option for a single mother or father struggling to save for a deposit.\r\n\r\nAs part of the <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/help-to-buy-mortgages\/">help-to-buy<\/a> initiative, the equity loan scheme allows you to buy a home with as little as 5% deposit saved. Alongside your savings, the government will provide you with a loan of up to 20% of the property\u2019s value to be used towards a deposit.\r\n\r\nThis means that you are only required to save a 5% deposit to be eligible for the scheme, giving you a far more attractive deposit of 25%, with a 75% loan-to-value mortgage making up the rest (although you can of course pay more out of your own pocket, if possible).\r\n<h4 id="htb-london">London Help to Buy equity loan<\/h4>\r\nConsidering the high cost of properties in certain areas of the UK, the government has increased the upper limit of the equity loan scheme from 20% to 40% for those looking to buy within Greater London.\r\n\r\nAgain, you\u2019ll need to contribute at least 5% of the property price as a deposit, and the Government will loan you up to 40% of the property value. As above, you would then take out a maximum mortgage of 55% to cover the rest.\r\n<h3 id="shared-ownership">Government Shared Ownership scheme<\/h3>\r\n<a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/shared-ownership\/">Shared Ownership<\/a> is another <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-application\/government-schemes\/">government mortgage<\/a> scheme available to <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/first-time-buyer-mortgages\/">first-time buyers<\/a> or lower income households. Shared Ownership allows you to buy a share (usually between 25% \u2013 75%) of a resale or a new build home.\r\n\r\nAlongside this you will pay reduced rent on the remaining share of the property, although later down the line you will have the option to buy a larger share if you can afford to. However, bear in mind that these types of properties are always leasehold.\r\n\r\nWhen it comes to Shared Ownership mortgages, most lenders will require you to have saved a <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/deposits\/low-deposit-mortgages\/">minimum of 5% deposit<\/a>. However, there are a handful of providers that will offer <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/deposits\/no-deposit-mortgages\/">100% mortgages<\/a> on Shared Ownership, meaning you may not be required to save anything at all, provided you can prove you can afford the repayments speak with a <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/shared-ownership\/shared-ownership-broker\/">shared ownership broker<\/a>\u00a0to find out more.\r\n<h3 id="low-deposit-mortgages">Low deposit mortgages<\/h3>\r\nAlthough you tend to be looked at more favourably if you have a deposit of 15% or more in savings, there are a few lenders out there who will accept a <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/deposits\/low-deposit-mortgages\/">5% deposit on a standard mortgage<\/a>.\r\n\r\nSo, if you\u2019re unwilling to \u2018invest\u2019 in a government scheme, there are still options available if you\u2019ve only got a small deposit. But remember the larger your deposit, the more likely you are to get competitive rates (which can save you money in the long term).\r\n<h3 id="guarantor-mortgages">Guarantor Mortgages<\/h3>\r\nA <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/guarantor-mortgages\/">guarantor mortgage<\/a> is when someone you know (typically a family member) uses their own savings or a personal asset such as their home as a deposit on your behalf.\r\n\r\nThis makes them responsible for your repayments if you\u2019re unable to do so, meaning that there is the possibility that your guarantor could have their property repossessed if you start defaulting on your repayments. To be accepted as a guarantor, the individual will need to own their own home, or own a certain amount of equity in the property (this figure will vary by lender).\r\n\r\nThey will also need a good credit record and proof that their income can cover your repayments on top of their own outgoings if necessary. If you have little or no deposit but are certain that you will be financially capable of keeping up with your mortgage repayments, this can be a good way to get a foot on the ladder because many lenders will allow you to borrow up to <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/guarantor-mortgages\/how-much-can-i-borrow-on-a-guarantor-mortgage\/">100% of a property\u2019s value<\/a>.\r\n<h4>Joint mortgage, sole proprietor agreements<\/h4>\r\nA popular alternative to a guarantor mortgage is a joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage. This type of agreement means you could have a <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-application\/mortgage-with-multiple-applicants\/">3 person mortgage<\/a> to help contribute to the mortgage payments while only one person owns the property and is named on the deeds.\r\n\r\nYou can find out more about <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-application\/joint-borrower-sole-proprietors\/">joint mortgage, sole proprietor<\/a> agreements in our standalone guide.\r\n<h3 id="family-gifted-deposits">Family gifted deposits<\/h3>\r\nMany parents like to help their kids out financially by contributing some or all of a deposit for their child\u2019s own home. A <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/deposits\/gifted-deposit-mortgage-advice\/">family gifted deposit<\/a> is a good option if you\u2019re struggling to save up a lump sum for a deposit, but are confident in your ability to afford the repayments in the future.\r\n\r\nDirect family such as parents, siblings and grandparents are usually accepted without question by most lenders, but most can be a lot more wary about gifts from more distant family. If you\u2019re fortunate enough to be in a position to be offered a deposit in the form of a gift from a close family member, this can be a simple and effective way of getting on the ladder even if you have zero deposit saved yourself (other factors considered).\r\n\r\nHowever, if you can make your own contribution to the deposit on top of the gift you will be looked at more favourably by lenders. The gifter will have to sign a gifted deposit letter stating that the gift is not repayable, and they will have no interest in the property.\r\n<h3 id="personal-loans">Personal loans<\/h3>\r\nIf you\u2019re considering <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/deposits\/borrowing-money-from-the-bank-for-your-mortgage-deposit\/">taking out a loan<\/a> in order to qualify for a mortgage deposit, this triggers warning signs to most lenders, and many will not consider you.\u00a0 This is partly due to the impact it has on your affordability and whether you can realistically afford to repay a loan and a mortgage at the same time. But the most significant issue is that you have not personally invested any of your own savings towards the deposit, and as such you\u2019re considered higher risk.\r\n\r\nThat said, scraping a deposit together as a single mum or dad can be very challenging, and if a loan is your only option, there are a couple of lenders that will consider you (in the right circumstances). If you can provide evidence to suggest that you will be able to afford both the mortgage repayments alongside the loan and your other outgoings, you might stand a chance.\r\n\r\nIt may be possible to do this with 5% loan and 95% mortgage, 10% loan and 90% mortgage, or even 15% loan and 85% mortgage. However, it\u2019s important to note that larger loans are less common, as the maximum amount you can borrow on a personal loan is \u00a325,000 (with the maximum term usually being 7 years), making repayments considerably higher than if they were over the full term of the mortgage.\r\n<h2>Can I use child benefits to aid my single parent mortgage application?<\/h2>\r\nMany lenders allow child benefit to be counted towards their affordability and can even be considered as a primary income, however, you may find that some lenders will only accept child benefit as income if the child or children in question are under 13 years old, and if you earn less than \u00a350,000 per year.\u00a0 This is because if your application\u2019s affordability is heavily based on your child benefit and you only have a few years left of receiving it, lenders may think that you are unable to carry on affording your payments once this has stopped.\r\n\r\nFor example, if you took out a five-year fixed term mortgage on a rate of 2.08% when your child was 13, you should be able to afford the payments on this deal. However, once the child in question stops becoming eligible for child benefit (for example, 18 years old and off to university) and your child benefit payments will stop, you may be unable to afford the increased rate of say 4.87% along with a lower income.\r\n\r\nBecause lenders will assess your affordability going forward, some might feel that you are unable to meet the payments without this extra benefit.\u00a0 It\u2019s also worth noting that some lenders may not agree to a mortgage if you list child tax credits, adoption benefits or foster care income as a source of income for your affordability assessment, though there are others that will accept these.\r\n<h2>Speak to an expert in single parent mortgages today<\/h2>\r\nIf you\u2019re wondering whether you can get help with your mortgage as a single parent, call us on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry <a href="https:\/\/onlinemortgageadvisor.outgrow.us\/match-me-with-a-single-mortgage-specialist">here<\/a>.\u00a0 The experts we work with can advise where necessary and source deals to suit your circumstances.