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Getting a Single Person Mortgage

Get started with a specialist broker for expert advice on single person mortgages, or read our guide below

No impact on credit score

Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: August 25, 2021

If you’re single and thinking of getting a mortgage, you’re not alone. Many first-time buyers take the first step on the housing ladder when they’re still single. With more people looking for mortgages following separation and divorce too, there are plenty of opportunities to get a great deal, if you know where to turn for the right advice.

Can you get a mortgage on your own?

Yes. Getting a mortgage as a single person is treated no differently by lenders, and is actually more common than you might think.

Many first-time buyers decide to purchase their first property alone. In some cases this might just mean they have a lower deposit, or need to wait a little longer to buy than a couple with joint incomes who may be able to save a deposit quicker.

The first thing you need to know is if one lender has rejected your mortgage application, it doesn’t necessarily mean another lender will too. In fact, over 50% of the customers we’ve helped had been declined elsewhere before getting a mortgage through one of the brokers we work with.

How to buy a house as a single person

If you’re planning to apply for a mortgage solo, take a look at our guides to mortgage affordability and how income is assessed to give yourself a rough idea of the deals you might qualify for. Next, you should find a mortgage broker who specialises in solo applicants as this can help you ensure you find the right deal for your needs and circumstances.

Finding the right mortgage broker is something we can help you with. We offer a free broker-matching service that will take your background and mortgage requirements into account and pair you up with an expert who helps people like you every day.

This will be a fully-vetted mortgage advisor whose speciality is arranging mortgages for single applicants. Since you’re going it alone, expert advice can be worth its weight in gold.

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Mortgage sizes available to single people

The maximum amount you can borrow will be based on your income. Some providers will cap the amount they’re willing to lend to you based on 4.5 times your income, others will stretch to x5 and a small minority x6, under the right circumstances.

There are factors which might impact the lender’s willingness to let you borrow based on a higher income multiple. Having significant outgoings, for instance, might mean that your debt-to-income ratio is too high for the lender to approve a mortgage of a certain amount.

If you’re self-employed, most lenders will only let you borrow based on the earnings you can evidence with end-of-year accounts, but there are specialist mortgage providers who might be willing to offer you a mortgage based on your most recent year of trading, which can come in handy if you’ve had a particularly strong 12 months.

Right to Buy in sole name

In general, if you qualify for the Right to Buy scheme and want to purchase your council house through it, then the mortgage and ownership of the property will need to be in the names of the people on the Right to Buy paperwork.

So, if you’re the only person who qualifies, with most lenders you’d need to apply for the Right to Buy mortgage alone. This means a mortgage lender will assess your credit history and income individually.

Getting a Right to Buy joint mortgage

There are instances where a single person is named on the right to buy paperwork but can’t get a mortgage on their own and want to add someone else to the mortgage for their Right to Buy purchase.

In these instances, there are a handful of lenders happy to accommodate, in a similar manner to a joint mortgage sole proprietor setup.

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When to consider a joint mortgage in sole name only

One common scenario is when a family member is helping another family member out with their mortgage payments and has formally agreed to contribute to them. This is known as a joint borrower, sole proprietor (JBSP) agreement.

A JBSP mortgage allows a second party (usually a parent) to help their child buy a home by joining their mortgage without featuring on the title deeds.

Although this type of mortgage is a good option for first-time buyers, you might find it can also provide useful tax benefits and, in some cases, can be used to protect your assets.

Bad credit

Another scenario is when one applicant has bad credit and you want to prevent this from appearing on the mortgage application.

If you’re considering a solo mortgage for a property that will be occupied by two people to avoid bad credit showing up on the application, there are lenders out there who cater for even the most recent and severe bad credit scenarios.

The specialist brokers we work with know the lenders willing to offer mortgages to people with adverse credit history, and can deal with anything from late payments, debt management and even bankruptcy.

Many people think you need 50% deposit before a lender will even consider your mortgage application if you have adverse credit, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, in certain circumstances, buying with just 5% deposit is possible, and at favourable rates too!

Can I ring-fence my deposit contribution on a joint mortgage?

When you purchase a property with a joint mortgage, it’s usual for one applicant to have a larger deposit contribution than the other.

If you have concerns about potentially losing your contribution in the event of selling the property due to a break-up or a dispute, you can ring-fence your share by applying for a joint mortgage as tenants in common.

However, if you’re buying in sole name, you can write up a contract with a solicitor to agree terms separately from the mortgage.

This is a legal agreement your mortgage lender won’t recognise and is an entirely separate arrangement you should make alongside the mortgage.

Remortgage into one name (take someone off a mortgage)

Remortgaging from a joint mortgage to a single mortgage is essentially the same as the remaining person re-applying for a new mortgage on their own, either with the same lender or a new one.

Going for a new mortgage lender might give you access to superior rates, but remortgage fees should be factored into the decision.

For more information about removing someone from a mortgage, see our standalone guide on this subject through the link.

Why single person mortgage calculators won’t give you the full picture

A quick online search will easily find mortgage calculators, but you should be aware that this kind of online calculator can only give you a very rough idea of how much you may be able to borrow.

At best, online calculators use generic multiplier tools and so will never be as precise as talking to an experienced mortgage advisor. Even going through an official calculator with a lender will only give you that one lender’s figures.

If you’re considering a mortgage application as a single person, we recommend speaking to an expert who can establish the most accurate maximum loan figure from the whole market. This takes knowledge and a bit of leg work, but is the best way to know exactly where you stand, without resorting to basing your house hunting on inaccurate figures, which might lead to disappointment.

If you’re interested in getting a mortgage in a single name as a first-time buyer, or as part of a more complex arrangement, get in touch. We’ll match you with a broker with the right specialist knowledge to answer your questions and help get you the mortgage you want. All the brokers we work with have deep working relationships with mortgage lenders across the UK, so they know the lenders who offer the best mortgage rates, saving you time, hassle and money – the right mortgage could save you time, money and potential disappointment. Call 0808 189 2301 or make a quick online enquiry. Our matching service is free and it costs nothing to speak to one of the brokers we work with. There’s absolutely no obligation and brokers only get paid when you get the mortgage you want.

Get Started Call us 0808 189 2301

FAQs

Can I apply for a mortgage on my own if I’m self-employed?

Yes, you can! The main considerations are:

  • Employment capacity: Lenders will assess sole traders and Ltd directors differently. Mortgages for limited company directors will usually be assessed by the income they have drawn from the business. However, some will also consider the share of retained profit that could have been drawn, which, if you go to the right lender, could result in far higher lending figures.
  • Accounts: most lenders want 3 years of accounts, some 2, some less than 1. The longer you have been set up that way, and the more profit in the business you have, the more lenders will consider your application. Don’t worry if you’ve only been working this way for a year or two, as there may be lenders who will consider your mortgage application. A specialist broker, like the ones we work with, will know which lenders would consider fewer than 3 years’ accounts.
  • Income figures: Turnover, Profit, and Drawings (salary + dividends). Most lenders will average your income over 3 years figures, so if you’ve had a large increase in income in the most recent year, lenders that take only this year into account will offer the largest loans.

Can I get a single person mortgage with a low deposit?

Yes. If you’re buying a property on your own as a first time buyer, you might be surprised to know that single 95% mortgages are available on both open market properties as a straightforward purchase, and on Help to Buy deals with new build property, using the Help to Buy scheme.

If you’re considering buying either a new build or existing property on your own, get in touch and we’ll match you to one the mortgage experts we work with. They will be happy to answer all your questions and find you the right mortgage at the best possible price.

Can I get a secured loan as a single applicant?

Yes. If you own a property in your own name and want to release some cash, you have the option of either borrowing on a main remortgage, or taking a second mortgage (secured loan).

The benefit of a remortgage can be that the whole debt is on one loan with the same lender, and at fantastic rates, whereas borrowing on a secured loan with a new lender can mean slightly higher rates and fees.

Remortgaging could mean paying fees if you’re locked into an introductory fixed rate period. Taking out a secured loan means you can avoid paying these fees but still borrow more to make up the difference in the increased amount you want to borrow without changing a mortgage you’re otherwise happy with.

Secured loan lenders tend to be more flexible when underwriting the loan and can accept more recent and severe adverse credit issues, as well as being more generous on their lending amounts, in some instances offering over 10x income where most main mortgage lenders cap this at 4x (some will do 5x and a few will do 6x max).

If you have a joint mortgage and want a single secured loan

In general, it’s not possible for one person to take out a secured loan on a jointly owned property.

Owning a property with someone else, even if you’ve decided on the % ownership using tenants in common, still means you both have to agree on the debts secured against it. The mortgage remains a joint and shared debt that you’re both equally responsible for, and any new debt would be the same.

The only way of borrowing on your own when you’re in a joint mortgage, would be to take out an unsecured loan or, if you own another property in your own name, remortgaging or taking a secured loan against that property.

Can I apply for a mortgage in one person’s name even if there are two people buying the property?

Generally, no. In order to get a mortgage on the property, lenders will want all owners to be named.

However, it is possible to do the reverse, and get a mortgage in two names with only one owner named on the deeds.

This arrangement is known as joint mortgage sole proprietor and tends to be used to share liability for a mortgage with someone who has no legal right over the equity. A bit like a guarantor mortgage, but different.

There are lots of reasons why you might want to apply for a single person mortgage when there are two people buying the property. As mentioned above, a common reason is that a partner could have bad credit which with some lenders would lead to an instant rejection on a joint mortgage application, especially for first-time buyers.

Can I get a sole name buy-to-let mortgage?

Yes. Getting a buy-to-let mortgage in a single name is much the same process as getting a residential mortgage as a single person, but some lenders’ minimum income thresholds can be pretty tight and this can be a reason why an application may be declined.

However, there are other lenders who offer buy-to-let mortgages with no minimum income requirements, speak to a specialist broker who knows which lenders have no minimum income requirements for buy-to-let mortgages.

Got a question?

We can help!

We know everyone's circumstances are different, so if you have a specific question about getting a single person message then get in touch.

Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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