Single parent mortgage (A 3 point guide)
single parent mortgages are very common. You don’t need a co-borrower to be eligible for a mortgage. If you are a single parent with a good mortgage affordability then you may be able to get a single parent mortgage to buy your property.
There are also a host of government schemes that could you to get on the property ladder as a single parent.
If you are worried about your ability to be able to get a mortgage then you should speak to a mortgage broker who may be able to assist you in finding the right mortgage for your needs.
Single parent mortgages aren’t an actual category but you may find a lot of mortgage lenders willing to lend to single parents as long as you can afford the monthly mortgage repayments on your own. Mortgage lenders will look into your childcare costs and how they could potentially rise to see how much you could afford per month.
If you are single or you simply want to get a mortgage on your own then this is very possible.
As long as you have a good credit score, a mortgage deposit and your salary meet the mortgage lenders mortgage multiple requirements then you may be able to get a single parent mortgage.
The alternative to getting a single parent mortgage will be to get a joint mortgage. The benefits of joint mortgages are of course the fact that you may be able to combine the mortgage affordability of more than one borrower meaning you could potentially build a mortgage deposit faster and get on the property ladder quicker.
When getting a single parent mortgage you may find out that the deposit requirement is much larger than if you were getting a joint mortgage. This doesn’t mean you are being required to put down a larger mortgage deposit but rather because there is no one to split the mortgage deposit requirement with you it appears bigger.
The typical mortgage deposit you can be expected to pay when you are a single parent getting a mortgage or two people getting a joint mortgage is the same. Most mortgage lenders will require a mortgage deposit of 5% these days but some may request as much as 20% or upwards.
Example of a mortgage deposit which you may need to put down for a single parent mortgage:
You want to buy a house for £500,000
The mortgage lender wants a mortgage deposit of 20% and due to that a loan to value of 80%.
This means you will need a mortgage deposit of £100,000. This may seem too much for you to save at first but you may have some help.
If you are planning to get a mortgage alone then it is better to start your mortgage planning far in advance as it may take you longer to save when it is just you saving.
Family springboard mortgages
If you have family members or friends who may be able to help you with their savings then you may have some family deposit mortgage options such as the family springboard mortgage, they include mortgages from lenders such as the Barclays family springboard mortgage, the lloyds lend a hand mortgage or the post office family link mortgage.
These mortgages act like a form of guarantor mortgages but they aren’t exactly. You may still be able to find some guarantor mortgages which could reduce the strain of a mortgage deposit for you.
Aside from the family springboard mortgages your family members or friends could also simply gift you a mortgage deposit but not all mortgage lenders are keen on lending to borrowers who have been gifted their mortgage deposit and the ones who accept this may insists in a gifted deposit letter which ensures that the gift is indeed a gift and not a loan which may have some claim on the first charge mortgage if the mortgage lender ever had to reposssess the property.
If you aren’t able to find any family members who may be able to help you then there is help from the Government with its first-time buyer and home mover government schemes
If you are an eligible first-time buyer or home mover then you may be able to get a mortgage with a government scheme. You can use the scheme as a single parent or with multiple people but the scheme rules will still apply.
If you are a first-time buyer then you will likely need to sign a first-time buyer declaration
Example if the maximum property price on a property is £500,000 then even if there were two of you the maximum property price the government scheme will accept is £500,000.
Some of the Government schemes you may be able to use with a single parent mortgage include:
- Lifetime ISA– gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save a maximum £4,000 a year.
- Help to buy ISA– gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
- Help to buy equity loan– gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
- Shared ownership– You can buy between 25% to 75% of the property initially with a shared ownership mortgage and then buy more using a staircasing mortgage.
- Armed forces help to buy– similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
- Rent to buy– This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
- Right to buy– allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
- Preserved right to buy– same as above.
- Right to acquire– similar to the above.
Depending on where you live, you may also be able to take advantage of home buying schemes provided by your local council. Example: In Norwich, the local councils provide the Norwich home options scheme.
If you are unable to get a government scheme to help you with your mortgage deposit then you may still be able to get a low deposit single parent mortgage which requires only 5% as a mortgage deposit.
When working out how much you may be able to borrow if you are borrowing alone the first thing you may want to do is check the mortgage lenders mortgage multiple.
The mortgage lenders mortgage multiple will be the first indication of if the mortgage lender may be willing to lend you the amount of mortgage you want based on your income.
Mortgage multiples are essentially a number by which the mortgage lender multiplies your annual income by to let you know the maximum they will be able to lend to you. When you apply for a mortgage in principle a mortgage multiple is likely what is used as a first indication of if a mortgage lender will lend to you.
Different mortgage lenders have different mortgage multiples so comparing for every mortgage lender may be hard and this is why a mortgage broker who may have experience of the mortgage multiples being used by a mortgage lender.
Mortgage multiples can be a bit misleading as when you get a mortgage in principle you may think that this is some guarantee that you are going to get a mortgage but it isn’t.
After you have found a property which you want to buy, you will usually then go back and make a full mortgage application so the mortgage lender can give you a formal mortgage offer.
At this point, the mortgage lender will request your financial documents such as:
- Your p60 tax return
- Your SA302 tax calculation form if you are self-employed
- Bank statements for at least 3 months
- And 3 months worth of payslips
- Your CV
- Any contracts you may have with employers
With all this information the mortgage lender will analyse your finances to see how much you have in disposable income per month and if this can cover the cost of your monthly mortgage repayments.
If you can’t cover the cost of your monthly mortgage as you are a single borrower then you may want to consider finding a co-borrower who can split the mortgage deposit with you or who will split the monthly mortgage repayments with you and apply for a joint mortgage.
You should seek independent legal advice when doing this as you may need to go into a tenants in common agreement, a cohabitation agreement and have a declaration of trust agreement if necessary.
When getting a joint mortgage you should ensure that your co-borrower is also eligible as a first-time buyer if you intend to use a home buying government scheme as an eligible first-time buyer. If your co-borrower isn’t an eligible first-time buyer then you won’t be eligible for any of the governments home buying schemes which require you to be.
This is also the case for the first-time buyer stamp duty relief.
When getting a single parent mortgage you may be able to increase your mortgage affordability with supplementary income. Supplementary income could be overtime, bonuses, stipend income and benefits.
Mortgage lenders don’t all accept supplementary income but those who do may only accept a percentage of it rather than all of the supplementary income.
If most of your earnings as a single parent are of supplementary income then you may need to find a mortgage lender who is willing to lend you the amount you are after and also accept most of your supplementary income.
Some mortgage lenders may also accept benefits whilst some will not accept benefits. If benefits play a significant stake in your income then you will want to find a mortgage lender who accepts a huger percentile of benefits as income.
Supplementary income could include:
Overseas earned income
- Attendance Allowance benefit
- Carer’s Allowance benefit
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit benefit
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Incapacity Benefit (IB)
- Industrial Injuries Benefit (IIB)
- Maternity Allowance benefit
- Pension Credit benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widow’s Pension benefit
- Working tax credit benefit
How many debts can you have when applying for a mortgage alone?
If you are applying for a mortgage as a single parent then the number of open debt accounts the mortgage lender may be willing to see open on your credit file may be limited.
Mortgage lenders may like to see that people could keep up on their debt obligations by paying back their debts on time but too much debt may not be good for anybody.
Usually, before a mortgage lender will give you a mortgage offer they will take a deep dive into your credit file to see how many debt accounts you have open and your repayment history on the debts.
As a single parent, the mortgage lender may focus more on your disposable income after your committed expenditures which includes your debt.
Some mortgage lenders may prioritize the fact that you can make all your debt repayments each month and still have enough disposable income to cover your monthly mortgage repayments.
Other mortgage lenders may look at the current amount of debt accounts you have open as a single borrower and determine that they are too many.
Getting a mortgage as a single parent with bad credit may be difficult as mortgage lenders may usually want to lend to borrowers who have a good credit score and have shown a good repayment history on all their previous debts.
There are however mortgage lenders who will offer a single parent mortgage to a borrower depending on what type of bad credit was and what the circumstances were.
If it was a CCJ which was satisfied and is a certain age then some mortgage lenders may be willing to lend. Other mortgage lenders may lend if the CCJ was a maximum amount.
When looking to get a mortgage with bad credit the requirements from different mortgage lenders will differ and a bad credit mortgage broker may be able to assist you in getting a single parent mortgage.
Bad credit could include:
A debt management plan
A home repossession
Getting a single parent mortgage if you are self-employed is certainly possible but most mortgage lenders may want to see your accounts for 3 years at the very minimum although there may be mortgage lenders willing to offer a single parent mortgage with less than 3 years worth of accounts but at least 12 months.
The documents you may need as a self -employed mortgage include:
Your company accounts if you work through a limited company
You may find using the services of a mortgage broker who has experience dealing with self-employed borrowers.
Other considerations a mortgage lender may take into account when offering a single parent mortgage to a self-employed are:
The Trading style: are you drawing a salary from a company or do you have a claim over a share of retained profits. These could make a significant difference on how much you may be able to borrow.
Your experience: how long have you been self-employed and what is your working history.
Getting a remortgage as a single parent is almost the same as getting a mortgage for a single parent. For you to be eligible for a remortgage you will need to show the mortgage lender that you can keep up payments on your remortgage.
Yes, you can remortgage to take someone off the mortgage but this is essentially getting a new mortgage on the property and the other person consenting to be taken off. It doesn’t have to be done with the same mortgage lender.
If you choose to stay with the same mortgage lender there may be some advantages like avoiding early repayment fees and in some cases, you may be able to stay on the same mortgage product but ensure you check it is still competitive.
Whether you are staying with the same mortgage lender or you are remortgaging to a new mortgage lender you will need to meet their mortgage affordability requirements and prove that you can make the mortgage repayments on your own.
When remortgaging and removing someone from the mortgage there may be some costs due to the transfer of equity process. If you change to a new mortgage lender there may be fees associated with getting a new mortgage as well to consider.
You should also seek tax advice as there may be some stamp duty considerations to take into account/
If you have been rejected for a single parent mortgage the first thing you should know is that it isn’t the end of the world and you may still be eligible for a mortgage with a different single mortgage lender.
Your mortgage broker will look to find out why the mortgage lenders have rejected you for a single parent mortgage and what you can look to do to increase your mortgage affordability before applying for a mortgage again.
It may be the case that you aren’t eligible for a mortgage at the moment and may need to save more or find a co-buyer to reduce how long it takes you to get on the property ladder but you may want to first consult your mortgage broker or the mortgage lender to get a full understanding of why you were declined for a mortgage.
When comparing if to get a joint mortgage or get a single parent’s mortgage you may see some advantages straight away.
Getting a joint mortgage will usually mean that you are able to get on the property ladder much quicker as you can pull the resources of two people rather than a single parent towards the mortgage deposit and the monthly mortgage repayments.
Joint mortgages may have some extra costs than a single parent mortgage as you may have to seek legal and tax advice(in some cases).
Joint mortgages also mean you may be able to ring-fence your ownership and mortgage deposit contribution to pass to your children or kids in your will. This will usually have to be through a tenants in common agreement and may require you to seek independent legal advice.
Getting a right to buy joint mortgage
If you looked into getting a single parent mortgage but you weren’t eligible you may be able to get a right to buy joint mortgage but it is very likely the person you apply for the right to buy joint mortgage with will need to be eligible for the right to buy scheme for that property.
Most mortgage lenders offer single parent mortgage calculators which can give you an idea of how much you may be able to borrow as a single parent but these calculators don’t show a true reflection of your mortgage affordability. You should speak to a mortgage advisor from the mortgage lenders mortgage department or an independent mortgage broker who may be able to advise you on all your single parent mortgage options in the market.
To apply for a single parent mortgage you may want to first contact a mortgage broker.
Mortgage brokers are important as they can access single parent mortgage products from across the whole of the market in some cases. This could be over 11,000 single-parent mortgage products. This may have some advantages than going directly to a mortgage lender.
A mortgage broker will look to understand your financial circumstances and then provide recommendations on which single parent mortgage products may be suitable for you.
After giving you these mortgage recommendations, most mortgage brokers will seek your consent to apply for a mortgage in principle. This will allow you to shop for your home easier as more estate agents and sellers may take you seriously. Once you have found a home you want to buy the mortgage broker will then look to get you a mortgage offer.
This will come with a key facts illustration document which details out the features of your mortgage including how much you will pay per month if there are any limits such as early repayment fees, or annual overpayment limits.
If you are happy with everything you can then go on to secure your single parent mortgage with the help of a conveyancer.
A single parent can get a mortgage which is a mortgage multiple of their salary and based on their monthly disposable income. Different mortgage lenders have their own mortgage affordability requirements but if you have a good credit score and a mortgage deposit of at least 5% then you could find mortgage lenders who offer a 95% LTV mortgage.
You may also be able to get help from guarantor mortgage or the Governments first-time buyer schemes
You can simply get a single parent mortgage to buy a house with a single income. This is very possible and people do it every day. Speak to a mortgage broker who can advise you better.
How many months payslips do you need to get a mortgage?
You will usually need to show a minimum of 3 months worth of payslips to get a mortgage.
How much money should you borrow for a mortgage?
The mortgage lender will only let you borrow as much as you can afford when seeking a mortgage but you should always look to borrow only what you need as you pay interest on a mortgage.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.