The Best Mortgage Programs for Single Mothers

BY Randall Yates

home loans for single mothers

3 minute read

Being a single mom isn’t easy.

Trying to raise a child on one income can be stressful.

Getting approved for a mortgage as a single Mother is difficult.

Luckily, there are options for single parents when it comes to getting a home loan.

>> Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Getting Approved for a Mortgage on One Income

For many single moms money is tight. Child support payments don’t always come though on time, some never come. Balancing a budget when you have little ones is very challenging for single parents. When it comes to applying for a home loan you will need to meet a certain debt to income ratio (DTI). Your DTI is the ratio of your monthly debt payments compared to your monthly income. For most mortgages you will want a DTI ratio of no more than 41%.

Figure out how much home you can afford using our calculator.

Down Payment

The biggest hurdle to home ownership for single moms is the down payment. Many conventional loans require a high down payment of 10% – 20%. Coming up with this amount is difficult for anyone, much less a single mom. However, the Government has created loan programs that make it easier to qualify for a mortgage and require a low down payment. FHA loans are one of the most popular types of home mortgages used today. They require a small down payment of just 3.5% of the purchase price. On a $200,000 home that comes to a down payment of $7,000.

Another great benefit for FHA loans is that the down payment can be a gift from a friend or family member. FHA loans allow 100% of the down payment amount to be gifted. You will just need a down payment gift letter for your loan officer.

 Down payment assistance for single mothers

There are various Government and local down payment assistance and grant programs available to single mothers and first time home buyers. You can search for assistance programs on the HUD website.  Local city and county websites will also have down payment and other assistance and grant programs listed.

Best Home Loans for Single Moms

FHA Loans

The FHA does not fund the loans, they back the loan. They work like an insurance policy on the mortgage. If the borrower ever defaults on the loan, the FHA will pay the lender the remains balance. This makes FHA loans much less risky for mortgage companies, so they are able to lessen their qualifying guidelines.

FHA loans are very popular among single mothers not only because of the low down payment requirement, but they also allow for low credit scores. FHA loans are a great mortgage option for buyers with poor credit. They require a 500 credit score with a 10% down payment. And a 580 credit score with a 3.5% down payment. The low credit requirements make is much easier to qualify for an FHA mortgage than other types of loans. FHA loans also allow a higher DTI ratio. In some cases DTI ratios as high as 50% can be accepted. You should speak to an FHA lender to see if you qualify.

>>See if you qualify for FHA

VA Loans

If you are a Veteran, you may qualify for a VA-backed home loan. These are the cheapest types of mortgages available. VA loans are available with down payment and no mortgage insurance required, saving borrowers thousands a year. To find out if you are qualified for a VA loan click here to check your VA eligibility.

USDA Loans

USDA loans are a type of mortgage available in rural areas of the Country. USDA-direct loans are available without a down payment, so you can receive 100% financing. Mortgage insurance on USDA loans is much cheaper than other types of mortgages, at just 0.35%. You will need to have at least a 640 credit score and buy a home in a USDA eligible location. Check this USDA eligibility map to see if you’re buying a property in a qualifying location.


Single mothers sometimes face financial hurdles that are difficult to overcome. If you are in an eligible Rural Rental Housing (RRH), Rural Cooperative Housing (RCH), or Farm Labor Housing (LH) area you may qualify for Rural Rental Assistance. You can decrease the amount of rent you pay if you’re a low income household. For more information on rental assistance for single moms check out HUD offers section 8 offers rental vouchers that can be used by those who are struggling to pay their rent. For more information visit

>> Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

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