Mortgage Programs for Single Mothers

Single parents raising kids on a single income have more obstacles to homeownership than a typical homebuyer.

Luckily, there are options to help low-income buyers get a mortgage without a lot of money out of pocket.

This article takes an in-depth look at the types of home loans available for single moms, their loan requirements, and how to qualify.

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Low Down Payment Home Loans for Single Moms

For many single mothers, money is tight. Child support payments don’t always come through on time. Because of this, some single moms have trouble qualifying when they want to buy a home. These home loans require a low down payment and allow a debt-to-income ratio (DTI ratio) up to 50% making it easier for lower income buyers to get approved. Luckily, these home loans include child support and alimony payments in your DTI ratio.

FHA Loans

An FHA mortgage is guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration and issued by private lenders. With a 580 credit score you are eligible with just a 3.5% down payment. FHA lenders can approve up to a 50% DTI ratio, making them ideal if your low-income buyers. They also allow 100% of the down payment to be a gift from a friend or family member. 

  • Minimum 580 credit score
  • 3.5% down payment
  • Maximum 50% debt-to-income ratio


HomeReady and Home Possible Loans

The HomeReady and Home Possible mortgage programs were created by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They are types of conventional loans for low income buyers with an income limit for both programs of 100% of the thes area median income (AMI).

  • 620 credit score required
  • 3% down payment
  • Income below 115% of AMI


No Down Payment Home Loans for Single Moms

USDA Loans

USDA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and are available in rural areas of the country. Low to moderate income borrowers with income below 115% of the area median income (AMI) With 100% financing. Mortgage insurance premiums on a USDA mortgage are cheaper than other loans. Check the USDA website to find eligible properties.

  • 640 credit score required
  • Low mortgage insurance rates
  • 100% financing
  • Income cannot exceed 115% of AMI


VA Loans

Single parents who are veterans of the military may qualify for a VA home loan. with no down payment or mortgage insurance.  Typically, you will need a minimum credit score of 580 and a DTI ratio below 50%.

  • Minimum 580 credit score
  • 50% debt-to-income ratio
  • No down payment
  • No mortgage insurance


Figure out how much home you can afford using our calculator

Down Payment Assistance Programs

The biggest hurdle to homeownership 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, there are several first-time homebuyer assistance and down payment assistance programs that can help you to come up with the money you need to put down.

Local Down Payment Assistance

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.

Rental and Financial Assistance Programs

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 struggling to pay their rent.