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Single parent home loans

If you're a single parent keen to buy a home, there may be some lenders who will accept your Centrelink payments as part of your income.

If you're a single parent looking to buy a home, you have more options than you probably realise. Some lenders accept Centrelink payments when assessing your income on a loan application (we've listed some options below). And there's also a new government scheme that lets eligible single parents buy properties with 2% deposits.

As a single parent, you may be eligible to receive the Parenting Payment from Centrelink, and most lenders will accept it as part of your income. In addition to this, you may be eligible for the Childcare Benefit, which is also an acceptable form of income.

The federal government also offers the Family Tax Benefit, depending on your income. Once again, most lenders will accept this as a form of income, depending on the age of your children.

If you're receiving child support payments from a former partner, these are also taken into account when assessing your income.

For a full list of the Centrelink benefits lenders accept as income, read our guide.

The Family Home Guarantee

This federal government scheme allows single parents with incomes below $125,000 to qualify for home loans with 2% deposits. You need to borrow the remaining 98%, but you can avoid the extra cost of lenders mortgage insurance. This can save you thousands and help you buy a home sooner. It does mean borrowing quite a large amount of money, with minimal equity. So it might not be a good option, depending on your circumstances.

There is also a limit of 2,500 places a year for the scheme.

Finder survey: Do Australians use a mortgage broker to help choose a low-deposit loan?

Response
Yes70%
No30%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1112 Australians, December 2023

5 tips for saving a deposit on a single income

Trying to put together a deposit for a home while raising a child on a single income can be difficult, especially as the costs of both are increasing. Take note of the following if you're looking for ways to save for a home and you're the provider for a dependent child.

  1. Government assistance. Single income parents may be eligible for the federal government’s Family Tax Benefit A & B, Parenting Payment and the Child Care Benefit. Government assistance can help cover the incidental day-to-day expenses and larger expenses like rent and child care, which can give you a little more room in the budget to save.
  2. Estimate your borrowing power When it comes time to apply for your home loan, you will want to know how much you can borrow. A higher income means you can borrow more, and pre-approval will give you a ballpark figure. Once you’ve done a comparison of home loans, speak to the lender directly to find out whether parenting-related payments can be included on your home loan application.
  3. Budgeting. A budget is essential to any financial plan. List all the money you get, your income, and look at ways to cut down on your spending.
  4. Get a savings account. High-interest savings accounts are great if you’re saving for a goal, such as a mortgage deposit. Not only do the accounts let you earn interest, they also come with features to help you save. Automatic savings plans are a great way to save for a goal.
  5. Get the right home loan. Spend some time comparing home loans and find the loan that’s the right fit for you. The right loan charges less in fees and gives you the flexibility to change the features as your situation changes in the future. A comparison of fees versus features now will save you time and money later.

How to calculate your borrowing power

Get personalised help from a mortgage broker

Mortgage brokers specialise in helping borrowers in difficult or unique circumstances, including borrowers with Centrelink payments. They can help you find lenders who accept government assistance as a source of income, and will help you work out how much you'll realistically be able to borrow to avoid being rejected for a loan. Mortgage brokers get a commission from the lender, meaning you don't have to pay for their help.

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14 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    NittiyaMarch 18, 2024

    Hi… I have been looking the way to buy a house with low income, I got a saving around 2% plus family tax benefits forthrightly $240, child support $1,100 monthly just looking at new house a comfortable house for me and daughter 8 years old, at the moment I as a causal job like others single mum 5 days a week I always realisable and earning, but some time feeling the money have to gone for pay renting, I’m getting anxiety if there way and option to buy my own house as soon as I can please?

      AvatarFinder
      SarahMarch 25, 2024Finder

      Hi Nittiya, It’s great to hear you are interesting in buying your home own home! There are a few programs that might be able to help you, such as the First Home Guarantee, that allows you to buy with a deposit from 2%.

      It also might be a good idea to contact the National Debt Helpline. They can give you support with managing your budget and debts and they’re a free financial counselling service: https://ndh.org.au/

      Hope this helps!

    Default Gravatar
    DuretiFebruary 22, 2023

    Hello
    I would like to buy a home I am 41 years old I am single parent with 4 children’s under 12 years of age my income is child support and Centerlinc and I have a deposits
    Please me let me know
    Regards Dureti.

      AvatarFinder
      RichardFebruary 23, 2023Finder

      Hi Dureti,

      Some lenders will accept Centrelink payments as income for a mortgage application. We are not able to recommend specific products to borrowers, we can only provide general information. A mortgage broker could help you with more personalised guidance.

      Sorry we can’t be more help.

      Richard

    Default Gravatar
    SueJune 26, 2017

    Hello,
    I would like to buy a home. I am 48 years old, a perm p/t Qld gov employee (64 to 72 hrs / fn). I am a single parent of 2 children 13 & 16.
    I am the sole provider. My average net income is $2100/ fortnight. Family tax $180/ ft. I do not have savings but do have a good credit history. I have currently have a personal loan owing $10,000. Could you tell me what options I have. If you think I would be eligible for a home loan who/ where to from here. Thanking you for your time.
    Regards.

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 27, 2017

      Hi Sue!

      We know you’re doing your best to get qualified! :)

      You can shoot an enquiry to your desired lenders of the choices below. They will have a broker to talk with you about the requirements.

      All the best!

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    LisaJune 1, 2017

    Does a single parent qualify for a first home buyers grant?

      Default Gravatar
      jonathan.chan@findercrew.comJune 1, 2017

      Hi Lisa!

      Thanks for the comment.

      Being a single parent doesn’t disqualify you from applying for First Home Owners Grant. Take note that the eligibility may vary from state to state and some basic requirements are needed to be met.

      You can check those details on our state-by-state guide to the First Home Owners Grant.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    JessApril 21, 2017

    i am a single parent of a 2 1/2 yr old. I really want to buy my own first home of up to $100,000. its looking really good but i heard that you lose all of your rental assistance and family tax a altogether. i ring centrelink who dont pick up the phone – i leave messages and they dont answer so i just really want to know? does anyone know? thanks

      AvatarFinder
      DeeMay 7, 2017Finder

      Hi Jess,

      Thanks for your question.

      In regards to Rent assistance, you will not be eligible to receive this benefit if you own or are buying the home you live in, except relocatable homes. Other eligibility criteria apply.

      For Family Tax Benefit, I’ve checked the Department of Human Services website and can’t seem to find a stipulation about the connection of this benefit to purchasing a home. You may have to directly call the Department of Human Services on 136 150 to enquire.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

      Default Gravatar
      JessMay 7, 2017

      thank you so much for that! ive just heard as well that after my child turns 8 i go onto newstart. im really concerned about meeting mortgage payments along with living expenses which i worked out to be about $490 pf.based on thats including mortgage payments of 192-223 pf.id like to know how much of newstart payments you receive when you child turns 8.if you know that it would be fantastic! thanks

      AvatarFinder
      DeeMay 8, 2017Finder

      Hi Jess,

      Thanks for getting back.

      Yes, one of the benefits that the Department of Human Services offers to single parents is the Newstart Allowance for single parents whose youngest child is 8 years old or over, subject to eligibility criteria. You can generally earn up to $104 every 2 weeks before the agency start reducing your Newstart payment. You may have to contact Centrelink on 132 850 to learn more about Newstart Allowance.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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