Single parents looking for ways to afford a home need to think about ways earn more cash.
Saving to buy a home is a difficult task for two people, especially when the couple has a dependent child. Unfortunately, when it comes to a single parent raising a child, it can be even more difficult to save money for a home. How can a single parent afford a home?
One thing to remember is that a home loan lender is interested in your capacity to repay the loan, not whether you are a single parent. If you have an income, then there’s no reason why you can’t get a home loan. The question is how much you can borrow on a single income.
Many home loan lenders will accept an application from a single parent, although you will still need to meet the usual home loan eligibility criteria. You will need a deposit, a history of savings and an income. You can read more about the application and eligibility requirements on our home loan review and application pages.
We’ve listed some tips and ideas on how single parents can increase their income and savings for a home loan.
Compare mortgage brokers
You may want to look into getting a mortgage broker to help you. Mortgage brokers have an intimate knowledge of which lenders to approach to obtain a home loan for a single parent. They'll know which lenders will 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. Best of all, mortgage brokers generally obtain a commission from the lender, so it's a free service to consumers. You can compare brokers below, and if you're interested, you can click 'Enquire' to lodge an obligation-free enquiry.
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Aussie Home Loans
Aussie is one of Australia's leading financial service providers, having won The Adviser’s Top Mortgage Broker award for the last 3 years. They charge no appointment fees and can meet at a time and place which suits you.
Online Home Loans
Online Home Loans is a mortgage broker service designed to help Australian borrowers find the right home loan – and do it all online.
Tips for single parents who want to buy a home
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.
- 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.
- How much do you earn? 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. There are other Centrelink benefits available to single parents that you may be able to use as well. Read more about applying for a home loan on Centrelink payments.
- Increase your income. This is an obvious one, and something that is easier said than done. We covered some possible ideas for increasing your income in our 12-week challenge. Although these solutions are not for everyone, renting out a spare room on a website like Airbnb is a serious money maker.
- 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 the money going out. You can find out how to make a successful budget in our 12 Week Financial Fitness Challenge.
- Get a savings account. Although the first home saver accounts scheme is no longer in operation, 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.
- 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 fees and gives you the flexibility to change the features as your situation changes in the future. A comparison of fees vs features now will save you time and money later.
If home ownership is not your aim and you want to rent, there are a number of social housing services that provide cheap accommodation for single parents. The Community Housing Assistance website has details about the concessions available to single parents and contact information for the different schemes operating in each state.
A dual income household can borrow more money than a single parent, but single parents can still get a home loan. The issue is borrowing power. High-income earners have greater access to financing. Compare loans and speak to lenders to find out whether they can help you afford a home.