According to 2022 Census data, there are approximately 11 million single-parent families in the U.S., around 80% of which are single-mom families. In addition, as of 2023, single women made up 17% of all homebuyers, compared with 9% for single men and 70% for married or unmarried couples.
Whether you’re a single mother or a two-parent family, saving for a deposit on your first home can be challenging. The good news is that most home loans in today’s market can accommodate single mothers and two-parent families. Here’s a look into the best home loans for single moms.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is the most flexible of the three, as it doesn’t require conditions similar to VA or USDA loans. Introduced at the peak of the Great Depression, the FHA loan was designed to help people during such turbulent times achieve homeownership. As a result, the number of homeowners shot up sevenfold decades later.
Given its nature, anyone with a credit score of no lower than 500 can qualify for an FHA loan. However, a credit score of 580 or above will entitle borrowers to a down payment as low as 3.5%.
FHA loans have lower down payment rates than conventional loans; however, the mortgage includes mortgage insurance for loans with a down payment of less than 20%.
You might think that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the last place to look for a home loan. However, hard lessons learned during the Great Depression made the federal government realize that homeownership builds solid communities and generates revenue, especially in rural areas.
Because of this, the government introduced the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program in 1949, five years after the VA loan’s debut. Often shortened to “USDA loans,” the program entices people to buy, build, or repair homes in rural areas to foster development.
USDA loans don’t require down payments, and the mortgage insurance premiums are lower than standard loans. However, there are loan caps, which you can see here: Rural Development Single Family Housing – Area Loan Limits.
A Veterans Affairs (VA) loan caters to active or retired military personnel or their surviving spouses. It was one of the significant benefits provided to active and former service members as part of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (popularly known as the G.I. Bill), which was signed into law late in World War II.
The terms of a VA loan make it arguably the most generous government mortgage program. Besides low interest rates, VA loans do not require a down payment or mortgage insurance. As for the minimum credit score, the VA doesn’t impose any, though most lenders require applicants to have a credit score of at least 620. However, some lenders approve applicants with a credit score as low as 500.
According to the VA, rules regarding a surviving spouse include:
- “The unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died on active duty or as the result of a service-connected disability is eligible for the home loan benefit.”
- “In addition, a surviving spouse who obtained a VA home loan with the veteran before his or her death (regardless of the cause of death) may obtain a VA guaranteed interest rate reduction refinance loan.”
- “Also, a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003, may be eligible for the home loan benefit. However, a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must apply no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 16, 2003, that are received after December 15, 2004.”
Furthermore, there is a VA funding fee when you close on a VA mortgage, “This fee helps to lower the cost of the loan for U.S. taxpayers since the VA home loan program doesn’t require down payments or monthly mortgage insurance.”
We specialize in conventional home mortgages, FHA, VA, and USDA mortgage options, refinance loans, and reverse mortgages. We’ve worked extensively with cash-out refinancing, and help clients to lower their monthly mortgage payments.