Getting a Mortgage as a Single Person

illustration of Getting a Mortgage as a Single Person

Mortgages for single applicants are very common. There’s many reasons you might want a single person mortgage. You might need a single mortgage if you’re a first time buyer, separated or divorced, getting a buy-to-let, or your partner doesn’t earn so it needs to be in your name.

In this Guide, you’ll find all you need to know about single-applicant mortgages, and the different factors to consider when getting a mortgage on your own.

Can I get a mortgage on my own?

Yes, you can absolutely get a mortgage on your own! Applying for a mortgage by yourself can feel overwhelming, but it’s very common for lenders to grant mortgages to single applicants.

Unlike a joint mortgage, you won’t have the benefit of an extra income. So you’ll need to be able to prove you can afford the repayments by yourself. Saving for a deposit might also take a bit longer. But it’s definitely possible to get a mortgage on your own. 

If you’re used to renting by yourself, you’ll know all about the extra costs that come with living on your own. Costs such as council tax and utility bills. However, your monthly mortgage payments could be cheaper than your rent, so you might actually be able to save more money as a homeowner.

If you’re applying for a buy to let property, you may already have a number of properties on which you’re the sole mortgage holder. So lenders will look on this favourably if you’ve kept up with your repayments. 

Use our Mortgage Payments Calculator to see what the mortgage repayments could look like on your own.

How much can I borrow with a mortgage on my own?

How much you can borrow on a mortgage depends on a few factors. Lenders want to make sure you can repay your mortgage without struggling. They’ll run affordability checks as a way to ‘stress-test’ the amount you’re asking to borrow. They’ll also look at your credit history, your income, and your deposit.

All mortgage lenders have different lending criteria that they use to assess mortgage applicants. Lending criteria differs from lender to lender, but generally, when lenders review your mortgage application, they’ll usually assess the following factors:

  • Your income – your regular cash flow

  • Your credit report – they’ll prefer a positive credit history

  • Your assets – anything else which could give you financial stability

  • Your deposit – how much you can put down up front

Work out how much you could borrow on a solo mortgage with our Mortgage Affordability Calculator.

Any debts or adverse credit issues will also play a part in how much you’ll be able to borrow. But don’t let that put you off. You’ll just need to find the right lender who can look at your application on a case-by-case basis. It’s a good idea to work with a mortgage broker who knows the market and can find you the best deal.

Its best to get expert mortgage advice if your situation isn’t straightforward. Make an enquiry to get matched to an advisor.

Can I get a mortgage on my own if I’m self-employed?

Yes, you can get a mortgage as a single applicant if you’re self-employed. Being self-employed, your income isn’t as straightforward as it would be if you were on a salary. Often, self-employed people earn MORE money than if they were on a salary, which should mean you’re more attractive to mortgage lenders. If you’ve got a solid self-employed income that’s steady and easy to prove, you should be absolutely fine with the majority of lenders. 

But if you have a more complex self-employed income, or are newly self-employed, you might struggle with the amount of mortgage lenders willing to lend to you. That’s because a lot of mortgage lenders just aren’t set up to deal with complex incomes. Read more in our Self Employed Mortgage Guide.

Most lenders will ask for three years of accounts, but there are some who will only require one year. If you haven’t submitted your income to HMRC yet, then you’ll have to wait until you’ve done this before submitting a mortgage application.

Getting a mortgage as a self-employed person can feel tricky. You might have been told you can’t get a mortgage at all. But that’s not true. There are lenders who specialise in mortgages for the self-employed and people with complex incomes. You just need a specialist mortgage broker to help you find them. We can help with that! Make an enquiry

Can I get a mortgage on my own if I have bad credit?

Yes, it’s possible to get a single person mortgage, even if you have bad credit. It’ll be trickier than if you had a perfect credit score, but it’s not impossible.

Lenders will want to know what caused your bad credit, how long ago it happened, and what you’ve been doing since to improve your credit. The older a credit issue is, the less weight it carries. Likewise with how much it was for. If it was for a small amount of money, it’ll matter less to lenders than if it was over £500. 

When it comes to credit issues, it’s best to face them head on. The first step is to get an accurate, up-to-date and detailed look at your credit history and credit score. We recommend using checkmyfile – it’s the UK’s most detailed and trusted credit report service. They’ve been helping people understand the credit system for over 20 years, and are the UK’s top ranked credit report service on Trustpilot. 

Recent or severe credit problems such as CCJs or bankruptcies can make things a lot harder. A lot of the high street banks will probably turn you down. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a specialist mortgage advisor before making any applications. The advisors we work with have seen it all and aren’t judgemental. If you’re looking for a mortgage by yourself with bad credit, make an enquiry to speak to an expert. 

How much deposit do I need for a mortgage on my own?

To get a sole mortgage, you need a cash deposit upfront. The more you can put down, the more of the property you’ll own straight away, and the smaller your mortgage needs to be. It’ll also open you up to the better mortgage deals.

You usually need a deposit amount of at least 10% of the property’s value you’re looking to buy. But it’s possible to get a mortgage on your own with a 5% deposit by using government schemes such as Help to Buy (for first time buyers) and Shared Ownership. These schemes can help you get on the property ladder if you can’t save a lot of money.

With any deposit, you’ll need to provide proof of where it’s come from. Acceptable sources include: 

  • Your savings

  • Money from another property you own

  • Inheritance

  • A gifted deposit

Read more in our Guide: Mortgage Deposits and Income Multiples Explained.

Can I leave my partner off the mortgage?

It can be difficult to apply as a single mortgage applicant when there’s two buyers. Lenders like everything to be open and honest. You may want you to apply by yourself if your partner has bad credit, but there are specialist lenders who will consider both of you on a case-by-case basis. Most lenders need married couples to both be named on the mortgage.

If your situation isn’t straightforward and you’re worried about getting a mortgage, make an enquiry to speak to a specialist mortgage broker.

Mortgage options for single people

If you’re a would-be homeowner but are worried about doing it alone, you have some options:

Buy with friends or family

Buying a house with friends or a family member is becoming a popular way to get on the property ladder. Combining deposits and sharing all the monthly living expenses can be  appealing. It’s a big commitment though - it’s not something to take lightly. 

Remember, you're jointly responsible for the mortgage payments. If one of you can't pay, you'll have to cover the cost. You also can't sell the property unless everyone agrees.

Get a guarantor mortgage

If you’re struggling to meet the affordability needed to be accepted, you could apply for a guarantor mortgage. A guarantor mortgage is where someone else agrees to pay for your mortgage in the event that you can’t. This means that you’re much more likely to be accepted for a mortgage and might be able to borrow more than you would on your own, or maybe qualify for lower interest rates.

The person or people that act as your guarantor don’t own any share of your property, they’re just agreeing to pay if you can’t. So you’d still be a sole homeowner. It’s a big ask - if you can’t make your repayments then your guarantor could lose their home. The person you ask should be someone you trust, and someone who’s financially secure.

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership is where you buy part of a property from a council or housing association, and rent the rest. You take out a mortgage on the part you're buying, then pay a reduced rent on the part you don't own. You can buy some or all of the remaining property share later on. Specific shared ownership schemes are also available for people with disabilities and older people. Shared ownership can be a complicated process. So we’d recommend getting a mortgage advisor to help. 

Help to Buy

Help to Buy is where the government grants you an equity loan to put towards the cost of a new-build home (up to 20% of the property price). You can get a Help to Buy mortgage with only a 5% deposit - a good option if you can’t save much money and want a newly-built home. Read more in our Guide: Help to Buy Explained.

Right to Buy

The Right to Buy scheme allows council tenants in England to buy their council home. If you qualify for Right to Buy, you'll be able to buy your home at a discount. Most mortgage lenders will then accept your discount as a deposit. 

Mortgage advice for single applicants

Getting a mortgage by yourself can be daunting, that’s why it’s a good idea to work with a specialist mortgage broker

Mortgage brokers live and breathe the mortgage market. They’ll have expert knowledge of how to handle your unique situation, and will be there every step of the way. If your situation isn’t straightforward, then a broker will guide you to the right lender and will make your application look good. 

When you have the right broker and the right mortgage lender on your side, your chances of mortgage success are much higher. That's because over 50% of mortgages for people in your situation aren't directly available to you without a specialist broker.

Our brokers have expert knowledge of specialist lenders. Lenders who use human underwriters that look beyond credit scores and automated box ticking. They treat customers as individuals and look for reasons to help, rather than refuse it.

WE MAKE MORTGAGES POSSIBLE

50% of mortgages for people who are self-employed or have bad credit aren’t available directly to you. They’re only available through specialist brokers. Using our platform guarantees you’ll be matched with a broker who has a proven track record of making mortgages possible for people like you. Less processing, more understanding.

useful links

Our Guides

Applying for a mortgage or understanding your options shouldn't be confusing, yet there are just so many myths doing the rounds and it's not easy to know where to turn to get the right advice.

Our Calculators

Our calculators give you an idea of what you might be able to borrow, what's affordable and a rough estimate of the kind of property prices you can start to look at.

Get connected to a 5* specialist mortgage broker who can make a mortgage possible.

Haven't we met before?