Updated: March 03, 2022

Getting a Single Person Mortgage When Buying a House

Buying a house on your own? A single person mortgage could be the answer - and it's easier to get than you might think! Find out more in our in-depth guide.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: March 03, 2022

Many would-be homebuyers wrongly believe that you can’t buy a property on your own because it’s too difficult to get a mortgage. In fact, solo property purchases are becoming increasingly common, and it might be easier to get a single person’s mortgage than you think.

In this guide, you’ll learn whether it’s possible for you to get a mortgage on your own, how much you could borrow, what criteria you’ll need to meet and more.

Read on for more information and jump straight to a topic on the menu below…

Can you get a mortgage on your own?

Yes, you can! Mortgage lenders won’t worry about whether you’re applying alone or with someone else. Their main concern is whether or not you can afford the mortgage. Of course, that can be a little more challenging on your own than with a partner.

It stands to reason that most couples will have a higher combined income than most single people. So, they’ll usually find it easier to save the deposit needed to buy a home and they’ll usually be able to borrow more. If you’re buying a house on your own, this can be discouraging.

It’s true that you might not meet the affordability criteria for every lender. You may even have been refused a mortgage in the past. But there are many more lenders who all have different criteria and it comes down to finding the right one for you.

Who can get one

Single person mortgages are available to anyone who’s applying alone, regardless of marital status. You might be a first-time buyer who doesn’t have a partner, recently separated or divorced and looking for a new home.

Alternatively, you might have a partner who earns very little or has a poor credit history that would affect your application if you were to apply together.

Whatever your situation is, there’s likely to be a single person mortgage that’s suitable for you, and the right mortgage broker can make sure that you find it.

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How to get a mortgage on your own

If you’re looking to get a mortgage on your own, follow these simple steps to get your application off to the best possible start…

  1. Get your documents ready: Having your paperwork ready in advance can help you save precious time. You’ll need three months of bank statements (showing your own income being deposited, not just your partners if you have one), proof of address and evidence of your earnings, among other documents. You can find a full list of the paperwork you’ll need in our complete guide to mortgage applications.
  2. Check your credit reports: It’s a good idea to check all of your credit reports before you get started. This will give you the chance to prepare for any hurdles you might face, as well as challenge inaccuracies and have outdated information removed. You can download your credit reports through our dedicated credit reports hub.
  3. Speak to a mortgage broker: Once you’ve got your documents together, you should speak to a broker who specialises in single person mortgages. Your broker will guide you through the process from here, offer you bespoke advice along the way and boost your chances of landing the best deal available by introducing you to the right mortgage lender, first time.

Our free, broker-matching service will quickly assess your needs and circumstances to pair you with a mortgage advisor who’s ideally placed to help you – Make an enquiry to get started.

How much you could borrow

Most lenders will allow you to borrow around 4-5 times your income. So, if you earn £26,000 (the UK average), you can likely borrow between £104,000 and £130,000. If you earn £40,000 (the London average), you can likely borrow between £160,000 and £200,000. Some lenders have a higher upper limit than others, and your debts will be a factor too.

If your income is more complex than an annual set salary (for example, if you make most of your money through commission or if you’re self-employed), the amount you can borrow could vary significantly between different lenders. You’ll want to find the lender with the most favourable view of your specific circumstances.

Working with a broker can help you to maximise the amount you can borrow. They can find a lender who’ll consider your overtime and commission as well as salary or, if you’re self-employed, a lender who’ll look at your business accounts. In some cases, they might be able to find a lender who’ll give you up to six times your salary.

Deposit requirements

Most lenders require a deposit of 10% of the property’s value, though some will accept 5%. But for many solo buyers, a 5% to10% deposit plus a mortgage of 4-5 times your salary might not be enough to afford the home you want.

One option you have is to save up for longer and raise a larger deposit. Once you have a 20% or 30% deposit, you’ll be able to look at a wider range of properties and you’ll also have access to more mortgage deals and preferable rates. But if you can’t wait, another option is to buy with the help of a government scheme.

Government schemes that could help you out

There are several government schemes to help people with small deposits to buy a house. Both are open to single applicants as well as joint applicants.

Help to Buy equity loan

Eligible buyers can apply for a Help to Buy equity loan from the government of 20% of the value of a property (or 40% in London), which is interest-free for the first five years. You’ll need to be a first-time buyer, buying a newly built home from a participating home builder.

In London, with a 5% deposit, a 40% equity loan, and a mortgage of £160,000, you could buy a home worth just over £290,000. Outside of London, with a 5% deposit, a 20% equity loan, and a mortgage of £104,000, you could buy a home worth just over £189,000 (subject to the scheme’s regional price caps).

Shared Ownership

Eligible buyers can buy a share (usually between 25% and 75%) of a home with a mortgage and rent the remaining share from a housing association, at a reduced rate. You’ll need to earn less than £80,000 (£90,000 in London) and you must not currently own another property.

With a 10% deposit and a mortgage of £104,000, you could buy a 25% share in a property worth £457,600, a 50% share in a property worth £228,800, or a 75% share in a property worth around £152,500. Which you could afford to buy would also depend on the cost of renting the remaining share.

The mortgage guarantee scheme

Mortgages for people with less than 10% deposit have become more readily available since the market began to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and this is partly down to the government’s mortgage guarantee scheme.

This isn’t a scheme you apply for directly. It’s an initiative for mortgage lenders to encourage them to offer mortgages aimed at borrowers with 5-9% deposit.

The mortgage deals introduced under the scheme aren’t really any different to other low deposit mortgages, but it’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker so they can compare and contrast these mortgages with the other options available to you.

Get matched with a broker experienced in single person mortgages

As a solo buyer, getting a mortgage approved at the top end of your budget can be crucial, and that’s where a mortgage broker can help. They can connect you directly to the lenders with the highest lending limits relative to your income, and they’ll know the eligibility criteria for each one, so you can avoid wasting time on declined applications.

Not just any broker will provide this level of expert insight into your situation, so it’s important to choose one who specialises in single person mortgages. Use our advisor-matching service to find someone with the exact knowledge you need and a track record in helping clients like you to get mortgage approval. 

Call 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and a broker who specialises in solo mortgages today.

Ask A Quick Question

We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

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FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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