Compare personal loans for single parents

Know the options available to you when it comes to getting a personal loan as a single mom or dad.

The eligibility criteria for many banks and lenders can be difficult to meet with only one income. But, you still might need those home repairs or just extra money for a large expense. This guide will take you through what you need to know about being approved for a personal loan.

Can a lender consider my marital status when evaluating my application?

No, it’s illegal. Thanks to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a lender cannot deny or approve your application solely based on your martial status.

With that being said, if you’re divorced, you’re likely still liable for any debt accumulated as a married couple. Unfortunately, even if it was your partner who built most of the debt, as a cosigner you are bound to the agreement.

Why might a single parent not be approved for a personal loan?

Single parents are judged by the same lending guidelines as every other borrower, but the fact that they rely on a single income and are often solely responsible for their debts means that they often don’t meet these requirements.

If you’re receiving government benefits or working part-time hours, it may be scrutinized as an insufficient source of income.

What income do I need to get a loan?

Personal loans range in amounts from $2,000 to $50,000, with a few lenders offering smaller and larger loans. They’re typically repaid in three to seven years and are best for those with good credit scores of 670 and above.

If you have bad credit, want to borrow less than $2,000 or want to repay your loan within just a few months, click over to Short-term loans to see minimum income requirements for more suitable lenders.

LenderPersonal LoanMinimum incomeLearn more
Even FinancialPersonal loanNo minimum, credit requirements apply
ProsperUnsecured personal loanNo minimum, must have proof of taxable income
SoFiPersonal loanNo minimum, must have steady employment and good to excellent credit
LendingPointUnsecured Personal Loan$25,000 annually
LendingClubUnsecured personal loanNo minimum, must have a low debt-to-income ratio to be considered
Laurel RoadPersonal loanNo minimum, must have a debt-to-income ratio under 40%
NetCreditUnsecured personal loanNo minimum
Bank of AmericaAuto loansNo minimum, income is one of many factors for approval
BBVA CompassExpress personal LoanNo minimum, one of many factors that determines the approved loan amount (other factors include credit score and debt to income ratio)
ChaseAuto loan, mortgage loanNo minimum, must have debt-to-income ratio under 43%
CitibankPersonal Loan$10,500 annually
TD BankUnsecured and secured personal loansIncome is a factor in the approved loan amount, must have a debt to income ratio of under 49%
US BankPersonal loans, unsecured lines of creditNo minimum, one of several factors considered in approval of loan amount
USAAPersonal loanN/A
Wells FargoPersonal loanNo minimum

Short-term loans are small-dollar credit products designed to be repaid within a few weeks to months. They’re typically offered in amounts from $250 to $1,000, with some online installment loans going up to as much as $5,000.

LenderLoan typeMinimum incomeLearn more
LendUpPayday loanNo minimum
CashNetUSAPayday loan, installment loanNo minimum, but must have been employed for at least one month
Check into CashPayday loanNo minimum
ACE Cash ExpressPayday Loan, installment loan, title loanNo minimum, requires a steady source of recurring income payments
Blue TrustInstallment loanNo minimum, must provide a verifiable source of income
Slam Dunk loansShort term loan$800 per month
Cash CentralPayday loans, installment loanNo minimum, income is one of many factors considered for approval
HonestLoansInstallment loan$800 per month
LoanSolo.comPayday loanN/A
MaxLendInstallment loanNo minimum, income is one of many factors (such as pay schedule, method of payment)
OppLoansInstallment loanVaries by state

How do I know if I can afford to repay a loan?

Before applying for any loan, you should calculate how much your loan will cost and what your repayments might be. Keep in mind each lender is required to assess your borrowing power and ability to repay before extending an offer.

How do I compare my options?

While you may feel you have limited options, it’s still important to compare the products you do find available to ensure you get the best option for you.

  • Interest rate. Compare the interest rate ranges for the loans you’re interested in, not just the starting rate as that’s usually reserved for those with impeccable credit only.
  • Fees. Interest rate doesn’t always tell the full story. Loans can come with both one-time and ongoing fees, so compare these as well as they will contribute to the cost of the loan.
  • Restrictions. You may be restricted as to how much you can borrow, what you can use the money for, whether you’re able to make extra repayments or if you can repay the loan early.
  • Repayment flexibility. This is an important consideration, as it could affect your ability to manage the loan. See if you’re able to make weekly, biweekly or monthly repayments. You should also note your ability to make additional repayments.
  • The lender. The actual lender you’re borrowing from should factor into your decision, as this is a business you’ll have to deal with for the next few months or years. See how easy the lender is to contact and how the customer service is.

How do I improve my chances of being approved?

  • Check your credit score. You can check your credit score for free to find out what kind of borrowing position you’re in. The higher your score, the less of a risk you appear to the lender.
  • Get informed. You can read our articles on how to avoid personal loan rejection and common denial reasons to get more information on what lenders look for.
  • Consider alternatives. Taking out a loan might not be the best option for you right now, and you may have alternatives depending on your situation. You might be able to make extra cash with a side gig or get an interest-free loan from a friend.
  • Borrow a lower amount. A good rule of thumb is to only apply for as much as you need and can afford. Lenders may reject your loan application rather than offering you a lower amount.

How do I apply?

You can first compare your options using tables above. Once you’ve found a loan that you want to apply for, click Go to site to be directed to the lender’s site or click the lender’s name to read a review of their offer.

When you apply on the lender’s site, you’ll provide your contact information, financial information and the amount you’d like to borrow. Some lenders will let you know right away if you’ve been preapproved and ask for verification of a few pieces of information before extending an offer. Other lenders may take a few days to respond with an approval or denial notification.

Frequently asked questions about loans for single parents

Personal loans are often used to consolidate debt, but you can use your loan for just about any legitimate purpose including financing a vacation. Be advised that using a loan irresponsibly could lead to more debt and a bad credit score if you can’t keep up with payments.

Yes, but you still have options. Bad credit loans are available for smaller amounts up to $5,000.

You may be able to get your payment deadline extended if you reach out to your lender and explain the situation prior to the bill due date.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy.

US Personal Loans Offers

Learn about our information service
Prosper Personal Loan

Borrow only what you need for debt consolidation, home improvements, special occasions and more — with APRs based on your credit score.

LendingClub Personal Loan

A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

Borrow up to $100,000 with a competitive APR and no fees.

Upstart Personal Loans

This newer service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan funded by accredited investors.