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Personal Loans

Personal Loans for Single Mothers & Other Sources of Financial Aid

Updated May 10, 2023   |   12 mins read

An online lending platform we recommend for single mothers is Upstart.

Single moms have a tough job, and there are a lot of them out there taking on this responsibility. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 23% of children under 18 live with single mothers.

Raising a family alone and on one income—which is sometimes limited—is challenging even during the best times. But when unexpected expenses pop up, that can be a disaster. During these tough times, a personal loan may be able to help a single mom facing a challenging financial situation. 

In this guide:

Where to find personal loans for single moms

Personal loans aren’t the only loan option available to single moms, but they do provide the most flexibility as they can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

Being a single mom doesn’t have any direct bearing on which lenders you can borrow from. What it does affect is your credit score, income, and financial history. With a good credit history and stable income, you’ll have your pick of the best personal loan lenders.

With a not-so-stellar credit history and finances that are stretched thin, you may need to turn to a fair or bad credit lender. 

Looking for the right personal loans for single mothers? We’ve outlined a few options below.


Figure has paused accepting new applications.

Rates (APR)


Loan Amounts

$5,000 – $50,000

Credit Score


Figure offers personal loans to borrowers with good to excellent credit. Its application process can be completed in just a few minutes with a prequalification check that doesn’t impact your credit. If approved, your funds can be released in as little as two days.

  • Credit score category: Good to excellent
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Deposit time: As little as two days
  • Origination fee: 0% – 3%
  • Late fee: Not disclosed
  • Discounts: 0.25% for making automic payments
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months


Rates (APR)


Loan Amounts


Credit Score


Upgrade is a great option for borrowers with bad or fair credit. Their loans are unsecured, so customers don’t have to use their homes or cars as collateral. Eligibility is based more on free cash flow as compared to other lenders.

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the next day
  • Origination fee: 2.9% – 8%
  • Late fee: $10
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months


Rates (APR)

8.41% – 35.99%1

Loan Amounts


Credit Score


Upstart is an online lending platform that partners with banks to provide personal loans that can be used for almost anything. Upstart’s lending model considers education, employment, and many other variables when determining eligibility.3 This model leads to 27% more approvals and 16% lower rates than traditional models.4

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as one business day
  • Origination fee: 0% – 8%
  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of payment
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months

Other types of aid and loans for single moms

Personal loans are a great option for many situations because they are usually unsecured, meaning you’re not putting your personal property on the line should you not be able to pay it back.

However, there may be specific situations when a personal loan isn’t the right answer. Here are some other loan options to consider: 

Home loans for single mothers

If you’re trying to purchase a home for your family, you’ll need a mortgage loan, rather than a personal loan.

A mortgage uses your home as collateral for the loan, which means you’ll get lower rates than you would on a personal loan, but if you’re unable to make the loan payments, the lender could foreclose on your home. 

Just like with personal loans, single mothers are eligible for the same loans as everyone else. If you have the credit and income required by a lender, you can qualify for the loan.

But if raising kids as a single parent has put an extra strain on your finances, a traditional mortgage loan might be out of reach. Luckily, there are a number of first-time home buyer programs that can offer assistance:

  • FHA loans: FHA loans are designed to make home buying more affordable for middle- and low-income first-time homebuyers. 
  • VA loans: VA-approved lenders offer mortgages with no down payment loans for military members, veterans, and their surviving spouses.
  • USDA loans: USDA loans offer mortgages with no down payment for eligible home buyers in rural areas.

Even if you’ve owned a home in the past, you may still be able to qualify for these loans if you meet income limits and haven’t purchased a home in the past few years. 

Federal grants and non-profit aid for single moms

A loan isn’t always the right answer. If you’re having trouble paying rent, buying groceries, paying your energy bill, or covering a critical medical bill, you might be able to find help without taking out a loan. 

Federal aid is available through a number of programs to help you make ends meet and provide the basics your family needs. These programs can help you pay for food, find and pay for housing, get medical insurance, or receive reduced-cost childcare.

Aside from Federal aid, there are also charitable organizations and state and local assistance programs that can help you get the support you need.

You can learn more in our guide to programs that offer help for single moms.

Educational aid for single moms

Support isn’t only available for your living costs. If you are trying to get an education to further your career, there are options for aid outside of traditional student loans.

You can also apply for a number of scholarships available to help single moms continue their education. These scholarships can help ease the financial burden of paying tuition, taking time off work, and hiring childcare.

Important questions and considerations

To make the best decision about your loan options, there are likely other important questions that you need answers to. 

Recap of personal loans for single mothers

LenderRates (APR)Loan Amounts
Upstart8.41% – 35.99%1$1,000$50,0002

1The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.

2Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.

3Although educational information is collected as part of Upstart’s rate check process, neither Upstart nor its bank partners have a minimum educational attainment requirement in order to be eligible for a loan.

4Approval numbers compare the 2020 loan approval rate by the Upstart model and a hypothetical traditional credit decision model. The APR calculation compares the two models based on the average APR offered to borrowers up to the same approval rate. The hypothetical traditional model used in Upstart’s analyses was developed in connection with the CFPB No Action Letter access-to-credit testing program, is trained on Upstart platform data, uses logistic regression and considers traditional application and credit file variables.