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Gaining approval for a personal loan is more difficult for a single mother with only one income. Having a bad credit history only compounds the problem.

But you can get the needed funding if your credit score is below 660 by working through specialized subprime lenders. Plus, you might be able to get restricted-use free loans without a credit check.

Single moms without an income might want to steer away from personal loans and towards grants and other government assistance programs instead. Repaying a personal loan may not be realistic if you are unemployed or disabled.

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Loans for Single Mothers Bad Credit

Single mothers with bad credit scores below 660 might get a personal loan by adopting a strategy designed to overcome the history of late payments appearing on her consumer report.

However, the options with the best borrowing terms restrict how you can use the money: college, medical, and dental expenses.

Personal Loans

It’s easy to get a personal loan!. (Affiliate Link) when you can balance your bad credit history with positive information: adequate earnings, verifiable employment, and bank account numbers.

If approved, single mothers with scores below 660 can use the unsecured funding as they see fit – without restrictions. You can spend the borrowed money to cover a rental security deposit, fix a car, buy Christmas gifts, etc.

In this case, you have to employ a three-prong strategy to win approval.

  1. A vast network of subprime lenders seeing your credentials increases the odds of finding a willing partner
  2. Inclusion of employer name and phone number enables verification to strengthen your borrowing profile
  3. Inputting of bank routing and account number allows the lender to set up auto payments 

Free Loans

Single mothers with bad credit have two legitimate places to get free loans where the lender does not pull a copy of your consumer report. However, in both cases, the funds are restricted to specific purposes.  

Flexible Spending

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is the first legitimate place where single mothers with bad credit can get an interest-free loan. However, you can only use the borrowed money to fund unreimbursed medical and dental expenses for you and your dependent children.

Take these steps to set up an interest-free FSA loan.

  1. Elect to contribute up to $2,750 into an FSA during open enrollment. Under IRS rules, your employer cannot perform a credit check.
  2. Schedule elective medical and dental procedures at the beginning of the FSA plan year. Your employer must reimburse all qualifying expenses immediately.
  3. Make 52 weekly (or 26 biweekly) zero-interest payments via pretax payroll deduction that also reduce your tax bill: FICA, federal, and state.

Student Loans

Single mothers with bad credit can often get free money from the federal government, which is much better than a student loan. However, you can only use the funding to pay for college tuition, books, room, board, etc.

Pell grants are need-based college student aid that you do not have to repay, making them a far superior alternative to student loans (which include origination fees and interest charges).

Solo parents with weak borrowing credentials often meet the opposite FASFA criteria instead.

Lenders FAFSA
A credit score below 660DislikeDoes not pull a copy of a consumer report
One wage earner supporting a household with childrenDislikePrefers
Few countable resources (saving, investments, etc.)DislikeFavors

Loans for Single Moms with No Income

Personal loans for single mothers with no income could prove more challenging to obtain because you may not be able to afford to repay the obligation if you have no money coming in.

Government benefit programs for single moms all have holes related to wage replacement, which makes borrowing money difficult and inadvisable.

  • State temporary disability end after 26 or 52 weeks – if available
  • Social Security disability pays only $1,050 monthly on average
  • Unemployment benefits last only 26 weeks without pandemic relief

Hardship Loans

Hardship grants for single mothers could be a better alternative to taking out a personal loan if you have no income.

  • Disabled and unemployed applicants rarely qualify because they often cannot repay the obligation
  • If approved, the principal amount could be too small to cover the monthly bills you are already struggling to pay  

You do not have to repay grants, making them far more suitable for solo parents dealing with financial hardships. However, you may find some restrictions as the funding agencies target specific uses.

Emergency Loans

Emergency financial assistance for single mothers might be a safer alternative than a personal loan when you have no income because you are unemployed or disabled. Borrowing money when you must rely on temporary government benefits is a recipe for disaster.

You cannot predict or control when you might start working again.

Unemployed solo parents often fit the government definition for low-income families, which opens the door to a wide array of emergency support programs that can lower your cost of living quickly

You owe it to yourself to exhaust these alternatives first.