Broke? Overwhelmed? Need help paying rent, fixing your car, child care, medical bills?
There are many resources available, some specifically for single moms, you can find in your state:
Whether you're looking to boost your income or need a quick cash fix, there are even more ways to quickly get the cash you need:
|Gas money help
|Cell phone help
|Internet service help
|Help for kids
Financial help for single moms
Financial help and cash assistance for single moms is readily available from a variety of sources in your community, such as:
- Government agencies
- Civic organizations
- Fraternities and sororities
These entities can offer cash assistance, including grants and emergency cash to help you when money gets tight. They may also offer assistance with budgeting and financial planning to help you get back on track.
Government assistance is also available in the form of Section 8 vouchers for housing and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which offers monthly cash assistance to low-income families with children. Learn more about EBT cash benefits, EBT discounts and freebies, and how you can use your EBT card on Amazon.
Keep reading for more helpful options:
Emergency cash for single mothers
Here’s how to get cast fash when you run into an emergency:
- Get a cash advance — You can get a cash advance on your credit card if you have an available balance. The interest rates and fees are often high, but you can get money the same day at a participating ATM. Some apps like Earnin, Chime and Dave also offer cash advances to members.
- Contact a nonprofit — Some charities, churches, and other nonprofits may have emergency cash programs that can help with rent, utilities, food, and other expenses.
- Get a personal loan — If you have good credit, you can apply for a personal loan and receive funds within 48 hours or less. Online lenders like Rocket Loans, SoFi, and Marcus are just a few options you can try.
- Ask for a payday loan — If you are really strapped for cash, you can try a payday loan. Just be aware that the interest rates are extremely high, as are the penalties for not honoring your payback agreement. You can usually get the money the same day.
If you have a little more time, you can apply for government programs like TANF or Emergency Rental Assistance. These often take longer since you must go through the application process, but are helpful once you are qualified.
You can also start a profitable side hustle that pays quickly, like selling clothing, renting out your car or home, or pet sitting.
Many churches set aside what's known as a benevolence fund to help parishioners and community members with utility bills, rent and other expenses.
To get help with your utility bills from a church fund, start by calling churches in your area to find out which ones offer assistance and how to apply. You might have to sit with them for an interview, provide proof of financial need and fill out forms as part of the application process.
Some churches might ask you to volunteer time if you are able or attend church-led classes on money management.
Love INC is a ministry that mobilizes local churches near you across the country to support local people and communities in need. Each branch is independently operated, so you'll have to search for your nearest Love INC location to find out which churches in your area offer services and how to apply. For example, this branch serving Otero County, N.M., offers a food pantry and assistance with furniture, household essentials, building supplies, medical equipment, prescriptions, utility bills, rent, home repairs, and overnight shelters.
There are also several denomination-based organizations that can help single moms in need with utility bills and other expenses.
Catholic Charities has more than 3,000 offices across the United States that help families with free money for paying utility and energy bills regardless of their religion.
Most United Methodist Church locations offer assistance with food, clothing, utilities, and other essential expenses.
The Episcopal Church has hundreds of parishes across the U.S. that help community members with food, utility bills, rent, and more.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an organization that utilizes home visits to help people with rent, utilities, food, or clothing, in addition to offering companionship and religious guidance.
The Jewish Federation of North America helps people of all religions with basics like food, medicine, and financial assistance.
Lutheran Social Services serves more than 30,000 individuals and families with food pantries and hot meals, clothing, and emergency vouchers for hotels, buses, and utilities.
Grant help for single moms
Every month, I also give out $500 cash to one single mom, no strings attached.
I started the Kickass Single Mom Stimulus Grant to give a hand to single moms struggling with money, health, stress, child care, illness, and loneliness. If you’re a single mom and you need the money right now, you can apply — no catch.
Tax help for single moms
Are you getting a tax refund? File for your tax refund ASAP to get funds you need — and are owed! Learn more about tax returns for single parents.
Financial coaching help for single moms
Have questions about money?
The nonprofit Savvy Ladies provides a free volunteer-run helpline service that pairs you with the appropriate volunteer to help you with:
- Divorce and money
- Family finances
- Small business planning
- Debt management (including credit cards)
- Retirement investing/saving
- Money and emotions
Government help for single moms
Benefits.gov is the official public benefits website of the U.S. government. The website is a portal to help you understand which benefits you’re eligible to receive. Answer some questions on the Benefits Finder tool to be matched with qualifying programs.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program has distributed billions of dollars to help families stay in their homes during the economic shutdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find other government emergency rental assistance programs.
If you specifically need help paying utility bills, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualifying families cover energy costs.
In addition to helping families pay for energy costs at home, this program helps improve energy-efficiency, repairs heating and cooling equipment, and provides emergency energy assistance. You may also be able to get a free air conditioner in some states.
To find your local LIHEAP assistance program, select your state and county from the dropdown menu on the LIHEAP site. You can also call the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) hotline at 1-866-674-6327.
Learn about more ways to get help with heating and cooling expenses.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
TANF is a program that offers short-term cash assistance for necessities to qualified families. Each state, territory, and tribe sets its own rules and eligibility criteria.
To apply, you must meet at least one of the criteria:
- 18 years old or older, and the head of your household
- Resident of the state in which you apply
- You are pregnant
- You have a child living with you that is 18 years of age or younger
Each state has its own income limits and determines the length of time you can receive cash benefits.
For example, in Florida, your gross income cannot be over 185% of the federal poverty level for the size of your family and cash assistance is limited to 48 months unless the recipient is a child (under 18).
Nonprofit organizations that help single moms
United Way’s 211.org is a 24/7 live hotline that connects you with community services, resources for mental and physical health, finding food, housing and more.
Salvation Army is a global organization that supports low-income people and families with a variety of food, shelter, emergency cash, jobs skills, domestic violence and human traffic support, and disaster relief.
The Singletons is a nonprofit helping single-parent families in Arizona. To be eligible for help, you or your child must be undergoing treatment for cancer, living under the same roof, and have no significant other living in your home.
Depending on your needs the program provides:
- Money applied to a utility bill
- Healthy meals ready to heat and eat
- Outings with other single parents battling cancer
- Essential hygiene and cleaning items
- Activities for children and gifts on special occasions
Housing help for single moms
If you’re a single mom in need of housing, there are a number of programs that can help.
We put together a guide for how to get free housing or an apartment, with information about the following resources:
- Rental assistance
- Home loans for single moms
- Affordable movers
- Ways to get help when you’re facing a housing crisis
Transportation help for single moms
There are local and national programs to help low-income people get a free car, find a ride, get a free local bus pass, find free long-distance bus tickets, get free roadside assistance, or finance a quality used car at good rates. This guide on how to get a car for low-income people will help.
If you need help with transportation, many local bus and subway systems offer discounts for students, low-income riders, the disabled, and senior citizens. For older people, Area Agencies on Aging can connect you with car services or volunteer drivers to help you get around.
Ridesharing.com can connect you with people who have a car and are going where you are going — both locally and long-distance.
Hands of the Carpenter is a faith-based nonprofit that provides working single moms with reliable transportation. Through the Transportation @ Low Cost (TLC) and Lift UP programs, you can get discounted repairs and access to a reliable car to get to work. This program serves seven counties in Colorado and is open to working single moms with dependent children.
After participating in TLC, you can apply for the Lift UP program which provides:
- Discounted car care for up to three years
- Vehicle placement for cars that are beyond repair
- Vehicles for working moms that don't have a car
- Car education to ensure the car stays in good working condition
To apply, you must be a living in one of the following counties in Colorado: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, or Jefferson.
Buying a car as a single mom
If you're ready to buy a car, but you have low or no credit, Auto Loan Express is a quality lender:
- Better Business Bureau rating of A+
- In business since 1999
- For new or used cars
- Auto loans and refi for buyers who have low or no credit, or who have gone through bankruptcy or had a vehicle repossessed
- Pre-approval within 30 seconds
Gas money help for single moms
With higher gas prices than ever, getting affordable or free gasoline for your vehicle is critical. We compiled a list of 24 resources for getting free or reduced-cost gas, including vouchers from charities and government programs, discounts from gas stations and other retailers, and ways to earn money paid on gas cards.
Cell phone help for single moms
Lifeline is a government program that helps low-income qualifying people get a free or reduced-price smartphone and wireless service. We elaborate on the dozens of programs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, including those from big carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile in this guide to free smartphones and cell service.
You can also learn how to get a free ipad or free tablet.
Computer help for single moms
Whether for your own use finding a job and personal use, or for your children to use for school work, we collected 15 ways to get a free laptop for low-income families and students.
Internet service help for single moms
Check out our guide to 10 places to get free internet and wifi for home — for students and low-income families and people.
Healthcare help for single moms
Free or cheap medical insurance and prescriptions
Medicaid is a joint federal and state medical insurance program for low-income families. Find out if you qualify for Medicaid, and learn about your state's benefits.
If you are one of the majority of Americans who rely on prescription drugs, you may be able to get them for free or very low-cost. Learn more in our prescription medication guide.
Free prescription glasses
Until recently, it was difficult to find a pair of eyeglasses for less than $400. Thankfully, more brands are offering stylish and affordable options, and some programs offer free eye exams and glasses for qualifying individuals. Check out our post with 18 resources for free prescription glasses and cheap frames.
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, which can significantly impact their quality of life.
Dentures are a cost-effective way to get your smile back, but they can vary considerably in cost and quality and require periodic replacement and adjustment. Check out our guide on where to buy affordable dentures.
Free hearing aids
Perhaps not surprising, studies find that single moms are twice as likely to be depressed and anxious than partnered moms. One study of nearly 7,000 mothers in Europe found that 30% of single mothers reported symptoms of depression or anxiety compared with just 14% of partnered mothers and 37% of single moms reported high parenting stress compared with 16% of partnered mothers.
Self-care means putting your own mental, spiritual, physical and social well-being before all else — filling your cup so you can serve others in your family, at work, in your community. Read this excellent post with free self-care tips from therapist Elizabeth Cohen, PhD.
Coursera's free trial covers the course, The Science of Well-Being, from a Yale professor, has been taken by millions of people, and promises to teach skills that lead to more happiness and productivity.
Consider online therapy from a company BetterHelp, which offers therapy on a sliding fee scale.
Also, if you believe medication may be part of your mental-health plan, an online doctor who can write prescriptions can help. Our list of top online doctor apps for 2024.
Clothing help for single moms
Whether you need new clothes for your children, a professional outfit for a job interview, or you just want to update your wardrobe, there are a lot of ways to get free clothes when you can't afford to buy them.
We put together a list of places to get free clothing.
Education help for single moms
If you’ve been thinking about going back to school (or about going for the first time), don’t let money be the thing that stops you. There are a number of single mom scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs you can apply for.
We put together a list of 20 scholarships for single moms that will help you land the job of your dreams, inspire your children, and help you live a better life.
Educate yourself about getting a raise with our video:
Help for kids of single moms
Free childcare and preschool
All 50 states, plus many cities and counties offer free or reduced-cost child care, daycare and preschool. Here is a list of all the ways you can get the affordable or free childcare as well as preschool you need.
School supplies help for single moms
If you need free school supplies for your PreK-12 students, check out our post.
Free baby stuff
The last thing any mom should have to worry about is how she'll feed her baby. Luckily there are programs like WIC that provide free formula to qualifying moms and babies.
Check out our guide to getting free formula and formula samples.
Free parenting classes
There are dozens of local and national programs to help low-income families enjoy the holidays with free gifts. Here are our guides to free Christmas presents and Christmas money. There are also opportunities to get free toys and gift cards from various sources year-round.
My bestselling book The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), which was featured on The Doctors, New York Times, Reuters, Parents magazine and hundreds of others, is a guide to building a career, wealth and a wonderful life as a single mom.
Free bed or mattress
We put together a list of places to get a free or affordable bed or mattress.