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How to Boost Your Chances of Securing a Mortgage as a Returning Expat

If you are considering a move back to the United Kingdom (UK) you may need to secure mortgage finance. You may have heard that some returning expats struggle to get a mortgage after returning to the UK. The main reasons for this are that you won’t normally have a fixed address in the UK, and because you are likely to have a limited credit history.

When lenders can consider you for a mortgage application, they will check your UK address and carry out full credit checks. As expats tend to have an incomplete UK address history and limited (or no) credit history, this can become an obstacle to securing a mortgage. If the lender can’t find your history or has concerns about your credit record, they may use this as a reason not to lend to you.

Fortunately, some mortgage advisors like ourselves understand the challenges that returning expats face. We are also aware that there are special lenders who are more open to consider mortgages for returning expats. Our team can help by providing advice that will enable you to secure the mortgage finance that you need.

What criteria are applicable to mortgages for returning expats?

Lending criteria varies from lender to lender but here are some of the main questions that mortgage providers consider:

  • When are you due to return or how long have you been back in the UK?
  • How long did you spend living abroad?
  • How much deposit do you have? – The more you have, the more favourably a lender might look upon you.
  • What is the source of your deposit? – Some lenders may have restrictions over the source of the deposit.
  • How much do you wish to borrow?
  • What are your income prospects? Are you returning directly into employment or self-employment (or have you already returned)? How much do you earn?
  • What is your employment history?
  • Are you retired and if so are you in receipt of guaranteed income (i.e. pension)?
  • Can you supply proof of your address history?
  • Do you have evidence of your credit history and is it clear?

Most of the larger, more traditional mortgage lenders will consider your application high risk due to your time abroad. This is why they tend to ask more questions when reviewing your application.

How do I boost my chances of getting a mortgage after living abroad?

There are several steps you can take to help improve your chances of securing a mortgage as a returning expat.

  • If you are considering a return but haven’t returned yet, it’s worth setting up a UK correspondence address. This is an address that all your private correspondence including bank statements can be sent to whilst you are abroad. If you can use the address of someone you trust like a family member or friend this can help.
  • Maintain your credit history in the UK. Try to keep at least one bank account open in the UK as this will boost your credit history and improve your chances of securing a mortgage. Ensure your credit record is accurate and up to date and take care not to miss any payments.
  • Provide as much deposit as you can – If you can put down a deposit of 25% or more it will significantly increase the mortgage deals and lenders available to you.
  • Ensure you have work lined up for your return to the UK. This will demonstrate that you have job security and provide added assurance to the lender that you will be able to make your monthly payments. If you have a track record of working in the same field or are staying with the same employer this can also further support your application.
  • Get registered. Upon your return to the UK make sure you register on the electoral roll and ensure you have a utility bill (council tax, electric, gas) that is in your name(s).
  • Get all your paperwork together and make sure you have everything you need. Keep documents from your time abroad that evidence your address history and your income. If you had a bank account in your country of residence, ensure you have bank statements going back a few years.
  • Don’t go it alone! Securing a mortgage as an expat can be a complicated process and there is often a lot more to it than other types of mortgage application. For your own peace of mind, its worth working with a specialist mortgage broker for returning expats. Our friendly team will be only to happy to help and will take much of the stress away.


How do I get a mortgage as a returning expat?

Once you have your paperwork together and have found a property that is within your budget, you can start the mortgage process. The mortgage process for a returning expat works in much the same way as other mortgage applications. The lender will review your mortgage application, request any further documentation, and arrange a property survey. Once the lender’s checks are complete, they will issue a mortgage offer and your solicitor will start the conveyancing. The funds are then released once the final checks are complete.

Why returning expats should choose Simple Fast Mortgage to secure their mortgage?

Expat mortgage applications can be fairly complex and it can be difficult to secure mortgage finance if you go it alone. The mortgage team at Simple Fast Mortgage, wants to make the mortgage process as seamless as possible. They also want to ensure you get the mortgage that is the best fit for your circumstances. That’s why we take the time to listen and really understand what your current situation and plans are. With over 20 years of experience and our connections in the industry, we are confident we can find the mortgage option that is best for you. If you are a returning expat looking to buy a property, reach out to us today to start your mortgage application.

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