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What Is An Expat Mortgage?

An expat is a person who lives in a country that they aren’t a national of. If you are a national of the UK but you are living in another country, you are an expat. If you want to take out a mortgage on a property in the UK, then you will need an expat mortgage, which is a specific type of mortgage for people in your situation. For general information and guidance about living abroad please see the Government website here; living abroad www.gov.uk

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Will It Be Difficult To Obtain A Mortgage As An Expat?

It can be difficult to get a mortgage as an expat, as the lender may see you as a higher risk than someone who is currently a resident of the UK. This is especially the case if your salary comes in a foreign currency, or if you do not have a strong credit history in the UK. Lenders may have concerns about the sustainability and size of your income and there may be some difficulties in identifying an overseas-based employer. It is harder to obtain relevant information about employers in other countries and there is a potential risk of fraud that can lead to some lenders refusing expats a mortgage or charging higher rates.  Credit ratings are also harder to obtain if you are an expat. If you’ve been living overseas for quite a long time, you may have no traceable credit history. This, too, could lead lenders to be extra cautious when considering whether to give you a home loan. This doesn’t mean you can’t obtain an expat mortgage, and many lenders are willing to help expats and offer services specifically for expats. You will, however, need to show proof of your earnings and some lenders may request that your income is paid into a UK bank account. This will depend on the lender as they can set out their own eligibility criteria. For specific advice about living in the United Arab Emirates please see the Government website here: Living in the United Arab Emirates https://www.gov.uk

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What Types of Mortgages Are Available to Expats?

As an expat, you can get a residential mortgage on a property you want to live in, or a buy-to-let mortgage if you want to rent out a property in the UK.

A residential expat mortgage is a mortgage you take out on a property that you intend to live in. You may find yourself requiring this type of expat mortgage if you plan on moving back to the UK at some point and would like to purchase a property to live in on your return.

A buy-to-let mortgage is a specific type of mortgage for a property you are buying but intend to rent out. You may be looking to remortgage an existing residential property to rent out while you are living overseas, or perhaps you want to purchase a property to rent out in the UK.

Both of these types of mortgages are available to expats and can be discussed in more detail with the appropriate lender.

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How Much Deposit Will I Need For An Expat Mortgage And How Much Can I Borrow?

It is common for an expat to need a deposit equalling 25% of the value of the property when taking out an expat mortgage. The amount you can borrow as part of an expat mortgage varies on your income, your outgoings, your deposit and your credit history. The amount you can borrow will vary by lender, so you will need to shop around to see the range of prices and find a deal that is best suited to you. 

The standard range for the amount you can borrow with mortgages in the UK is 4-5 times your annual income. So, if you have an income of £50,000, you could expect to borrow between £200,000 and £250,000. The price of the property you buy therefore depends on the amount of your deposit, as well as your annual income. 

It is possible to get an interest-only mortgage as an expat. You will need to speak to each lender to find out what they can offer you, dependent on your eligibility criteria. 

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How Can A Mortgage Broker Help with An Expat Mortgage?

If, as an expat, you are unable to find a high street lender who is willing to offer you a mortgage, or you are finding the process confusing and hard to navigate alone, you can hire an expat mortgage broker who will have the expertise necessary to help you to get a deal that suits you, taking into account your more complex situation and making sure you get the best expat mortgage rates. If you use a mortgage broker with expertise in helping expats to find suitable loans, you can be confident that you’ll receive tailored advice to suit your needs. They will have the expertise to know which lenders they can reach out to and the kind of mortgages that you would be eligible to apply for, thus saving you a lot of time and effort.

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