How do you get a mortgage as an expat living in the UK?

Obtaining a mortgage as an expat in the UK can be troublesome as many lenders tend to perceive them as high risk borrowers and most UK banks are toughening up borrowing conditions. This means that specialist assistance can often be needed in order to secure an expat mortgage to buy a UK property.

It’s often harder for someone to get a mortgage who’s been living abroad for some time as it can be hard to follow procedures that confirm a person’s economic stability. If someone is seen as high risk, then often the interest will be higher in order to offset the risk.

It’s a good idea to speak to an independent expat mortgage advisor who will be able to meet your personal requirements and often have access to a greater range of products than the average consumer. Our team would be happy to help.

If you’re purchasing a property with the intention of using it as your primary residence, then some lenders may advance up to 95% of the purchase price. There is a massive difference between certain mortgage terms and lending criteria, and different lenders will determine a maximum loan amount with their own policy.

Expat lenders often adhere to strict policies and lending criteria, and will use factors such as affordability and employment status before offering mortgage terms. There is a chance that an expat will initially be accepted for a mortgage application before being declined further on in the process if certain criteria can’t be fully met.

If your primary income is earned abroad, this can pose problems for the lender. Fluctuating exchange rates means ascertaining the sustainability of your income can be extremely difficult. It’s also tricky for the mortgage provider to actually identify your employer if they’re based abroad, not to mention obtaining all of the necessary information, as well as the risk of fraud. All of these factors can make it nigh on impossible for an expat to procure a mortgage at all.

Despite this, there are a number of things you can do to increase the likelihood of your mortgage application being accepted.

Maintaining a form of financial association in the UK such as your parent’s home or even a credit card may help you to apply for a wider range of mortgages. However, this could also potentially affect your tax affairs. It’s best to speak to an independent advisor before you start proceedings. Having a strong credit history could also help when looking for the best rates and deals.

Buy to let mortgages have increased in popularity of late, and expats can be expected to provide more in the way of a deposit, as there’s the risk of higher uncertainty of income from rent.

The best thing to do is simply to shop around. Many websites offer free and impartial advice, ensuring that you’re getting the most competitive rates on the market.

getting a mortgage as an expat