For many people, living abroad makes perfect sense. When you’re young, you can enjoy an interesting career and benefit from a cultural experience. When you’re in your golden years, living abroad provides you with a chance to relax and benefit from better weather in a laidback environment. Whether you already live abroad or are seriously considering it, you should be aware that moving abroad will impact your finances with respect to your mortgaged property at home.
At Trinity Finance, we can help you refinance your UK property or buy a new one in the UK when you’re living abroad. To do this, you need an expat mortgage and we’ll detail what that entails and how you can increase your chances of approval below.
What is an expat mortgage?
As an expat – meaning that you reside in a country outside of your native one – you need a special type of mortgage to be able to buy a property in the UK. Many high street lenders don’t offer expat mortgages because your circumstances as an expat can be considered too much of a risk for their lending criteria. The difficulties you may face when approaching lenders can include the fact that you don’t pay tax in the UK, you have a lack of credit score in the UK and you may be paid in a foreign currency. These barriers can make it harder to secure a mortgage but it is possible and we work closely with both high street and specialist lenders who offer mortgages to expats. The rates offered are usually higher than those for standard mortgages and we strive to find the best rate for you depending on your situation.
Types of expat mortgages
There are two types of expat mortgages available — one for a main residence and one for a buy-to-let property.
You may be planning to move back to the UK and want to buy a home in readiness for that move. Another scenario may be that your family members still live in the UK while you’re overseas. You may wish to buy a home for them and this also provides you with a home on your return to the UK.
If you already own a home in the UK, you can remortgage it to a buy-to-let mortgage. Letting your property is a good way to cover your mortgage payments and ensure the property is maintained until you’re ready to return to the UK. If you have no intention of moving back to the UK, keeping your property and renting it out is a good long-term investment.
Your eligibility for an expat mortgage
As with any mortgage, you need to satisfy the lender’s affordability criteria. As mentioned earlier, this is stricter for expat mortgages and your loan requirements, country of residence and personal circumstances can all affect your eligibility. Our expert mortgage brokers, located throughout Kent, London and Edinburgh, are used to dealing with complex expat scenarios and will tailor your application for the best outcome. Give us a call on 01322 907 000 to discuss your circumstances with one of our mortgage specialists. Alternatively, send us an email at email@example.com or an enquiry via our contact form and we will reply to you as quickly as possible to ascertain your eligibility for an expat mortgage.
How to improve your chances for a successful application
You need to provide proof of earnings and be able to pay a deposit just as you would for a standard mortgage application. However, living abroad makes it much harder for lenders to carry out some of their normal checks. To help increase your chances of approval for an expat mortgage, there are a few things you can do:
- Have your income paid into a UK bank account. Whilst this isn’t essential, it makes it easier to prove your income.
- Keep a good credit rating. The stronger your credit history, the better your likelihood of being offered better mortgage deals with more competitive rates. It’s not a necessity to have a UK credit rating to apply for an expat mortgage so don’t worry if you’ve lived abroad for a long time.
- Retain a financial link with the UK. Keeping a credit card or being associated with a residential address in the UK, such as a parent’s address, helps lenders check your financial footprint.
We can help with your expat property finance needs
Our skilled and experienced mortgage brokers are on hand to discuss your needs for an expat mortgage and your circumstances abroad. They are used to dealing with complex situations and will strive to make the process as straightforward as possible. With access to mortgage products that aren’t available publicly, our specialist brokers can also ensure you are offered the best deal to suit your requirements.
We understand that you live in a different time zone and are happy to arrange your mortgage while working around your schedule. We are available to discuss the progress of your application via telephone, Skype or Zoom or can communicate via email if you prefer. To get started, give us a call on 01322 907 000 or send your details to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our contact form.
If you’re a UK resident and wish to buy or refinance a property abroad, you need an overseas mortgage. Whilst we cannot arrange this type of mortgage for you ourselves, we can refer you to a company that can.