Expat mortgages

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Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Some Let to Buy mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
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Expat mortgages

Mortgages for expats can either be for non-British nationals buying a UK home – or British expats buying here from overseas. Whatever your situation, we can help you achieve your home-owning goals.

Can I find a mortgage if I am an expat?

Many mortgage lenders will accept expat borrowers, although they may see you as a higher risk. That’s because it’s more difficult for lenders to research an expat’s credit rating and run required anti-fraud checks. 

To counter that risk you might be offered higher mortgage rates, meaning higher repayments on the mortgage. It can help to find specialist mortgage providers that are more flexible in how they assess applicants. 

Do I need a UK bank account? 

Generally, yes – it will be much easier to get an expat mortgage if you have a UK bank account. Lenders usually want to see three to six months worth of bank statements to understand your income and outgoings. 

If you’re not paid in Pounds sterling you may need to find a suitable UK bank account that accepts income in foreign currency – which also helps overcome any complexities around exchange rates. That will help when lenders are assessing your income. 

How is my overseas credit rating assessed?

Lenders want to see your credit record to understand your previous borrowing and how reliable you might be in paying back the loan. But if you’ve lived abroad for a long time, there won’t be any credit information visible with the UK credit agencies. 

Information on your credit file is not shared between countries either, so the lender won’t have any details about you. That can make the process more challenging. 

Depending on your situation, a mortgage broker will explain the relevant options.

How can I improve my chances of getting an expat mortgage? 

There are a few ways to make an expat mortgage application easier:

  • Have a job in the UK – being employed on a permanent contract in the UK is a requirement with many lenders. If you currently live overseas and are planning to return home, it may be worth getting a job lined up before applying for a mortgage.
  • Put down a big deposit – contributing more in cash towards the mortgage will reduce the risk to the mortgage lender. It can really help to put down a deposit of 20 per cent or more as this will potentially open up a broader choice of lenders.
  • Build up a good UK credit rating – use your UK bank account wisely and avoid going overdrawn. Ensure you pay UK phone or utility bills on time. You might consider getting a credit card and paying off the balance each month. Even six months’ credit history can make a big difference.
  • Have a UK address – if you’re overseas, having a UK address for correspondence makes things much simpler.
  • Be clear about affordability – talk to a broker or use a mortgage calculator to make sure you can comfortably meet the monthly repayments.

Can expats get a Buy to Let mortgage or purchase a holiday home?

Britain is popular for Expat Buy to Let because there’s good demand for rental property and it is generally profitable. 

You will need at least a 25% deposit for Buy to Let, and putting down 40% or more will open up more lenders and better interest rates. With Buy to Let, the size of the mortgage is led by the potential rental income for the property. 

Generally, it’s fairly straightforward for an expat to get a Buy to Let mortgage. Mortgages for a holiday home are a different type of product, but again they are open to ex-pats if you have a good deposit. If you plan to live in the holiday home for more than six weeks of the year, you will need a residential mortgage rather than a commercial one – so seek mortgage advice. 

What is the best mortgage for expats? 

As an expat, you will choose from standard mortgage products, because there are no bespoke products for this type of client. 

A mortgage adviser will talk you through the potential options for you as an expat, depending on your specific situation. 

How can Mortgages by McAteer help?

It can be complicated to buy UK property as an expat, but we’ve helped lots of expats find a suitable, cost-effective deal. 

We’ll look into your specific situation and property plans and explore the options across banks, building societies and specialist lenders. We will get you an Agreement in Principle to help with your property search, and help you through the full mortgage application process.

Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you. 

Approved by the Openwork Partnership on 24/04/2024

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Some Let to Buy mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority