Getting an expat mortgage

Expat mortgages may be considered as a specialist area of the mortgage market as mortgage lenders may analyse borrowers on a case by case basis.

If you are currently living abroad and are looking to get a mortgage for a property in the UK then you could be looking for an expat mortgage.

This could be the case if you are about to leave the UK for a long period of time and currently have a mortgaged property that you want to rent out.

You will have to notify your residential mortgage lender of this and most residential mortgage lenders may refuse to offer you an expat mortgage or may offer you a buy to let mortgage with a very expensive APR.

You may want to seek advice from a mortgage broker to see what your options are.

There may be expat mortgage lenders who may be willing to lend to you and work within any time scales you may have.

Expat mortgages will usually fall into two groups:

  • You are planning to move abroad and wish to keep your property whilst you are abroad and may want to rent it out to tenants to generate some income.
  • You are currently living abroad and want to buy a property in the Uk which you will be returning to at some point in the future.

Getting a mortgage as an expat may be hard due to the mortgage lender not being able to verify and confirm your income or credit score if you have resided in a different country for a long period of time.

If the expat mortgage lender cannot verify your income, your employer or your credit history then it will usually be hard for them to decide if they want to offer you an expat mortgage or not and in most cases they will simply refuse to look at your case if they cannot verify this sort of information.

It will also be hard for an expat mortgage lender to figure out what level of risk you present and hence what loan to value they may want to offer you to match the risk you present to them as an expat mortgage borrower.

Living abroad as an expat doesn’t mean you will not be able to get a mortgage in the UK.

You should speak to a mortgage broker in the UK who may be able to assist you get an expat mortgage for a property you intend to rent out or live in the future.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.