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How to get UK Mortgages for Non-Residents

Looking for to get UK Mortgages for Non-Residents? Our mortgage advisors are here to help you secure the right product for your needs, whatever your circumstances.

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Navigating UK Property Purchase as a Foreign National

Buying a home in the UK as a foreign national can sometimes be a bit tricky. That’s because some lenders won’t always readily give out loans to ex-pats.

Even the financial institutions that agree to provide mortgages can sometimes set unfavourable terms, such as strict requirements, or asking for high-interest rates. This can discourage many non-residents from buying a property in the UK.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case, and When the Bank Says no can help you if you’re an ex-pat or foreign national seeking to buy a property in the UK. If you’re wondering what to do next to buy a UK property as a non-resident, you’ve come to the right place.

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Can Non-residents Apply for Mortgages in the UK?

The short answer is yes. Even as a non-resident, you can seek a loan from a mortgage lender. 

As an ex-pat, you may apply for certain types of mortgages, including a buy-to-let loan. For non-residents, the process can be more difficult and involve having to go through a lot of red tapes to get approval for their mortgages. 

In addition, non-residents and foreign nationals have to present numerous documents with their mortgage applications, which could mean having to spend weeks gathering all the necessary information. On top of that, non-residents will also have to have some strict requirements to satisfy which can make the process of securing a UK mortgage more lengthy and difficult than for UK residents. 

How Do Mortgages in the UK Work?

A mortgage is a loan to be used for the purchase of a property. When you buy a house, you’ll have to put down a deposit, which effectively is a percentage of the overall cost of the property. 

The deposit will take care of a portion of the purchase price, with the rest of the cost being paid back in instalments over an agreed period of time. Repayments will consist of the principal payment which takes care of a portion of your loan balance, but you’ll also have to pay interest on the mortgage

It’s important to remember that you won’t own the property outright until you have paid back the full mortgage. Until then, the bank will use your home as collateral. If a client is unable to pay back the loan in the set period, the bank can foreclose on the property. 

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What Does the Term Loan-To-Value Mean?

The loan-to-value represents the percentage of the property price you want to borrow. To help you understand this, let’s jump into an example.

Let’s say that the home you’re trying to buy is worth £200,000, and you have a deposit of £80,000. The mortgage you plan to take out would be £120,000, meaning an LTV of 60%. 

As a general rule, it’s best to keep LTV to a minimum. That’s because the lower the percentage, the more deposit you will have put up, and therefore the better deal you will get.

Typically, the maximum LTV for non-residents is about 75%, meaning you need a deposit of around 25%. Yet, this can change depending on your financial situation and the mortgage lender.

What Are the Requirements for UK Mortgages for Non-residents?

The exact requirements for a mortgage in the UK will change depending on the lender. For example, some lenders will want to know how long you’ve been in the country. 

They’ll also want confirmation of personal details including proof that you are who you say you are. Additionally, you’ll be asked to provide documentation to prove your income, including bank statements, payslips, and evidence of a mortgage deposit. A credit score check will also be run to decide on your eligibility for a mortgage and determine your interest rates. 

Moving on, the bank will also take a look at the type of visa you have. This is because not all types of visas make you eligible for a UK mortgage

Frequently Asked Questions

What Types of Mortgages Are Available in the UK?

There are quite a few types of mortgages you can apply for. This may make picking one difficult. When the Bank Says No can help guide you through the different mortgage options so you get the choice right for you.

Fixed-rate mortgages have a constant interest rate. Every month, you’ll have to pay the bank the same amount. 

Variable-rate mortgages have changing interest rates. This will depend on the Bank of England’s base interest rate, among other factors. 

Interest-only mortgages are where you’ll only pay the interest without any repayment made toward the loan. That means, at the end of the mortgage period, you’ll have to pay back the full loan amount. 

Repayment mortgages mean you pay back a small portion of the loan back every month.

A residential mortgage refers to a loan people take out to buy a home to live in. With this variety, the interest rate will depend on your annual income. 

On the other hand, buy-to-let mortgages are loans for properties you intend to rent out. That means the home will generate a bit of profit on its own. 

The requirements for residential mortgages will be different from lender to lender. Yet, there are a few prerequisites that are pretty constant across most mortgage lenders. 

That includes:

  • A minimum of a 25% deposit
  • At least three years of residency in the UK
  • The loan is less than six times your annual income

With a buy-to-let mortgage, the requirements can change based on the property you’re buying. For example, the down payment you make will depend on the value of the house. 

  • For properties under £1 million, the deposit is usually 25%.
  • For properties over £1 million, the deposit is closer to 35%.

Besides that, you need a minimum annual income of about £50,000. This number can change if you’re self-employed. Some lenders may even base their mortgage policies on the client’s country of origin. 

Interest rates for foreigners are usually higher than those of UK residents. For UK citizens, the interest rate is between 3% and 5%. As for ex-pats, it can be as high as 7%. 

Although some lenders offer mortgages with better rates, to qualify for these, you’ll need to have an exceptional credit score. You can also bring the interest down if you pay a larger deposit or have a consistent income. 

Mortgage advisors have many roles and duties. Typically, they’ll begin the process with a face-to-face meeting with the client. 

That’s when the agents will assess your financial situation. After that, they’ll collect all the necessary documents from you to apply for loans.

Next, advisors will spend a little time investigating the market and finding the best lender for you depending on your preferences. The mortgage broker will scan the market to find a suitable mortgage offer and hopefully get your approval. Once that’s done, all that’s left is for the lender to issue your mortgage. 

The process of applying for a mortgage on your own can take a few weeks. However, with an independent mortgage agent on your side, this period can be much shorter. Once the process is complete, it can take anywhere between 8 and 16 weeks to hear back from the lender. 

There are a few reasons why foreigners have to pay higher interest rates. Firstly, it’s riskier to loan money to someone who doesn’t live in the UK. That’s because if they decide to leave the country, it’ll be tough to ensure they pay back their mortgage. Plus, taking legal action against someone in another country can be a much tougher process. 

Other than that, banks will take currency fluctuations into account. Since exchange rates are constantly changing, lending to foreigners can get more complicated. 

Getting a mortgage in the UK as a foreigner is tough, but not impossible. There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a loan. 

For starters, your credit score is crucial. Banks will use this number to determine your interest rate. That’s why you need it to be as high as possible. 

You increase your score by changing your financial behaviour. To do that, you should build a credit history and ensure you make regular payments on time. 

Moving on, it’s important that you shop within your budget. While a huge mansion with an indoor swimming pool sounds like paradise, it may not be the best idea. Buying a particularly expensive property will mean you’ll have inflated interest rates. It’s also good to remember that interest rates can increase over time, so be sure you can comfortably afford the property before you take out the loan. 

A guarantor mortgage refers to a loan that you take out with a co-signer. This is a friend or family member that agrees to pay back the loan if you’re unable to. That will greatly reduce the risk to the lending bank and may decrease your interest rates. 

Although, it’s important to note that the co-signer has to be a UK resident. Even then, some banks may deny this loan to foreigners. 

An independent mortgage advisor is an agent that can help guide you as you’re applying for loans. Typically, these advisors will walk you through the process from beginning to end. 

They’ll start by giving you information about the documents you need. Then, they’ll go over your financial situation and give you advice. For instance, a mortgage broker will help you decide on a budget by examining your income and monthly expenses. 

When the Bank Says No has an expert mortgage advisor who can assist you with finding a property that works with your finances and help match you with the best mortgage for you. 

There are many benefits to hiring a mortgage advisor and they can make applying for a loan a breeze. They do that by taking on the tedious steps of the process including talking to estate agents and running thorough credit score checks. This frees you up for other tasks.

A mortgage advisor will explain complex terminology in simple terms which will make navigating through the mortgage process much more manageable. 

Using the services of a mortgage advisor can help you reduce your costs because they are able to find you the best loan deals with the lowest interest rates for your circumstances. Even though you’ll pay the mortgage broker fee, you’ll still end up saving significant time and money. 

The exact documentation required is pretty consistent between mortgage advisors. Information required will include your income information, including how much you make annually, and the source of your income. The expectation is you’ll be able to provide payslips for at least three consecutive months. 

In addition, the advisors will need to go over your monthly expenses. For that, you may have to present a detailed bank statement. 

With the financials out of the way, they’ll ask about the types of properties you’re interested in, plus how much you’re willing to spend on a property. These pieces of key information should help the agents find a mortgage product that’s right for them. 

Besides that, mortgage advisors will need information about the deposit. You should show them proof that you have the initial investment in your bank account. You’ll also have to supply the agents with at least two forms of identification, usually a copy of your passport and a photo ID such as a driving licence.

Can You Apply for a Mortgage in the UK as a Self-Employed Foreigner?

Non-UK residents will need to show proof of income to be eligible for a mortgage. That means, with the proper documentation, you can ask for a loan, even if you’re self-employed

You may have to meet a few requirements with some lender, for instance, some will require foreign nationals seeking a UK mortgage to have an annual income of at least £75,000. Besides that, you’ll also likely be asked for your most recent income tax assessment

To make your life easier, if you are a self-employed non-resident, then hiring an expert mortgage advisor from When The Bank Says No will help you get together all the necessary paperwork in the proper formats to give you a better chance of securing a mortgage with the minimum of delay..

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