Australian Expat Mortgage Broker

Specialist Mortgage are experts at arranging expat home loans & mortgages to those living overseas. Find out how we can help.

How An Expat Mortgage Broker Can Help You.

Expat mortgage brokers provide valuable assistance to expatriates looking to secure a mortgage. 

Understanding of International Regulations:

Expat mortgage brokers understand the mortgage process in multiple countries. They are aware of the regulations, legalities, and requirements specific to expatriates. They can provide guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.

Access to Numerous Lenders:

Mortgage brokers have access to a wide range of lenders, some of which you may not have known about or considered. They can present options that are suitable for your specific needs, even from lenders who specialize in mortgages for expats.

Knowledge of Exchange Rates and Currency Risks:

Expats often earn in a different currency than the one where they intend to buy property. Mortgage brokers can advise on how fluctuations in exchange rates can impact your loan and offer strategies to handle this risk.

Navigating Complexities:

Securing a mortgage as an expat can be complex due to factors such as differing credit systems, foreign income, and living abroad. Expat mortgage brokers are familiar with these issues and can help navigate through them.

Saving Time and Effort:

A mortgage broker can save you time and effort by doing the legwork. They handle the application process, gather necessary documentation, and liaise with lenders, solicitors, and real estate agents.

Securing Competitive Rates:

Brokers have a broad view of the mortgage market and can help you find competitive interest rates and loan terms that you might not be able to find on your own.

Application and Closing Assistance:

The broker can guide you through the entire process, from initial application to the closing of the loan. They can help ensure everything is correctly filled out, submitted on time, and nothing is overlooked.

Follow-up Service:

Even after your loan is approved and disbursed, your broker can provide follow-up service, helping with any questions or issues you may encounter.

Frequently Asked Questions.

As an expat, the amount you can borrow will depend on various factors. These factors can include:

Income: Your current income plays a significant role in how much you can borrow. Lenders will want to know that you have a steady and sufficient income to repay the loan.

Employment Status: The nature of your employment can affect your borrowing capacity. For instance, those with full-time, permanent jobs might be assessed differently from contractors or self-employed individuals.

Credit History: Your credit history, if available, can affect how much you can borrow. A good credit score can increase your borrowing capacity.

Existing Debts: If you have any existing debts, such as credit card balances, personal loans, or other mortgages, these will be subtracted from your total borrowing capacity.

Living Expenses: Lenders will take into account your regular living expenses to ensure you can comfortably afford loan repayments after covering your day-to-day costs.

Loan to Value Ratio (LVR): This is the amount of the loan compared to the value of the property. Many lenders will only loan up to a certain percentage of the property value, typically around 60-80% for non-residents, but this can vary.

Foreign Exchange Risk: If your income is in a different currency, lenders might apply a buffer to account for exchange rate fluctuations, which could reduce the amount they are willing to lend.

Country of Residence: Some lenders might restrict how much they lend to residents of certain countries due to regulatory restrictions or perceived risk.

In addition to considering your primary income, most lenders typically overlook other forms of secondary income such as overtime pay, bonuses, work-related allowances, or foreign investment income like dividends or rental earnings.

Among those lenders who do factor in this additional income, they often reduce, or ‘shade,’ its value twice. Initially, they count 80% of the commission income, and then reduce the total income to 80% again. Essentially, this means they are only accounting for 64% of your commission.

Based on experience, it has been observed that work-related allowance income often forms a significant chunk of an expat’s earnings. These may include allowances for motor vehicles, living away from home, shift work, or penalty rates. Some of our preferred lenders will consider 100% of this income, while others may disregard it entirely.

Furthermore, lenders typically do not consider specialised income types such as stock options and/or restricted stock units. Therefore, choosing the right lender who has a favourable policy for expats is crucial to obtaining a prompt approval.

Numerous expats in our network reside and work in tax-free countries like the United Arab Emirates, or in nations with lower tax rates compared to Australia. Nevertheless, lenders usually apply Australian tax rates to your net income.

Fortunately, some lenders will consider foreign tax rates, which could potentially increase your borrowing capacity.

These lenders typically apply foreign tax rates only when they can identify tax deductions from your payslips. Therefore, the key to convincing the lender to accept these rates is to present as much evidence of your income as possible.

Major lenders often shy away from working with self-employed expats, considering them higher risk. Specialist lenders, too, generally apply stricter rules for such cases.

However, these specialist lenders offer loans specifically designed for expats, translating into more favorable lending criteria.

With a select few lenders, we’ve managed to count up to 80% of self-employed income towards the loan, but this varies on a case-by-case basis. More commonly, you’ll be able to use up to 70% of your self-employed income with a specialist lender.

Additionally, you’ll need to provide two years’ worth of company financial reports or tax returns, along with six months’ bank statements demonstrating business income deposits into a bank account.

For self-employed clients from places like Vietnam, overseas tax returns need to be authenticated by an Australian accountant who will sign a letter confirming the income. However, if the tax returns originate from Singapore, we can simply use those returns as they are straightforward for bank credit assessors to comprehend.

Lending policies for expats can be complex, particularly for self-employed individuals. For this reason, it’s advisable to contact us directly to discuss your specific situation in depth.

There are several common non-credit related factors that expats should be aware of:

  • The need for identity verification, which can be done either online or through the embassy consulate.
  • Documents and tax returns must be translated if they are in a language other than English.
  • Mortgage documents must be authenticated at the embassy or consulate. About half of all lenders do not accept a Power of Attorney (POA). Among those who do, a POA is usually only accepted when the applicant is unable to sign the Loan Offer Documents.

These factors can easily complicate your application, potentially causing delays or requests for additional information from the lender.

Certain aspects simply come with experience, and this is where our track record of successfully finalising hundreds of mortgages for expats proves invaluable, ensuring a seamless and worry-free experience.

We will handle the non-credit issues and the banking process on your behalf, freeing you from these concerns.

Contact Us.