If you are looking to purchase a home in the UK, but don’t have citizenship or permanent rights to reside, there is no need to panic. Although your options will be more limited we will still be able to help you find a great mortgage deal. We recommend reading this mortgage guide explaining the type of information and documents you will need in order to get a mortgage to make sure you are in as strong a position as possible.
For EU passport holders there can still be some challenges such as credit scoring and address history which we will discuss below.
Why is it Harder to Get a Mortgage If I don’t have a UK Passport?
Mortgage providers in the UK take into account a broad spectrum of information when assessing an application. The bottom line is that the lender will want to be confident that you are:
Going to be in a position to pay the monthly installments for the full mortgage term
Are going to be allowed to stay in the country long enough for this to be feasible
Will have enough equity in the property to cover the loan should they need to take possession of it
Obviously points 1 and 2 become more speculative if legally speaking you don’t have permanent rights to reside in the UK. This can have the follow on impact of a lender demanding a larger deposit from you to offset some of the risk. But not always.
Mortgages for EU Passport Holders
As an EU passport holder the majority of mortgage providers will currently consider you as a UK national. This means that standard lending criteria generally applies which is great!
There are a couple of pitfalls though. It is fairly common for lenders to require that any applicant has been living in the UK for at least 6-12 months and they will need you to achieve a pass on their standard credit scoring process.
If you have recently moved to the UK then you may lack the credit history required to pass the credit check even if you have lived here for more than the minimum time.
The good news is that there are competitive lenders willing to consider applications from people who have only been living in the UK for a short amount of time and take a sensible approach to credit checking. Just get in touch and we will be happy to help you find the best option.
Mortgages for Tier 1 and Tier 2 Visas or Work Permits
Tier 1 and tier 2 visa holders can be accepted for mortgages subject to the specific lender’s criteria. It generally helps if the visa has a long expiry date, ideally more than 2.5 years remaining at the point of application. It also helps if you have been living and working in the UK for several years beforehand.
If you find yourself needing to apply for a mortgage with little time left on your visa or having only recently entered the country, a large deposit of at least 25% can make things much easier.
Fortunately there are competitive lenders willing to consider applications on a case by case basis. So if you are in a strong position overall but maybe don’t quite have all the correct paperwork or a large deposit then don’t panic. We will be happy to help you find the right option.
Mortgages for Spousal Visa Holders
Spousal visas granted to people married to UK nationals or residents with permanent rights to reside can usually expect the same treatment as tier 1 or tier 2 visa holders. A spousal visa will grant the right to work in the UK which means a joint application could consider both incomes to raise a larger mortgage if needed.
Mortgages for Self Employed Foreign Nationals
If you are self-employed then on top of the usual visa criteria you will also need to fit the policy non employed income. We recommend reading our guide to self employed mortgages as this is another complicated area of mortgage lending policy.
If your income comes from overseas companies then it is highly likely that we will need to consider specialist lenders who have the expertise to understand offshore income.
What if we aren’t using the Visa Holder’s Income for the Application?
If you are applying for a mortgage and only need to use the income from an applicant with permanent rights to live and work in the UK then some lenders will be happy to ignore their usual visa requirements for the second applicant.
As a result, you should have good access to mortgage rates without the need to buy the property and take the mortgage in a single name.
How do I Know Which Lender to Approach?
As lending policy can change everyday for foreign national mortgages along with the mortgage rates available it is almost impossible for a non-expert to know. Fortunately you can speak with one of our expert advisers who can make sure you are getting the right option totally for free