Mortgage for Non-UK Citizen

10/01/2019
Mortgages for non-UK citizens are increasingly commonly granted but different lenders have different policies on granting them and it's particularly important that you can demonstrate as long and traceable a credit history as possible to your lender. 

The answer to the question 'do you need to be a british citizen to buy a house' is no, you don't need to be; you can get a mortgage as a foreign national buying in the UK, you can even buy via a joint mortgage with a non-UK citizen. Additionally you can even buy a property through Help to Buy as a non-UK citizen - see below.

You should note, however, that you might be expected to present a higher deposit (typically 20% to 25% of the price of the property involved) than the standard 10% one expected of UK citizens.

Non-UK citizen vs. Non-UK resident - what's the difference?

This article concerns people resident in the UK who aren't UK nationals (UK citizens) and what constitutes residence for example.

We are not considering non-UK residents in this article by which we mean people, whether non-UK citizens or even UK citizens, who are not full time residents in the UK (so this would also include what are termed UK ex-pats). Click if you want to find out about getting a mortgage as a non-UK resident.

This article considers:




New to mortgages? Click on The Mortgage Process to find out exactly how it works.

Non-UK citizen? Looking for a mortgage to buy a home?

Our independent mortgage brokers can give you the best chance of success in getting a mortgage offer.

They can find the right product for you from more than 90 lenders and more than 20,000 mortgages and your initial consultation is free.

* * Access to whole of the market – Available Outside of Work Hours – No need for face-to-face meeting with mortgage advisor - Terms Apply


    1

    What are the required criteria for a non-UK citizen to get a mortgage?

As a preliminary, the most important factor of all, regardless of any other details of your application, is your traceable credit history: we discuss how you can best help yourself in this regard in the next section. All lenders expect you to be able to prove your identity, place of residence, your income and any other relevant assets.

As a non-UK citizen you are looked at in terms of whether you are a European Union (EU) national or not.

EU National

The 3 standard criteria are:
    1
    You must be able to demonstrate at least 2 years' prior residency in the UK.
    2
    You must have a UK bank account.
    1
    You must have a permanent job in the UK.
Lenders may have additional criteria for you to satisfy.

Non-EU National

    1
    You must be able to demonstrate at least 2 years' prior residence in the UK.
    2
    You must have permanent right to remain in the UK or indefinite leave to remain or at least a valid UK work permit.
    3
    You must have a UK bank account.
    4
    You must have a permanent job in the UK.
Permanent residency (PR) or indefinite leave to remain (IR) counts for more than a valid work permit, but some lenders are happy to proceed with the latter.

What if you don't have PR or ILR?

You may still be able to apply for a mortgage as a non-EU national as long as you have one of the following visas:
  • Tier 1 or Tier 2 Visa
  • Residence Card
  • Family of a Settled Person Visa
  • UK Ancestry Visa
These visas apply to both sole and joint applications, where one or both of you are from outside the UK/EU. You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you're due to start work in the UK and you should get a decision within 3 weeks.

Higher Deposits are often required

Lenders often expect you to have a larger than normal deposit as a non-UK citizen mortgage applicant, often 20% or 25% of the selling price of the property involved (compared to a standard 10% deposit normally expected from a UK national).

NB Although at press time, there was uncertainty over the UK its direction of travel regarding Brexit, all the fundamentals described in this article will remain unchanged regardless.

Free Mortgage Consultation, 100% independent with access to the whole of the mortgage market.

 
    2

    How do you build up your credit history to get a non-UK mortgage?

You should firstly get your credit report - which will outline your official UK credit history - by applying online to either Equifax, CallCredit or Experian. You'll then know how lenders look at you as a credit risk in the first instance.

You build up your credit history in the same way as if you were a UK citizen. Here are some tips to help you:
  • Get on the UK electoral register (click to do this online).
  • Get a credit card and use it responsibly, always paying off your credit before the end of the month and making any required payments.
  • Stay at the same address - the longer you stay in any one place, the better your credit standing becomes.
  • Have at least one utility bill in your name (and pay any bills related to it on time!) This also increases your standing as a responsible credit-worthy citizen.
  • Don't apply for too much credit at once; it's best if possible to leave 6 months between applications.
  • If you do get refused credit, don't apply for any more for at least 6 months so your score can recover.
This is a large topic all on its own; please read Improve your Credit Rating for a convenient summary and for links to additional information.

Please also click on 3 Things You can't have on your Bank Statement to find out what behaviour you must avoid to ensure your lender doesn't reject your application immediately.

    3

    Can you get a mortgage if you're a non-UK citizen and self-employed?

Yes you can although you should expect any prospective lender to require as much proof as possible of your income and it's something you should tell your independent mortgage broker at the beginning. Please read Getting a Mortgage when Self-Employed to find out more about this topic.

    4

    Can you apply for a Help to Buy Equity Loan as a non-UK citizen?

Yes you can; the rules governing the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme make it open to all UK residents; you should tell your independent mortgage broker that you are intending to buy a house through the scheme so they can do a preliminary check on your eligibility then find the right Help to Buy mortgage for your needs to apply for.

Click on Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to find out about how the scheme works in general and to get detailed instructions about how to apply for it.

    5

    How can you give yourself the best chance of success in your mortgage application?

You should apply for your mortgage using an independent mortgage broker; they can 'do the hard work' and look through more than 20,000 mortgages from more than 90 lenders in order to find you the product which best suits your needs and they can best advise you about how to be successful in your application as well.

Non-UK citizen? Looking for a mortgage to buy a home?

Our independent mortgage brokers can give you the best chance of success in getting a mortgage offer.

They can find the right product for you from more than 90 lenders and more than 20,000 mortgages and your initial consultation is free.

* * Access to whole of the market – Available Outside of Work Hours – No need for face-to-face meeting with mortgage advisor - Terms Apply


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