Get in touch

Hero Background Shape Hero Background Shape

Expat Mortgage

The difficulty of this type of work from a mortgage point of view is that someone working outside the UK will generally not be a UK tax payer – which is a requirement for normal mortgage underwriting.

The 3 basic types of expat mortgage scenario we come across are:


  • Homeowners who are planning to move abroad and wish to retain their property – usually to rent this out to tenants.
  • Homeowners who are living abroad and have the property already rented out but wish to remortgage.
  • People who are currently living abroad and planning to return home – and are buying a property to live in at some point in the future.


Hero Background Shape Hero Background Shape

What is an Expat Mortgage?

An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person either temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship. In common usage the term generally refers to skilled workers or professionals sent abroad by their employers to work – these can be companies, governments or non governmental organisations.

The difficulty of this type of work from a mortgage point of view is that someone working outside the UK will generally not be a UK tax payer – which is a requirement for normal mortgage underwriting.

Even clients who are living abroad but still working for a UK company and paid in Sterling can still be classed as an expat for mortgage purposes – this will apply if you reside outside of the UK for more than 6 months of the year and are not subject to UK tax laws.

Why are Expat mortgages specialist?

These types of mortgage are not necessarily more complex but they are more complicated – from the initial fact-find through to processing the application to offer, they need more care and more expertise.

As a broker we ask a lot more questions to determine the viability of the application, and we have a lot less choice in terms of lender also.

It can also cause issues and delays with regards to AML requirements and obtaining a clients proof of residence and proof of identity. Mint FS use electronic ID verification via Smart Search to speed up our applications.

Why is it harder to get a mortgage as an expat?

There are various reasons why mortgage lenders will be, on the whole, more reluctant to lend to expats. These reasons are centred around the difficulty in following procedures that guarantee the borrower’s financial stability when they have been living abroad for a potentially very long time.

If a mortgage provider sees a certain kind of customer as higher risk then they will either refuse them a loan altogether, or offer higher interest to offset said risk.

But while, as an expat, you might find it harder to get a mortgage and might pay a little more when you do, this doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.

What are the things which can effect an Expat Mortgage application?

  • How long the client has been living outside the UK
  • What currency their income is paid in
  • What country they are working in and the country that their companies head office is based in
  • How can they evidence their earnings?
  • What are their plans for the next 5 years?

Are there any differences to the process?

Essentially the main difference is the detail required and the time – an expat application will normally take up to 50% longer to complete than a normal residential application.

This is in part due to the parties being in different countries – but also due to the more in depth fact finding required and the bespoke nature of the underwriting from lenders.

There are around 30 lenders who will consider an expat mortgage scenario – in the majority of cases these are either building societies or specialist lenders. A lot have more manual application processes and longer processing times to offer.

It is therefore even more important with these types of applications to seek out the advice of an expert. Mint FS works with these smaller banks and building societies to ensure our cases progress to a successful offer.

We successfully arrange mortgages for UK expats living abroad and offer both homeowner loans to either purchase or re-mortgage houses or flats. We can also organise finance on residential properties and mortgages for investment purchases, through our Buy To Let lenders.

Mint Specialist Services

Bridging Loans

A bridging loan or bridge loan is a short term loan given to ‘bridge the gap’ between you buying a new house and selling your previous house.

Secured Loans

Secured loans – also known as homeowner loans, home loans or second-charge mortgages – allow you to borrow money while using your home as ‘security’ (also called ‘collateral’). This means the lender can sell your property if you aren’t keeping up with repayments, as a way of getting their money back.

Expat Mortgage

An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person either temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship

Portfolio Mortgages

There are now 2.5 million landlords in the UK and successful investors have been able to establish a Buy to Let portfolio of a number of properties. But changes by the Prudential Regulation Authority have introduced new checks for Buy to Let portfolio mortgages.

Offset Mortgages

The idea behind an offset mortgage is simple and straightforward. By linking your mortgage and your savings, you can bring down the cost of your loan. This is because rather than earning interest, your savings reduce the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage.

Self Employed Mortgages

ne of the misconceptions about the mortgage market is that it is now very difficult for self employed people to get a self employed mortgage loan in order to buy a home. It’s certainly true that one type of mortgage used by the self employed in the past (self certification mortgage) is no longer available – but for many self-employed people, their chances of being able to borrow are still just as good as anyone else’s.

Contractor Mortgages

Being a contractor can offer you flexibility and independence, but also uncertainty – especially when buying a home. But as the number of freelancers and independent contractors in the UK climbs, don’t despair – many mortgage lenders could be willing to lend to you, even if your income jumps around.

Self Build Mortgages

Building your own home is not for the faint hearted. And on top of everything else, you’ll need to take out a special self build mortgage to finance it. We can walk you through the self-build process step-by-step, from finding land to hiring professionals to help you.

Private Bank Mortgages

Many borrowers needing a larger loan are unaware of the bespoke offerings that private banks have. With a product specifically tailored for you and your income, you may be surprised what our relationships in this area can achieve.

Commercial Mortgages

Are you looking to expand your business? Have you realised that the cost of renting has become too great? If so, you might find that a commercial mortgage can offer business finance options you weren’t aware of. Here’s everything you need to know.

Footer Background Shape Footer Background Shape
The legal bit...

Your home is at risk if you fail to keep up payments on your mortgage or any other loans secured against it. Buy to Let mortgages and Commercial Lending are not usually regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage which is secured against your property or a home reversion plan which requires the sale of property for a discounted price. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration. You only continue to own your own home with a lifetime mortgage. Equity release may impact the size of your estate and it could affect your entitlement to current and future means-tested benefits. Mint FS Limited , trading as Mint FS , Mint Financial Services and Puzzle Mortgages is an Appointed Representative of New Leaf Distribution Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority: FCA Number 460421 Mint FS Limited is registered in England and Wales with company number 11993128. Registered Office: Unit 6 The Centurion Centre, Castlegate Business Park, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 6QX. The information contained in this website is subject to UK regulatory regime and is therefore intended for consumers based in the UK.