How to get a UK mortgage as an expat

It’s not hard to imagine why people take the opportunity to go and work abroad, especially when the British weather is grey and wet. But what happens if you move abroad and you need a mortgage, or remortgage of your existing property? Gavin Richardson explains…

There are many reasons why Brits take the plunge and move abroad. Whether they have left for work or for pleasure, a number of British expats like to keep a property in the UK. If you live abroad and you need a mortgage for a new or existing property in the UK, you will find that obtaining a mortgage will be more difficult.

Limited number of lenders

Compared to living in the UK, as an expat you will find that the range of products and lenders available to you is limited. There are few high street lenders who will offer mortgages to expats, so it is likely that you will need to turn to the specialist lenders.

The rates for expats are also more expensive and the lenders will have extra requirements for your application, highlighting the need to speak to a broker who knows the market and can identify the most suitable product for you.

Is your country on the list?

Lenders who offer expat products will have a restricted list of acceptable countries, where the expat applicant lives. Further to their acceptable list, they may also have a list of countries where extra requirements are needed before those countries are accepted, for example, the payments are to be made from a UK bank account or that the applicant works for a recognised large organisation with a UK presence.

Application extras

Once you have found a lender who will accept your country of residence, as part of the application, be prepared for lenders to take a more detailed look. You will need to provide a UK credit history, along with your overseas history. Lenders will want to understand how long you have been abroad and what your intention is around returning to the UK.

It is also important to consider that you will have to provide a UK correspondence address. As this can’t be a PO box, you will need to essentially show that you have a UK base still.

To repay your mortgage, your lender will require that you pay out of a UK based, sterling bank account. If you are repaying your mortgage from your rental income, that is not likely to be a problem, but if your income is non-sterling you may be stung on the exchange rate.

Whilst getting a mortgage as an expat may seem like a minefield, if you engage the expertise of an experienced broker they can review your personal situation and recommend the right lender for you. If you are looking for an expat mortgage or remortgage, call me on 01732 471613 or email me at


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