Australian Expat Home Loan
Australian citizens who are living overseas can apply for an Australian home loan to buy real estate in Australia or to refinance their existing home loan.
Thousands of Australian citizens who have moved overseas continue to invest in the Australian property market because it’s familiar to them, stable and can have great returns.
Can I qualify for a home loan?
- You can borrow up to 95% of the property value if you have a good job overseas and a clear credit history in Australia.
- Self-employed borrowers may be able to borrow up to 80% of the property value with one of our lenders.
- Interest rate discounts are available from some lenders even if you are overseas.
- As long as you’re an Australian passport holder, you don’t need to be an Australian resident for tax purposes.
- The currency of your income is important and will affect which lenders will accept your application.
- If you are married to a foreign citizen then some lenders will not accept your application.
- Foreign business income is acceptable to a small number of Australian lenders.
- Your borrowing power may be reduced due to some lenders allowing for large exchange rate movements.
- A Power Of Attorney (POA) in the name of a solicitor or family member is required by some banks.
Looking for help with your home loan?
Please call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online and one of our specialist mortgage brokers will help you to get approved.
Will I pay a higher interest rate?
Some banks do not allow people living overseas to qualify for discounted home loans.
As specialist mortgage brokers we can often successfully negotiate a substantial discount below the Bank Standard Variable (BSV) rate with some of our lenders.
You should not pay a higher interest rate for an Australian mortgage, unless you can’t provide evidence of your foreign income.
Will my currency be accepted?
Since you’re earning an income in a foreign currency, the first thing you’ll have to work out is whether your currency will be accepted. The most common currencies we deal with include:
- United States Dollar (USD).
- Great Britain Pounds Sterling (GBP).
- European Union Dollar (EUR).
- Singapore Dollar (SGD).
- Canadian Dollar (CAD).
- Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).
- Japanese Yen (JPY).
- Swiss Franc (CHF).
- New Zealand Dollar (NZD).
- Chinese Renminbi (CNY) – Conditions apply.
For the above currencies, there is a good chance that we will be able to get you approved for a loan but what if you earn an income in a currency that falls outside of this list?
You may still be able to qualify for a mortgage although restrictions and conditions may apply, such as restricting your borrowing power to 80% of the property value (Loan To Value Ratio):
- Bahrain Dinar (BHD).
- Bruneian Dollar (BND).
- Danish Krone (DKK).
- Fijian Dollar (FJD).
- Indian Rupee (INR).
- Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).
- Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD).
- Macau Pataca (MOP).
- Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).
- Norwegian Krone (NOK).
- Oman Rial (OMR).
- Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK).
- Philippine Peso (PHP).
- Qatari Riyal (QAR).
- Samoan Tala (WST).
- Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR).
- Solomon Island Dollar (SBD).
- South African Rand (SAR).
- South Korean Won (KRW).
- Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR).
- Taiwan New Dollar (TND).
- Thai Baht (TBH).
- Tongan Pa’anga (TOP).
- Turkish Lira (TRY).
- United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED).
- Vanuatu Vatu (VUV).
- Vietnamese Dong (VND).
It’s important to keep in mind that investment policy changes on a regular basis including which currencies lenders will accept for the purposes of expats and foreign investors wanting to purchase property in Australia.
Please call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our free assessment form and we can tell you if we can get you approved.
Will I need a deposit?
Most non-residents looking for a home loan will need to provide a 5% deposit and have enough funds to pay for stamp duty and other expenses. This deposit must usually be in the form of genuine savings, or it may not be accepted by lenders.
If you have a larger deposit or already own real estate in Australia then you may not be required to prove any genuine savings.
If your parents own a property in Australia then you may qualify for a guarantor loan which means that you don’t need a deposit at all.
Getting a home loan with a foreign citizen
If you’re married to or in a defacto relationship with a foreign citizen then this will affect the way that some banks see your application.
There’s three ways that they could assess your application:
- Assess you both as Australian citizens.
- Assess you both as foreign investors.
- Use the nationality of the highest income earner to determine how to assess your loan
The problem is that if you are assessed as a foreign investor then only a small part of your income will be used and you’ll require a larger deposit.
With some lenders you will also pay a higher interest rate.
You can avoid this by apply with a lender that has favourable lending policy for someone in your situation.
Please call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our free assessment form and we can let you know which banks will accept your situation.
How can I prove my income?
If your payslips or foreign tax returns are in English then these can be provided as evidence of your income. Several of our lenders have specialist non-resident departments with staff that understand most common languages, so even if your documents require translation this is not normally a problem.
A valid work visa is required by several lenders as part of their verification process. This is waived if you are a dual citizen or can provided other evidence that you are permitted to work in that country.
What if I’m self-employed?
If you’re self employed then there are very few lenders that will accept your income.
It’s much easier to assess overseas PAYG income than trying to work out the income earned by a self-employed Australian expat.
We have a couple of options that may be able to assist depending on whether you have an accountant or not, the country you are in and the curency of your income.
You may actually be able to borrow up to 80% of the property value with one of our lenders if you can all of the following:
- 2 years personal and business tax returns or Notices of Assessment.
- 6 months business bank statements.
- An accountants letter verifying your income.
What if I earn in dual currencies?
It’s not uncommon for Australians abroad to earn an income in more than one currency.
This is particularly true of professionals working at large multi-nationals with offices in many different countries around the world.
If both currencies are on the preferred or secondary currency lists mentioned above, then there are banks that will consider these income sources.
Bear in mind that a different foreign currency exchange rate will apply to each currency type which may affect your overall borrowing power.
If only one or none of the currencies you earn in are in either of the lists, don’t worry. We may still be able to get you approved for an Australian expat home loan.
Your borrowing power
Exchange rate fluctuations, foreign tax rates, negative gearing benefits and repayments on foreign debts can mean that calculating your borrowing power is quite complicated and will vary between lenders.
Most lenders will use:
- Somewhere between 60% and 90% of your actual income.
- Limited use of overseas bonuses, allowances and commission income.
- Australian tax rates even if you are living in a country without income tax.
- No negative gearing benefits.
- Loaded repayments on your foreign loans.
How does foreign exchange work?
When converting your foreign currency into Australia dollars, most lenders will use their own exchange rate, which is more conservative than the current market rate for your currency.
If your foreign currency is not on the preferred or secondary list, the lender will either not accept your currency or apply a reduced rate from XE Live Exchange Rates.
Overall, it means that most lenders will allow you to borrow much less than you can actually afford!
The good news is that there are many different ways that the banks will calculate your borrowing power and if you apply with the right lender then you won’t have this problem.
Do I need a Power Of Attorney (POA)
If you’re overseas then it’s quite handy to have a trusted family member, friend or solicitor that can sign documents on your behalf. A Power Of Attorney allows them to do this.
Some lenders require you to have a power of attorney that meets their requirements. They may require you to have a POA with a solicitor or a family member which may mean your current POA isn’t accepted.
Other lenders do not accept a POA! This can be a real hassle if you then need to have documents couriered overseas and then you need to attend the Australian colsulate to have them witnessed.
It’s a good idea to ask your mortgage broker what the lender’s requirements are before you both decide on a lender.
Choose your lender carefully!
The main problem faced by most Australian expatriates is that they have great trouble meeting the requirements to get their loan approved. Did you know that?:
- Some banks need to see your original payslips, tax returns and other documents prior to loan approval.
- There can be significant delays if you choose a lender that does not have a loan processing system that is designed to handle foreign addresses or foreign phone numbers.
- Many lenders will not approve a loan for more than 80% of the property value.
- Some lenders may require you to sign a formal loan offer at the nearest Australian Consulate.
- Several lenders charge higher interest rates if you are outside of Australia.
We are specialists in Australian expat mortgages!
- Many of our customers are Australian citizens or dual citizens living overseas who want to invest in the Australian property market.
- We will choose a lender that accepts your situation. This way, you can avoid many of the headaches associated with applying for a loan.
- Most of our services are free.
- We know over 40 banks & lenders.
Having an expert mortgage broker in Australia can make all the difference! Please call 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online and our team will contact you to discuss how we can help.
Is Australian government approval required?
No, Foreign Investment Review Board approval is not required, even if you are buying with a spouse who is not an Australian citizen (refer to the FIRB guidelines for more information).
After a few years working at a large electricity and gas provider learning his trade as an electrician, 35-year-old Tom decided it was time for something more.
Applying for a senior position at a major building company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), his skills and expertise saw him land the job and he and his wife, Tracey (a US citizen), moved to Dubai to start the next chapter in their lives.
Although Tom’s new income was enough to live comfortably, Tracey wanted to work and was soon able to get a position at a local hairdresser, the same work she had been doing in Australia.
With stable employment and a good salary supplemented with Tracey’s income, the couple felt they were in a good position to purchase an investment property in Australia.
Having found a property, and with a deposit of 18% of the purchase price, they approached their bank in Australia for a loan. Unfortunately, they were knocked back because most banks don’t accept UAE dirham (AED) currency.
Fortunately, they got in touch with a mortgage broker that specialises in Australian expat mortgages who was able to find a lender that would accept AED. In order to qualify though, they would need an extra 2% of the purchase price as a deposit since the lender would only lend up to 80% of the property value.
On Tom’s income though, they were soon able to save this little bit extra and qualify for an investment loan. The vendor was even willing to hold off selling the property until Tom and Tracey were able to sort out their finances so they were even able to purchase the prime piece of real estate they wanted.
Apply for a mortgage
We are mortgage brokers who specialise in helping people overseas to buy property in Australia.
We have helped countless Australian expats buy a holiday home or invest in Australian real estate.
Our Australian mortgage brokers are based in Sydney, Australia but our services are available worldwide.
With a team of offshore credit experts located in Nepal, our mortgage brokers are available outside of standard Australian business hours so we can work with your timezone and personal schedule.
If you are an Australian expat, would like to buy a property in Australia and would like to know more about how we can help, then please contact us on 1300 889 743 during business hours (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online.