Australians living in Thailand can buy a home or invest in property like any other Aussie living Down Under.
However, you may find it difficult to qualify for a home loan if you’re earning an income in Thai Baht (THB).
Most Australian banks don’t accept THB as an acceptable form of currency but not all of them think this way!
How much can I borrow
The good new is the most lenders assess you as if you were an Australian citizen living in Australia.
As a general rule, Australians living in Thailand can borrow up to:
- 80% of the property price: As long as you can provide the necessary financial documents to prove your income, you can borrow up to 80% Loan To Value Ratio (LVR).
- 90% of the property price: You may be able to borrow up to this amount if you can provide full documents of your income and are in a strong financial position. Lenders may still allow you to borrow up to this limit if you’re an Australian citizen with dual citizenship or if you’re married to a foreign citizen.
If you need help applying for a home loan then you can call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or fill in our free online assessment form and we can help you find the right solution for your home loan needs.
How will lenders assess my income?
Lenders will ask for standard financial documents as evidence of your income even if you’re applying from Thailand. This is because you’re still considered an Australian citizen.
Typically, you can prove your income through:
Some lenders accept a letter from your employer as proof of your income if you can’t provide the necessary documents.
What if my payslips are in Thai?
Some lenders won’t accept documents that are written in Thai or any other foreign language.
In this situation, you may need to provide an interpreter’s certificate, an official document that translates the original financial document in English.
You can normally get an interpreter’s certificate from your local Australian consulate. However, many banks have special teams that can assess your foreign documents.
How does it work?
Getting approved for a mortgage can be a bit difficult when you’re applying from abroad. This is because lenders often assess you as a foreigner, even if you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
If you’re considered a foreigner, your borrowing power will decrease significantly, usually up to 80% LVR.
Fortunately, most lenders will assess your mortgage as a borrower living in Australia even if you reside in Thailand.
Will I be charged a higher interest rate?
No, Australians living in Thailand don’t need to pay a higher interest rate, provided that you can provide sufficient evidence to prove your income.
Usually, you can qualify for the same interest rates as an Australian back home. However, some lenders may not provide the same interest rate discounts to you.
Luckily, we may be able to help you negotiate a significant interest rate discount below the Bank Standard Variable Rate (BSVR).
Speak with one of our brokers on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or fill in our free online assessment form and find out what kind of deal we can negotiate for you depending on your situation.
Do I qualify for the First Home Owners Grant?
If you’re looking to buy your first property in Australia then you’ll be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG).
To qualify for this grant, you’ll need to move into the property for at least a continuous period of six months, within the year you buy.
What else do I need to consider?
Before you apply for a mortgage in Australia, you need to consider the lending regulations and taxation laws in both countries.
These tax regulations can significantly affect your capacity to borrow.
Be careful of Australian tax law!
Thailand and Australia have a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) which has been in force since 27 December 1989.
Double taxation is where any rent income you earn from your investment property is taxed in both Australia and Thailand. The DTA allows you to claim tax refunds from The Revenue Department of Thailand so that you can avoid being taxed twice.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to claim negative gearing benefits as you’re not lodging an income tax return in Australia. Also, Australia has an Indirect Tax Concession Scheme in place with Thailand.
What is the Indirect Tax Concession Scheme?
For Australians living in Thailand, the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO) Indirect Tax Concession Scheme allows you to claim tax returns on goods and services that you’ve bought in Australia.
These goods need to be bought by diplomatic missions, consular posts, overseas missions and their privileged staff. Some international organisations may also be able to claim these refunds.
Disclaimer: The above information shouldn’t be taken as professional financial and tax advice. It’s recommended that you speak with a qualified accountant to stay up-to-date about the latest tax law changes. You can also check the ATO website or The Revenue Department of Thailand website for the latest information and advice.
Do I need approval from the Australian government?
You only need the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval if you don’t hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency.
However, if you’re an expat or not a foreigner then you don’t need the FIRB approval. This means that Australians living in Thailand don’t require the approval of the government to buy property in Australia.
Australians living in Thailand FAQs
Does it matter how long I’ve lived in Thailand?
No, even if you’ve lived in Thailand for a year, or 10 years, we can help you assess your home loan needs as if you were still residing down under!
How do lenders assess my debts?
Australian lenders generally assess your foreign debts at Australian interest rates. Note that these rates can sometimes be higher than what you’re actually paying.
Some lenders will take into account the rent you’re paying. Your rent payments can often show that you can cover your debts. Providing rental statements with your current debts can also help reduce any negative scoring that may be caused due to debt.
Your investment repayments may be taken on face value, which means your repayments are shown as lower. However, some of these lenders may not accept foreign income.
You can call us on our overseas number +61 2 9194 1700 or complete our free online assessment form to find out which lenders will accept your Thai income.