Last Updated: 31st May, 2021


Details Description
Customer Goal An Australian expat living in Singapore earning in Hong Kong dollars (HKD) wanted a pre-approval for a home loan to purchase a holiday property in Australia.
Loan amount $976,000
Security value $1,220,000
Income $ 138,169 AUD ( Converted from HKD )
Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) and Loan Term 80%, 30 years loan term
  • Australian lending policies limit borrowing capacity for expats with overseas income.
  • Unstable political situation in Hong Kong during the loan application
Solution Due to the overall strength of the application (strong serviceability), the broker was able to use a loophole and get an exception.

What’s the story?

Jim moved to Shanghai, China two years back to work as a department head for a multinational company. Having previously worked in Thailand for the same company, his profession was taking him places – both figuratively and physically.

Jim was married with two kids and had a fulfilling career with a handsome salary. When he had time off, he would visit Australia. However, he didn’t own a holiday home there yet and was looking to secure one.

He was pretty confident that his solid finance and clean credit would secure him a great home loan. His serviceability was pretty high too.

He thought it would be wise to get pre-approved first and then look for his dream home. And so, he began his search!

The red tape trap

In spite of his immaculate record, Jim was well-aware of the hurdles he might face to get approved for a home loan as an expat.

Most lenders do not favour borrowers with overseas income. And even if they do, they will shade that income (up to 20-30%). There’s also the added complication and delay created by the bureaucratic process which can drive anyone nuts.

Although Jim had a shining bank-statement, his earnings were in Hong Kong dollars (HKD). In addition, Hong Kong was in the midst of political and economic turmoil with China. It was evident that getting approved wouldn’t be a walk in the park.

With this knowledge, Jim decided to look around for a mortgage broker specialising in home loans for expats earning in Hong Kong dollars. He found Home Loan Experts and we connected him to one of our experienced mortgage brokers, Ajar Rajbandhari.

Ajar, having helped many expats with overseas income before, was adept at wading through lender policies and finding the most-suited lender. It was a perfect match for Jim!

Going forward the ‘expat’ way

Ajar made further enquiries with Jim and asked him about his exact requirements. After narrowing down “competitive pricing” and “pre-approval” as the two main priorities, Ajar went to work.

Jim’s employment and income had not been affected by Covid. His salary was paid into his Australian account after tax. On top of that, his minimal personal debt and good savings made him a strong expat applicant.

Our broker intuitively knew which Australian lenders had favourable policies for expats. Nonetheless, he carried out a full assessment with many lenders and finally narrowed it down to a couple that met Jim’s main two criteria. From there, he identified the one with a better interest rate.

Unchartered waters and the turnaround

The lender had been finalized. However, in between the process of contacting the lender, their policies were abruptly updated. The new policy barred loans for expats and residents in Hong Kong. This was when the China-Hong Kong tensions reached their peak.

This challenge ruffled both Ajar and Jim. But, not for long. They didn’t lose their spirits as Ajar and his team quickly started looking for solutions. With the help of his dedicated analysts, finally dug through a loophole!

The lender policy didn’t state any ban on the Hong Kong dollars. Rather, it was a loan-ban on Hong Kong residents. And Jim was not a Hong Kong resident; he lived in Shanghai. Only his employer was registered in Hong Kong.

Using this loophole, Ajar was able to quickly leverage the strengths in Jim’s application and win him a pre-approval with the same lender.

Creating a Win-Win

While there were some hurdles to overcome to secure pre-approval, the end result was a win-win for both Jim and us!

We are able to get the best match for expats and foreign citizens as our team pride themselves on their credit expertise and getting tough deals through.

Call 1300 889 743 or +61 2 9194 1700 (if you’re calling from outside of Australia) today. Alternatively, complete our free assessment form to get started.