Do I need a mortgage broker to arrange my home loan?

Unlike other countries, most Australian mortgage brokers do not charge fees for their services and offer the same loans at the same prices!

There are over 300 banks and other lenders in Australia and over 1,000 different types of loans.

For this reason it is essential to obtain the help of an expert when applying for your loan.

This is why more Australians choose to obtain their home loans through a broker than by approaching banks directly.


Why use us as your mortgage broker?

The majority of Australian brokers do not regularly deal with foreign investors or people living in Australia on temporary visas.

We are experts at obtaining the cheapest home loans for non residents and can help guide you through the borrowing and buying process.

For those of you with more complex transactions or larger investments you can deal with one of our experts that has experience in high value or commercial finance.


What do banks think about non-residents?

Australian banks see lending to non-residents as risky, whether the customer is a foreigner living, a temporary Australian resident, or even an Australian citizen living overseas (Australian expat).

These risks include:

  • Difficulty in tracking down a customer if they stop making their mortgage repayments.
  • Difficulty in verifying assets and income that are overseas because of differences in income and financial documents, as well as differences in tax systems.
  • Difficulty in determining what you will do with money if you release equity from an existing property.
  • Having less than 12 months to go on a visa – it will help you case if you’re married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen.
  • Changes to temporary visa programs, particularly if it’s a relatively new visa program – there’s simply a greater chance that it will be scrapped and you may be forced to sell your property.
  • Country risk, such as China, which is cracking down on its citizens sending money overseas, or countries that don’t have a joint tax system with Australia.

On top of all of this, most lenders simply don’t have the credit skills to handle complex borrowing situations and this is common with non-resident borrowers.

This combination of different credit issues may inlude a UK citizen with an Australian permanent residency visa living in Singapore earning United States dollars.

Not all banks are the same! and there can signficant differences in your chances approval and the amount you can borrow depending on your situation.

Are you married to an Australian?

If you’re married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, or even an permanent resident, you have a better chance at borrowing up to 95% of the property value.

The currency of your income

If you earn an overseas income, your chances at approval will come down to the foreign currency that you earn a living in.

The lenders that work in this space have a list of preferred and secondary currencies that they review on regular basis.

That’s why it pays to speak with us because we’re specialists in getting non-residents approved for an Australian mortgage.

Gross income or net income?

Most lenders take your gross income and then apply Australian tax rates.

However, Australia has high tax rates which means that many people who could afford the mortgage repayments using their country’s tax rates find that their application gets declined.

We know lenders that will apply foreign tax rates instead!


Is FIRB approval required?

Foreigners and temporary residents (including spouse visa , 457 work visa and a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa holders) are required to get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

There are exceptions! Please check out the FIRB page for more details.

What about the foreign buyer stamp duty surcharge?

There is both a stamp duty and land tax surcharge that applies to foreign buyers in several states and territories in Australia.

Luckily, this surcharge doesn’t apply to all Australian states.

There are other tricks to getting around these extra property buying taxes so check out the foreigner stamp duty surcharge page for more details.


Do we finance properties outside Australia?

If you are looking for assistance with a loan in your country to buy a property in a country other than Australia, we cannot help you.


How are Australian mortgages different?

Obtaining finance in Australia is quite different from other countries such as the UK or USA. Many new migrants find that the service from our banks is very poor and inefficient and that the banking fees in Australia are relatively high.

Despite this, the loan types available in Australia are very flexible and easy to manage once they have been set up:

  • You can manage the loan using internet banking.
  • You can normally make unlimited additional repayments, except with fixed rate mortgages.
  • You can normally access / redraw the extra repayments that you have made.
  • Some banks have specialist non-resident / foreign customer call centres or credit teams.
  • Some banks offer packages which include a cheque account, credit card and mortgage all with special discounts.
  • A few of our lenders have flexible policies and fewer restrictions for people overseas that are buying a property in Australia.

The biggest mistake that most non-resident borrowers make is to apply with a bank that has inflexible policies for foreign borrowers. If you use a mortgage broker and apply with the right lender, then you can get a very competitive mortgage approved in no time at all!


What kind of banking packages are offered?

Many of the major lenders in Australia offer banking packages with their mortgages, these are known as Professional Packages or Pro Packs for short.

A typical Professional Package will have an annual fee of $300 to $400, however in return for this fee, you will be eligible for a large rate discount on your loan, waived application fees, waived monthly account keeping fees, a free credit card with rewards and discounts on insurance.

As a general rule, these package discounts are better suited for home loans over $250,000.


Apply for your loan today!

Before applying for your loan you should read our buyers guide page and the relevant page for your residency type (e.g. Australian citizen living overseas, foreign citizen investing in Australia or temporary visa holder).

Once you have determined that you may be qualified for a home loan then enquire online or contact us via phone on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas or 1300 889 743 from within Australia between 9am – 5pm Sydney time (GMT +10) and one of our consultants will discuss the various options with you.

  • Kirwan

    Yeah, I was thinking of going directly with a bank so why should I use a mortgage broker instead?

  • Hi Kirwan, our mortgage brokers are credit specialists and we can help you negotiate a better deal on your mortgage and organise your application and everything else too. What’s better is that in most cases, you won’t need to pay us anything. You can check out our mortgage broker vs. bank page to learn more:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/about_us/mortgage-broker-vs-bank/

  • Sasha B

    Will I be able to get a home loan if I have just around 6 months history in my current job? I’m an agency worker so changing jobs isn’t that big of a deal to me. I’m in no hurry to get a mortgage right now and just researching though.

  • Hey Sasha,

    Most of the lenders will require a 12 month employment history in your current job before they can consider you for a home loan. However, one of our lenders only requires a 3 month employment history, as long as you have a track record of study or employment in the same field. You must have a stable income that’s regular though. If you have a fluctuating income then a three month track record is required so that the lender can complete an annualised Year To Date assessment of your income.

    You can check out the temp / agency worker home loan page for more info:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/unusual-employment-loans/temp-agency-worker-home-loan/

  • benny

    Are guarantor investment loans available in Australia?

  • Only two or three lenders in Australia will accept no deposit investment loans supported by a guarantor. If you’re buy one investment property then we can assist, however, buying multiple investment properties isn’t normally accepted as the guarantor will be taking an unnecessarily high risk whereas the borrower is making all of the potential profit. It may be considered though if the guarantor is in a strong financial position.

  • Kim

    Can I borrow 90% on an investment loan to buy a residential property? I have a 888 visa so I’m not entirely sure if I can borrow.

  • Hey Kim,

    With a 888 visa, you can borrow as much as the banks allow Australians here to borrow, which is up to 95% of the property value with an investment loan. Do note that recent regulatory changes mean that most banks and lenders limit the number of investment loans that are 90% LVR or above. Please call 1300 889 743 to discuss all this with a 888 visa home loan and investment loan specialist.

  • Neuf

    I’m on a student visa so how much can I borrow?

  • Despite being on a student visa, our lenders will allow international students to borrow up to 80% of the value of the purchase price, provided they meet the lending criteria. Some lenders may even be able to offer you a discounted student visa mortgage.

  • Hana Corina

    Can I borrow if my income is earned overseas?

    I am an Australian citizen, but if I move to the US can I still take out a mortgage to pay for a property in Australia?

  • Hi Hana,
    Yes you can do this. We’ve written a page on Australian citizens with foreign incomes here https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/australian-expat-mortgage/
    The choice of lenders will be reduced but you should still get good rates.

  • Deepthi Ranjith

    My husband and I are permanent residents and are currently working in Australia. As we are saving up to buy our first home, our parents (who are in India) would also like to support us with the initial deposit. Does banks accept such gift money contributions to the initial deposit? If yes, what is the best way to transfer large amounts (more than $100K) from overseas ? Please advise.

  • Hi Deepthi,
    Yes some Australian banks will accept a gift as a deposit https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/genuine-savings/gifted-deposit-home-loan/
    I expect with a large gift like this you should qualify with several lenders at good interest rates.
    Transferring large amounts from overseas is usually best via a specialist money transfer company. I couldn’t recommend any but I’m sure you can find one if you research.
    If you’d like our help with your home loan then please contact us https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Deepthi Ranjith

    Thank you for your reply. I will get in touch if I need help when we look at loans.

  • MattandSammy

    Hello Deepthi,
    Have you got some feedback on situation. I find myself in a similar situation, except we are on a 457 VISA. Who did you use to transfer to funds into Aussie?

    Thank you.

    Matthew

  • Sonay Wootten

    Hi,

    We are going to come over in 2019 hopefully as permanent residents. I am a secondary teacher and husband is a solid plasterer. The intention is to come over with our deposit. But we are not sure of how best to proceed. Do we rent for a year whilst we build our credit or do we short term rent (air b n b ) whilst we look for something to buy ? So really my question is how long do we need to be established in SA for before we can apply for a Mortgage ? Thank you your w baited has been thus so far really helpful.

  • Hi Sonay,
    You can buy right away once you arrive as long as you have jobs and have received your first payslip. I’d recommend that you have your deposit in a savings account and add to it each month as this savings history will help to get you approved. Then just give us a call and we can get you the same rates as Australian citizens despite being new in the country and being on a PR visa.
    Good luck with your move!

  • Ali

    I’ve just arrived in Australia a couple of weeks ago. I have a job offer that will start next week. I want to know how long I have to wait until I can qualify for a decent mortgage? Do I have to wait until I pass probation period or can apply beforehand? With no Australian credit history so far can I get a good mortgage rate or for that I have to wait? I am a permanent resident.
    Thanks

  • Hi Ali,
    Some of our lenders will accept you even if you’ve just been in your job for a day as long as you have a history of employment in the same industry.
    Not having an Australian credit history will be a problem for some lenders, but for most this will not matter.
    Holding PR helps a lot as you then don’t need to pay additional taxes and you may qualify for a first home owners grant. I’ll email you and cc one of our specialist mortgage brokers who can assist you further.