This page is for people living in Australia, earning income in a foreign currency.

How much can I borrow?

Australians earning a foreign income are often highly-skilled professionals that have stable employment and make a good living.

Because of this, you may qualify for the following:

  • Borrow up to 95% of the property value or up to 100% with a guarantor.
  • Borrow up to 80% of the property value if you can’t provide acceptable income verification documents.
  • Australian citizens earning any acceptable foreign income can qualify.
  • Some lenders will use foreign tax rates, rather than Australian tax rates, so you can borrow more.
  • Interest only loans available (max 5 year term).
  • All foreign income will be considered on a case by case basis. Some lenders are stricter than others.
  • Get the same home loan features and interest rate discounts as if you were earning income in AUD.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form to speak with one of our specialist mortgage brokers about your income situation.

Discover if you qualify for a foreign income home loan!


How much income will the bank use?

Did you know that some banks will only take into account some of your foreign income?

To allow for exchange rate movements, some lenders will only use 60% to 90% of your foreign income.

This means you may need to be earning some money in Australian dollars (AUD) or show rental income from an Australian property that you own.

Our best lenders will actually use 100% of your foreign income as long as you’re in a strong financial position.


What currencies do banks prefer?

  • Great British Pound or UK Sterling (GBP)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • United States Dollar (USD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Indian Rupee (INR)
  • Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
  • Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Danish Kroner (DKK)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Samoan Tala (WST)
  • South African Won (ZAR)
  • South Korean Won (KRW)
  • Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Taiwan New Dollar (TWD)
  • Tongan Pa’anga (TOP)
  • Ni-Vanuata Vatu (VUV)

If your currency isn’t a preferred currency then you may need a larger deposit.

Complete our free assessment form to find out how much of your foreign income your bank will use and whether you need a bigger deposit.

Secondary currencies that banks may consider

  • Bahrain Dinar (BHD)
  • Belgian Franc (BEF)
  • Brunei Dollar (BND)
  • Deutsche Mark (DEM)
  • Dutch Guilders (NLG)
  • AED – Emirati Dirham
  • Fijian Dollar (FJD)
  • French Franc (FRF)
  • Indonesia Rupiah (IDR)
  • Kuwait Dinar (KWD)
  • Macau Pataca (MOP)
  • Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
  • Mauritian Rupee (MUR)
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Omani Rial (OMR)
  • Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK)
  • Qatar Riyal (QAR)
  • Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR)
  • Solomon Island Dollar (SBD)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • Vietnam Dong (VND)

Other currencies

Please contact us as we have some lenders that will accept almost any currency if your are an Australian citizen or permanent resident (PR) visa holder.


How do I prove my foreign income?

Generally speaking, your financial documents must be in English or you need a certified interpreter to translate the documents that you provide to the lender.

You’ll typically need to provide a combination of the following documents depending on the lender:

  • A letter from your employer
  • A copy of your employment contract
  • Two payslips
  • Three months of bank statements showing your salary being deposited into your account
  • Tax returns for the last financial year

Checkout the proving foreign income page for more information.


What about bonus, overtime and allowances?

It’s common for people living overseas to earn a variety of income types including:

  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Allowances
  • Commission
  • Free rent / subsidised rent
  • Subsidised living expenses

The rules around these income types vary depending on the country you are in and the type of income that you earn.

As a general rule, lenders will use 80% or less of this income as it may be less stable than your base income.

To better your chances at approval, lenders like to see a long history for bonuses, overtime and commission as it may vary from year to year.

Typically, a two-year history is required for this income to be used.


How will banks assess my overseas debts?

Some lenders ignore foreign debts when calculating your borrowing power if your rent income covers your loan repayments.

Others will add a buffer of approximately 30% to your repayments to allow for increases in interest rates.

Others assess your foreign debts at a much higher ‘assessment rate’ which greatly reduces your borrowing power.

For example, a mortgage in the USA may be fixed for 30 years at a low rate and so it isn’t reasonable to assess it using more than double the actual repayments that you are making.


Do you earn foreign business income?

Is your business registered in a foreign country?

There are very few lenders that accept this type of income because of the tax implications of converting it back into Australian dollars.

This makes it difficult to prove your actual income with business bank statements.

However, some lenders will consider your application under a low doc lending policy meaning that you may only need to supply an accountant’s letter to verify your foreign business income.

If the business is registered in Australia but the business sells overseas, we have some lenders that will assess these proceeds under standard lending policy.


Are you employed by a foreign company?

People that apply for foreign income home loans are often highly-paid specialists or consultants that work for government agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) or large multinationals.

For example, fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers, particularly in the engineering and mining space.

More often than not, tax is not withheld from your pay and your income is paid into your Australian bank account.

We know lenders that will assess this as standard PAYG income even though, in most cases, you won’t receive sick leave, annual leave or other entitlements.

Discover more about what banks typically want to see in a foreign income application by checking out the proving foreign income page.


Do you earn rent from an overseas property?

It’s not uncommon for Australians earning foreign income to own property in the country that they make a living in.

This may be because they have a particularly strong tie with the country, they travel there frequently or they simply want to take advantage of a unique real estate market.

When it comes to assessing your ability to borrow, most lenders ignore this rental income.

However, some lenders will include part of this income, typically up to 85% or less to allow for exchange rate movements.

You can even use it to offset any foreign loans or debts that you currently have in order to put yourself in a better debt-to-income position when being assessed by the lender.

Essentially it means you can borrow more!


Will banks use gross income or net income?

Did you know that Australian tax rates are some of the highest in the world?

Some lenders use Australian tax rates when assessing your income which limits your borrowing power.

Luckily, there are other lenders that will use foreign tax rates which allow you to borrow more.

There are complex rules around this which vary between lenders.

This becomes a bit tricky with countries like Hong Kong where you pay tax in instalments or, in the UAE or Saudi Arabia, where you don’t pay tax at all.

This is because some lenders will only use foreign tax rates when they can see tax withheld from your payslips.

Please contact our non-resident mortgage brokers who are experts in this area and can confirm how your income would be assessed.


What if I’m self-employed?

If you’re self employed, the lending rules are too complex to accurately write on a web page.

They vary depending on the country you are living in, the currency you are earning, whether you’re an Australian citizen, and if you can provide income evidence such as tax returns.

For example, a lender is more likely to consider your mortgage application if the country in which you are self-employed has easily readable and understandable tax returns.

To give yourself the best chance at approval, try to provide the following:

  • Prove your income with 2 years tax returns, 6 months bank statements or an accountants letter.
  • You may also need to provide a full credit history from your country of origin.
  • In some cases, your living expenses can be assessed based on the country you live in.

Please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.


What about income from other foreign investments?

Apart from property, you may own foreign shares or interests in a company.

Foreign dividends, interest income or other investment income can all be considered as part of your regular income!

Typically, you’ll need to provide your last 2 years Australian and foreign tax returns or bank statements showing salary credits.

The main thing the bank wants to know is that the income is regular and ongoing into the foreseeable future.


Do you earn a foreign pension?

Are you a dual national?

You may be eligible to receive the pension in a foreign country.

The pension age can vary depending on the country and whether you’re a male or a female.

There a few lenders that will consider this income on a case by case basis depending on the currency.

Typically, the pension cannot be your sole source of income and you need to provide 6 months evidence of receiving regular payments.


Ask us about a foreign income home loan!

The lending policies around foreign income home loans are complex and change regularly.

It pays to have an experienced mortgage broker on your side!

Call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form to discover if you qualify.

  • Finnis

    Hi, I earn in Canadian Dollars and was thinking of applying for a foreign income home loan but I need to get to Canada immediately and may be staying there for at least 3 months. I think I’ll apply from there itself as I can’t apply right now and I don’t want to wait till I’m back. Will I have to take out a non-resident home loan?

  • Hey Finnis,

    As long as you’re an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an NZ citizen, you will be considered an Australian expat and so you can qualify for the same deals as Aussies living here. However, some banks may assess you as a foreigner meaning you will only be able to borrow up to 80% so applying with the right lender is key. If you’d like to discuss this with one of our expert foreign income mortgage brokers, you can call 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from overseas) or simply enquire online:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Ben Ho

    Hi, I am a Australia Citizen and currently living in Hong Kong for more than 5 years. I just bought a property in Sydney, and wondering how much i can borrow? My income is in Hong Kong Dollars, should i get a local bank in Australia or borrow from one of the Hong Kong Bank?

    I am planning to move back to Australia in 2019, and before that time, i will rent out the property, does it make a difference in terms of my borrowing power when then bank viewing as investment property? Many Thanks.

  • Hi Ben,

    Australian banks regularly deal with Hong Kong Dollars so it’s highly likely you can get approved. As long as you can meet all standard bank lending criteria, you can borrow up to 95% of the property value. To borrow at the max, you will need to prove that you have a high income (varies from lender to lender) and stable employment. Being viewed as an investment property shouldn’t make a big difference in your borrowing power. You can find out more about mortgages for Australian expats in Hong Kong here, and enquire online to have one of our brokers give you a free assessment:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/overseas-australian-mortgage/expat-mortgage-hong-kong/

  • Nat Mar

    Hi I am a US citizen living and working in Singapore. I own multiple properties in the US and want to get another mortgage for investment purposes. I file and pay taxes in the US. Work for a largest bank in Singapore. Can i get a loan based on my foreign income?

  • Hi Nat Mar,

    Yes, however, note that only a few Australian banks will lend to foreign investors as this is a complex and high risk area of lending. Both the Singapore Dollar and the US Dollar are acceptable so currency should not be a major issue.

    Please check out the foreigner mortgage page to find out what requirements you’ll need to meet to qualify:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreigner-mortgage/

  • Ruffer

    I am keen to purchase a new property for investment in Victoria as a foreigner. The property is priced approximately $600,000 and it will be ready in 2019. Apart from a FIRB fee of $5000, I wanted to know what other sorts of taxes and stamp duties will I have to pay?

  • Unfortunately Ruffer, Victoria has an incredibly high stamp duty for foreign buyers. You have to pay an extra 7% in foreigner stamp duty on top of the normal stamp duty, you’d pay $70,490 in stamp duty, and transfer fees.
    Instead, you may like to consider buying in Perth (WA) where there is no additional foreign citizen stamp duty. You’d pay the stamp duty as an Australian citizen. Although you’d still pay the same FIRB fees because you’re a non-resident.
    You also need to be aware that obtaining a loan as a foreign property investor may be difficult at the time of settlement. As of today, you can borrow up to 70% of the property value at an interest rate of approx 8%. That is assuming that you meet standard lending criteria.

  • Gertie

    Hi there,

    Not entirely sure you answer my question in the above information, but here goes. My husband receives a Dutch pension and is a permanent resident. Due to this, the CBA won’t even give him a $200 overdraft for emergencies, even though his pension is approximately $3000 per month! He’s been here for 12yrs and has received it in the CBA since. My question is, would he finally be able to get a mortgage through another lender who can see there hasn’t been one month where he hasn’t paid our bills and has no debt?

  • Hi Gertie
    Some of our lenders will accept a foreign pension in Euros. It is a much stronger application if there is another income source as well eg the second applicant is working.

  • Kay

    Hi there,
    My husband is a professional athlete contracted to a US company he is classed as self employed and gets paid in USD are there any lenders that would take his income into account?
    Thanks

  • Hi Kay
    Yes we have some lenders that have special policies for professional athletes https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/waived-lmi/mortgages-for-sports-players/ In particular we’ve helped to finance several Australians playing soccer overseas. I’ll email you and cc our specialist in this area of lending.

  • Will Hansen

    Hi There,

    My good friends is a construction manager who is very sought after and typically works over seas for months at a time however he lives in australia with his wife and kids, He has just sold his house and is looking to build on land, he already has multiple houses and properties and he needs a borrowing capacity of aprox 90% What banks will accept his loan. He is currently getting payed in usd.

    Thanks.

  • Hi
    Yes we can assist with this. We’d need to look at his income in full to be sure as it would depend on if it’s contract, PAYG, self employed or other income. The policies tend to be lenient if he is PAYG (employee) and strict if he is self employed.
    Borrowing 90% or 95% is possible if the property is owner occupied and he is PAYG. If he is self employed then it is likely he can borrow max 80% of the property value however this can vary depending on the circumstances and if his income is taxable in Australia or not.
    I’ll email you and cc one of our mortgage brokers who specialise in this area of lending.