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Proving Foreign Income

Are you an overseas buyer looking to purchase a property in Australia?

If you are a non resident looking to take out and Australian mortgage on a property, then banks will require for you to prove your overseas income.

How can I declare my foreign income?

Most lenders will require that documents be written in English.

If your financial documents are written in a foreign language then you may need an interpreter’s certificate.

An interpreter’s certificate is an official document that translates the original financial document to English and has been certified.

You financial documents need to be translated by a recognised organisation that has the authority to do so. These can include approved translators within Australia or a qualified translator that lives overseas.

Ideally, you can get your get an interpreters certificate from your local Australian consulate. The staff will be able to identify your documents and translate everything for you.

However, some of our lenders have special teams that can assess foreign language documents.

Our mortgage broker are also able to organise an authorise translator to translate your documents.

How do lenders assess foreign documents?

Once everything is translated to English then the lender can assess the translated documents. Once the documents have been certified the lenders do not need the original non-English documents.

Some countries don’t have annual leave. This will vary slightly on how your proof of income is assessed. If a basic tax system is in place, it will not impact the assessment too much. In most cases, payslips from first world countries will be acceptable to the banks.

Some countries have tax returns that are infrequent or cannot be readily understood by Australian banks to be accepted as proof of your income. Some of our lenders will accept an accountant’s letter for self-employed applicants.

What documents can Australian banks assess?

Each bank has its own policies regarding proof of income from overseas when applying for an Australian mortgage. For example, if the person is self-employed some banks will not require tax returns. If the banks do require tax returns then they will need to be certified.

If you have a job then payslips may or may not meet the standards required by Australian banks to be accepted as proof of your income. If this is the case, there are other documents that can be provide as proof of income.

Policies will also vary depending on your type of employment. If you work for someone else you may be required to provide one or two of the following:

  • 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 OR
  • Tax returns for the last financial year.

If you are self-employed, the documents you will need to provide will differ. These documents could include:

  • Two years of tax returns or,
  • An accountant’s verification letter if your tax returns are unavailable.

What you will need to provide will depend on which lender you choose to go with.

If you cannot provide either of these documents, or you wish to find out more information on please call us on our international number +61 2 9194 1700 or enquire online and one of our specialist mortgage brokers will be able to help you.

Can they verify my income using a bank feed?

Some fintech companies such as Mogo Bank Connect, Yodlee and allow a financial institution to log into your bank account and scrape your financial data such as your income, expenses and account details.

While we as a mortgage broker have agreements with some companies like this there are yet to be any Australian banks which will use their method of income verification for a foreign income source.

What if I don't pay tax?

Some countries, such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai have no tax system. Payslips from these countries will show no tax. In Australia, that could prove to be an issue with some lenders.

In most cases we take the payslips from those countries and apply the Australian tax system when assessing your income documents.

Other countries that have an existing tax system in place are fine.

How do banks assess foreign income?

Banks will often assess your income by converting it to Australian dollars, and then reduce it by 10% as a buffer for any currency fluctuations. Some lenders will only use 80% of your income to allow for exchange rate fluctuations.

What about commission and overtime?

In 2016 the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) instructed Australian banks to put limits on their use of certain income types when assessing a home loan application.

Some income types such as overtime, commission, bonus, allowances or other non-base income types are ‘shaded’ by 20% or more when a bank calculates how much you can afford to borrow. In the case of Australian expats or foreign investors it is sometimes ignored entirely!

The good news is that some lenders are not regulated by APRA and so have their own policies which allow them to accept these income types.

How is my debt assessed?

Assessment of your foreign debts is often at Australian interest rates, which is sometimes much higher that the rates that you are paying.

Other lenders will take the investment repayments on face value; therefore your repayments can be seen as lower. However, some of these lenders may not be susceptible to overseas income.

If you are paying rent, some lenders will take it into account. Most of the time, the rent that you are paying can show that you can cover the debts that you are paying off. It is always a good idea to provide rental statements with your current debts, because that will help to reduce any negative scoring due to debt.

To find out which lenders will accept your overseas income call one of our specialist broker on +61 2 9194 1700 or enquire online or enquire online.

What countries are not accepted by the banks?

There is a set list of countries that banks will deal with and some countries that banks will not deal with due to known issues regarding tax.

Other countries may be subject to a trade embargo. As a result, borrowers from these countries are not eligible for any loan from Australia.

The best way to find out if your country, personal debts and income are acceptable to the banks is to contact a mortgage brokers.

How can I get a mortgage in Australia?

The majority of lenders will not deal with people from overseas. Our mortgage brokers know which banks can do lend overseas and which lenders will provide the best loan for your circumstances.

If you are calling internationally, contact us on +61 2 9194 1700 or enquire online to speak to one of our expert mortgage brokers.

  • JRoot

    I’m from S Africa and I’m planning to buy an investment property in Australia. I’ve researched your site for a while and got to knew that even inherited property could be showed as genuine savings as well. I wanted to know do I need to show the evidence of that to the lender?

  • Hi J Root, any money you have inherited can be used toward your deposit. However if it is to be considered as genuine savings, it should be in your account for a period of 3-6 months, so a bank statement showing your inheritance will be satisfactory.

  • dryer

    I’m from the US and I’d like to know if I can get flexible interest rates on Australian mortgages?

  • Hey dryer,

    Over 80% of mortgages in Australia are variable, which is similar to the USA’s adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). Fixed interest rates are available for up to 5 years. This will normally vary from lender to lender, and will revert to a variable rate at the end of the fixed term.

  • lilianE

    What’s a very simple way of getting an interpreter’s certificate?

  • Hey lilianE,

    Ideally, you can get your get an interpreters certificate from your local Australian consulate. The staff will be able to identify your documents and translate everything for you. However, some of our lenders have special teams that can assess foreign language documents. Our mortgage broker are also able to organise an authorise translator to translate your documents.

  • Emma m

    I am an Australian citizen, my husband is a US citizen. We live in US currently, a bank in OZ is telling me they cannot use foreign income of a non-resident, is this true or just a bank policy?

  • Hi Emma,
    That’s just your bank. If we get a home loan in both names for a property in both names then we have other lenders who can allow you and your husband to borrow up to 95% of the property value
    There are some conditions for example they often aren’t a fan of self employed borrowers who are offshore and construction loans aren’t always possible. We normally need to assess each situation on a case by case basis to confirm which lenders and loans are available.
    If you’d like our help to get a home loan approved then contact us here

  • Hey Karista,

    There are some lenders that can accept overseas rental income if it’s combined with an Australian source of income. You may be able to qualify with a few of our lenders as some can also accept carer and disability payments. However, it really depends on how much you’re receiving and if you can service the loan on that income. If yes then you may not need to worry about the overseas rental. A guarantor can definitely help if you’d like to avoid saving a huge deposit and also save the cost of mortgage insurance.

    Please discuss this in detail with one of our experts by calling 1300 889 743 or enquire online and one of us will contact you instead:

  • Hari Ram

    Hi I am in a similar situation where my income is from overseas rental properties and was advised that I could not qualify for a loan as I do not receive Australian income. Can you please assist