How To Get A Mortgage If You're On A Visa
18th July 2017
Getting a mortgage on a visa can be tricky due to restrictions placed on lenders, but it’s still possible. There are a number of things that you can do to improve your chances of being accepted for a mortgage on a visa, including building up a credit history and a proof of address at least two years before applying for a mortgage.
Alongside a sufficient credit history, lenders will often insist on a higher deposit than usual - generally 25% if you’re planning to use your income - if you’re applying for a mortgage on a visa. If you meet the lender’s visa requirements, this may be less.
Not all lenders will lend to those on visas. Some only lend to people with permanent residency, so it’s wise to use a mortgage broker to help you find a lender that suits your needs.
Halifax is a popular choice of lender for those on visas, and if you’re applying for a mortgage outside of the EEA countries there are certain requirements to meet. Many other lenders have similar requirements, typically stating that you can’t have diplomatic immunity and that your passport includes indefinite leave to remain.
Different lenders have their own specific requirements, so if you don’t meet the requirements of one, you may find another that better suits your circumstances.
How can I improve my chances of being accepted for a mortgage?
Generally, the longer you’ve been living in the UK, the better your chances of being accepted for a mortgage. However, although you can’t change the amount of time you’ve been living in the UK, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of being accepted for a mortgage on a visa.
Build up your credit history
Building up your credit history can drastically affect your chances of being accepted for a mortgage. It’s much harder to find a mortgage without a UK credit history.
You can build up your credit history by applying for a credit card and making sure your repayments are paid on time.
Being registered to vote and having bills registered in your name also helps build up your credit history.
Build up your address history
Lenders are also more likely to look favourably upon those with at least a two year UK address history.
Getting an address history set up and maintaining it is a simple way to give you more success finding a mortgage. You can build up your address history by opening two bank accounts upon arrival in the UK to establish two separate proofs of address history.
Keep your income regular
A regular income is helpful when you’re applying for a mortgage regardless of whether you’re on a visa. If possible, staying with the same employer can also be a benefit.
Apply with plenty of time left on your visa
Having a longer period of time left on your visa when applying for a mortgage also increases your chances of being accepted.
What kind of mortgage rate can I expect on a visa?
The number of deals you’re eligible for when applying for a mortgage is smaller, so you may not be eligible for some of the cheaper deals. Market leading rates tend to have more restrictive rules when it comes to who’s eligible for them.
The restrictions tend to be around the amount of loan-to-value (LTV) you have access to - whilst those with permanent residency may be able to access deals of up to 95%, this is more difficult if you’re on a visa.