How to Get a UK Mortgage for Non-Residents

UK Mortgage for Non-Residents

Getting a UK mortgage for non residents isn’t as straightforward as if you live in the UK.

However, there are still plenty of options available to obtain a UK mortgage as a non-resident. Probably more than you realise – especially if you’ve spoken to your existing bank or mortgage broker about it and been rejected.

It’s generally recommended to seek assistance from an independent expat mortgage advisor, such as ourselves, who can provide guidance and access to a wide range of mortgage products.

Key Takeaways:

  • Obtaining a UK mortgage as a non-resident can be challenging but is absolutely possible possible with the right guidance.
  • Seeking assistance from an independent expat mortgage advisor is highly recommended.
  • There are very competitive mortgage options available for non-residents in the UK.
  • Non-residents just need to meet certain eligibility criteria for a UK mortgage.

In a nutshell, whether you’re an expat or a foreign national, you’ll need to take your application to a specialist mortgage lender to get approval. The difficulty here is that they’re difficult to find, and even harder to compare.

Each lender has varying pros and cons for different cases depending on your country of residence, currency earnings, loan to value ratio, income type (employed or self employed) and more.

The solution?

Speaking to an expert mortgage broker, like us.

We know the international mortgage market like the back of our hand, and we can compare expat mortgage rates and terms based on your specific application across the entire mortgage market (we are completely independent from any one lender).

To find out how much could borrow, what the costs will be and what the process will look like, please get in touch, and one of our advisers can explain your options in a no-obligation telephone call.

Case Studies

Eligibility for a UK Mortgage for Non-Residents

When applying for a UK mortgage as a non-resident, there are several key factors that will affect your eligibility. It is essential to understand these requirements to increase your chances of a successful application:

Proof of Earnings

One of the primary eligibility criteria is providing proof of earnings. Lenders need to assess your ability to repay the mortgage, and having a stable income is crucial. Documentation such as pay slips, tax returns, and employment contracts will be required to support your application. Self-employed individuals may need to provide additional financial records, such as accounts dating back several years.

A challenge here is that your earnings may be in a foreign currency, and your employment contracts may be in a foreign language. We work with specialist lenders who are familiar with this type of application. You may face a 10% ‘hair-cutting’ reduction to your income in terms of your mortgage calculations to account for currency fluctuations – however, you can still borrow up to and above 4.5 times your income in many cases.

Credit History

Your credit history plays a role in determining your eligibility for a UK mortgage. Lenders will assess your creditworthiness by checking your credit report. If you don’t have a UK credit history, it would be beneficial to start building one by opening a UK bank account and using it responsibly. If you’re yet to move abroad – try to maintain an open UK bank account to keep some kind of credit history in the UK for future applications.

Also, don’t be deterred if you have no remaining UK credit history, it’s patchy or if you have a poor score – we may still be able to place your mortgage application with a lender with whom we have a good relationship.

Size of your Deposit (Loan to Value)

The size of the deposit you can provide is another crucial factor in determining your eligibility. Non-residents may need to provide a higher deposit compared to residents. Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio can be limited to around 80% for non-residents, and 75% for buy to let purchases as an expat. Saving for a substantial deposit can improve your chances of getting approved for a UK mortgage.

Table: Eligibility Criteria for a UK Mortgage as a Non-Resident

Eligibility CriteriaRequirements
Proof of EarningsDocumentation such as pay slips, tax returns, and employment contracts
Credit HistoryMaintain a good credit score and build a UK credit file if necessary
Location of LendersResearch and work with lenders who are open to providing mortgages to non-residents (or use a broker)
Size of the DepositProvide a substantial deposit, typically around 20% or higher

How Much Can Non-Residents Borrow for a UK Mortgage?

For residential mortgages, you can borrow up to 80% of your loan to value with a non-resident UK mortgage.

For buy to let properties you can borrow up to 75%.

However, there are some expectations to this, and the answer to this question depends on two main factors – the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and your provable income.

Most UK lenders offer maximum mortgages ranging from 3.5 to 6 times the total annual income of the applicant(s). However, for non-residents, the LTV ratio can be limited to 80%. This means that you will need to have a larger deposit to secure a mortgage. The higher the deposit, the more you can borrow.

To illustrate this further, let’s consider an example:

Deposit AmountLTV RatioMaximum Borrowing

As the table demonstrates, the larger your deposit, the higher the maximum borrowing amount becomes. It is important to keep in mind that these figures are indicative and may vary depending on the lender’s specific criteria and your individual circumstances.

You’ll also need the income power to reach these loan values: you can typically borrow from 3 to 6 times your annual income.

To get an accurate assessment of how much you can borrow, it is recommended to consult with one of our advisers.

Difficulties Faced by Non-Residents Applying for a UK Mortgage

Applying for a UK mortgage as a non-resident can present unique challenges. Factors such as currency fluctuations, varying economic certainties, and the lack of international credit ratings can make the process more complex. These challenges are often due to the higher risk associated with borrowers living abroad.

One difficulty non-residents may encounter is higher interest rates and fees compared to residents. Lenders may apply these additional costs to mitigate the perceived risk.

Generally speaking, you’ll likely pay a slightly higher interest rate for a non-resident mortgage. It’s our job at UK Expat Mortgage to negotiate the lowest rate possible for our clients, and we have success stories of doing just that – even securing rates comparable to that of standard UK resident mortgages.

Another challenge is the limited number of mortgage providers and lenders who cater specifically to non-residents. This can make it more difficult to find suitable mortgage products that meet your needs. However, there are specialist expat lenders and brokers available who can provide valuable assistance in navigating the complexities of the non-resident mortgage application process.

Difficulties Faced by Non-Residents Applying for a UK Mortgage

Higher interest rates and feesIncreased cost of borrowing
Limited borrowing amountsConstraints on loan size
Limited mortgage providers and lendersReduced options and availability

Despite these difficulties, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of successfully obtaining a UK mortgage as a non-resident. Providing meticulous documentation, including proof of earnings and maintaining a UK credit file, can enhance your application. Working with independent experts, such as ourselves, who have access to a wider range of mortgage providers from international building societies to private banks, can also be beneficial.

Factors That Can Improve Non-Residents’ Chances of Getting a UK Mortgage

When applying for a UK mortgage as a non-resident, there are several factors that can help improve your chances of approval:

1. Proof of Earnings

Providing solid proof of your earnings is crucial when applying for a UK mortgage as a non-resident. Lenders want to ensure that you have a stable and sufficient income to meet your mortgage obligations. Be prepared to provide documentation such as employment contracts, pay stubs, employment contracts and tax returns to demonstrate your income.

2. Maintaining a UK Credit File

Having a UK credit file can greatly enhance your chances of obtaining a mortgage as a non-resident. Lenders will assess your credit history to determine your creditworthiness and level of risk.

4. Provide Comprehensive Information

When applying for a UK mortgage as a non-resident, it is essential to provide as much information as possible to support your application. This includes details about your employment, income, assets, and liabilities. The more comprehensive and transparent you are with your information, the more confidence lenders will have in your ability to repay the mortgage.

Factors That Can Improve Non-Residents’ Chances of Getting a UK Mortgage:
Proof of Earnings
Maintaining a UK Credit File
Provide Comprehensive Information

Buy-to-Let Mortgages for Non-Residents

For non-residents who are looking to buy a UK property and generate rental income, buy-to-let mortgages can be a viable option.

These mortgages are specifically designed for individuals who want to invest in property and become landlords. While the process may have some similarities to regular mortgages, there are a few key differences to consider.

When it comes to buy-to-let mortgages for non-residents, it’s important to note that lenders may require a higher deposit compared to traditional residential mortgages. Typically, the loan-to-value (LTV) limit for buy-to-let mortgages is around 75%, meaning that you’ll need to have a deposit of at least 25% of the property’s value. This higher deposit requirement reflects the increased risk associated with renting out a property.

In addition to the deposit, buy-to-let lenders will also assess your rental income potential. They will consider whether the projected rental income will be sufficient to cover the mortgage repayments, as well as any associated costs such as maintenance and insurance. Lenders may require you to provide evidence of rental income estimates too, such as rental appraisals or letting agreements.

Importance of Independent Advice for Non-Residents Seeking a UK Mortgage

Getting a UK mortgage as a non-resident can be a complex process, with various challenges and requirements to navigate. That’s why it is crucial to seek independent advice from an expat mortgage advisor who specialises in helping non-residents secure mortgages in the UK.

An independent advisor has a thorough understanding of the mortgage market and can analyse your specific circumstances to provide tailored guidance. At UK Expat Mortgage, we have access to a wide range of mortgage products from different non-resident mortgage providers and lenders in the UK, giving you more options to choose from.

Can a non-resident get a UK mortgage?

Yes, it is possible for non-residents to obtain a mortgage in the UK. However, eligibility criteria may vary among expat banks and lenders, and non-residents may need to meet certain requirements such as having a UK bank account or providing a larger deposit.

Can I get a mortgage in the UK if I don’t live there?

Yes, it’s possible to secure a mortgage in the UK even if you don’t currently reside there.

Can you buy a house in the UK if you live abroad?

Yes, individuals living abroad can purchase property in the UK. However, the process may involve additional steps such as appointing a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the transaction, and there may be tax implications to consider.

How long do you have to be a UK resident to apply for a mortgage?

You can get a UK mortgage as soon as you become a UK resident, or even before. You’ll just need a non-UK resident mortgage.

Can I get a mortgage if I just moved to the UK?

Yes, it’s possible to obtain a mortgage in the UK shortly after moving there. As a new resident, you may face additional scrutiny from lenders, and they may require proof of income, employment, and residency status.

Can you buy a house in the UK without ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)?

Yes, it’s possible to purchase property in the UK without having Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Your residency status may affect your eligibility for certain types of mortgages and the terms offered by lenders, but it’s entirely possible especially with the help of a specialist mortgage broker.

What are the rates for UK mortgages for non-residents?

Mortgage rates for non-residents in the UK are generally a few percentage points higher than standard UK mortgages. The exact rate can vary depending on factors such as the lender, the type of mortgage, the loan-to-value ratio, and the applicant’s financial profile. Non-residents may encounter slightly higher interest rates compared to residents, and they may also face additional fees or requirements. It’s advisable to shop around and compare offers from different lenders to find the most suitable mortgage option – the easiest way to do this is using a specialist international mortgage broker.

How UK Expat Mortgage Can Help

Our Service


Specialist Expat Mortgage Broker


Independent, Whole of Market Advice


Dedicated Support From Expat Specialists


Complex Income Accepted


Residential & Buy to Let Options


Access to High Street Banks, International Building Societies & Specialist Lenders


We Compare The Market For Every Client

How It Works


Book a free call with one of our expat mortgage brokers so we can explore your borrowing potential. We’ll need to know where you’re based, your income situation, and your property aspirations.



If you’re eligible, we will compare options from multiple expat lenders, from high street banks to international building societies, to find the best fit for your situation. We are whole of market and fully independent.


Agreement In Principle

When we’ve found the best terms for you, we’ll present you with your options and provide your Agreement in Principle to solidify your buying position.


We’ll submit your full mortgage application. We do the heavy lifting, keeping it as simple and stress-free for you as we possibly can – and we’ll keep you updated every step of the way.


Enjoy your new UK property, with the peace of mind that you got the best deal on the market for your mortgage.

Residential Expat Mortgages

​ Borrow from £100k

 Up to 80% LTV

 New purchases and refinancing

Complex income accepted

Buy to Let Expat Mortgages

Borrow from £100k

Up to 75% LTV

New BTL purchases and refinancing

Rental income and salary accepted