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By Pete Mugleston | Mortgage Advisor

Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 4th December 2020*

Customers based overseas often contact us to ask where they can find a reliable and user-friendly UK ex-pat mortgage calculator online, and there are plenty to choose from online.

However, it’s important to remember that figures you arrive at using any mortgage calculator will be estimates only, and you will get a far more accurate picture of what you could borrow by working with an experienced broker. They can be useful tools in the research stages of finding the best expat mortgage for you, though.  

In this article, we will cover the basics of how to get the most out of our mortgage calculator for expats, including:

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How to use an expat mortgage calculator

To get the most out of a mortgage calculator, expat or otherwise, you will need to have certain pieces of information to hand, proof of income (e.g. For a mortgage this will be payslips or business accounts), and an idea of the deposit amount you intend to put down. Be sure to make a note of the figures you use, to keep your results consistent.

You’ll also need to know the number of years you want to pay the mortgage over, and ideally, have an idea of the interest rates on the mortgage products you’ll be applying for.

You can find this information when you compare expat mortgages online, but don’t forget the actual rate you’ll be offered will depend on a range of factors including your personal credit history (it can be trickier to get a mortgage with bad credit) and the type of property you’re buying.

How does an expat mortgage calculator work? 

To get an idea of how expat mortgage calculators work, let’s revisit the criteria that mortgage providers use to decide how much to lend. All of these details will play a part in determining how much you can borrow, so a good expat mortgage calculator should be able to factor as many of them in as possible. The main ones to bear in mind are: 

  • Your age (used to determine the term of the mortgage)
  • Income and employment status (some expat lenders insist on an ‘internationally recognised’ employer) 
  • Credit history
  • The type of property you’re buying (‘non-standard’ construction can often mean a larger deposit and/or less favourable rates)

Some of these factors are of course common to all mortgage applications, such as credit history, age, employment status and your plans for how you intend to use the property, but others are unique to the expat mortgage experience. A few of the most significant factors to bear in mind when using an expat mortgage calculator are as follows: 

Homeowner status

Will this be your first property purchase or do you already own property in the UK? The answer to this question will have a bearing on the deposit you are likely to be asked for, so before you plug in your figures, it’s worth knowing the lender’s policy on this. 

Generally speaking, mortgage companies prefer not to lend as much to those without an existing property under their belt, and will require deposits of 35% or more. If you already own a UK property you’re more likely to be eligible to pay a smaller deposit of around 25%. 

Fluctuations in currency

One issue that expat borrowers need to think carefully about is the variability inherent in exchange rates. Even a small change between the currencies involved can dramatically change the value of the property, but also the cost of repayments on the mortgage. In the worst case, repayments could become unaffordable overnight.  

Lenders will want to consider this eventuality, and a good expat mortgage calculator should be able to factor it in too. Ideally, you want to get a view of what repayments would look like if the exchange rate changed by a given percentage, and you’ll need to research predicted fluctuations in the currency in question. 

Residential vs. Buy to Let expat mortgages

Are you buying a second home for your own use, or is it an investment property you plan to rent out, either to holidaymakers or long-term renters? 

This distinction is likely to make a significant difference to the rates you are offered, the minimum deposit required and the overall range of products available to you, so you will need to have a good idea of the differences before you plug your numbers into any expat mortgage calculator. 

Purchase vs. remortgage

Are you buying a new property or re-mortgaging one that you already own? This can have an impact on how much you can borrow, the deals you are eligible for and on interest rates. As a general rule, re-mortgages are more straightforward as your credit history is more traceable, so in this situation, you may be eligible for better deals. 

Why use an expat mortgage broker?

Calculators can only get you so far when researching your mortgage options, and we strongly recommend speaking to a specialist ex-pat mortgage broker to ensure you get an accurate picture of your borrowing potential for the following reasons:

  • Consistency and accuracy: Lenders take different factors into account when calculating rates, so if you rely on using their tools, you may not be comparing like for like. This means you could use five different expat mortgage calculators online and each one could return a different result.
  • Access to the best deals: An experienced broker will have a good idea of which deals borrowers with your needs and circumstances can benefit from, and this may include some products and lenders that aren’t available to the general public.
  • Experience of the market: Buying abroad usually involves more risk than buying locally and is invariably more complicated, and you will want someone with a good track record of negotiating overseas deals on your side. 

Speak to an expat mortgage broker today!

Ready to take the next step on your expat property adventure? The experts we work with are ideally placed to advise you.

For an introduction to a broker with a proven track record in this area, call Online Mortgage Advisor on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry here, and we’ll be in touch shortly to discuss the next steps. 

We’ll make it our mission to find the most suitable broker for your circumstances, we don’t charge a fee and there are absolutely no obligations or marks on your credit rating.    

Updated: 4th December 2020
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FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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