Foreign Income Mortgage Experts

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What is a foreign income mortgage?


A foreign income mortgage is a mortgage product that is specifically designed for those whose income comes from overseas sources, often paid in a foreign currency.

How do lenders assess foreign incomes?

 
A lender will assess you for a mortgage with a foreign income based on a number of factors, including but not limited to:
 
  • Your proof of income. These could be payslips, tax returns or audited accounts
  • Your deposit. It’s possible you might need a greater deposit in comparison to a standard mortgage. This could range from 20%-40% depending on the lender. 
  • Your residential status. The likelihood of your application being approved as a non-UK resident will depend on your legal status to live and work in the country. There are specific considerations for specific visa types. 
  • Your credit history. As with standard mortgages, a lender will use your credit score to determine whether they will lend to you and on what terms. 

Why use a foreign income mortgage?


Foreign income mortgages cater to a number of different scenarios. You could be a UK citizen who works or earns money abroad, or alternatively a foreign national looking to buy in the UK. You may even be a UK Expat returning to the UK after time overseas. 

They also cater for a diverse range of incomes – like salaries, pensions or investment and income. This allows borrowers to maximise their full income in the affordability calculation for how much they can borrow.  

Why speak to a specialist foreign income mortgage broker?

 
There are huge differences between lenders and how they will assess your foreign income, which is why speaking to a specialist broker in the first instance is critical in saving time and making sure you’re on the right deal with the right lender for your specific circumstances.

What Does a Mortgage Broker Do?

Joe Eden introduces Four Financial and talks us through the services offered by a mortgage broker.

Our job is to find clients the most cost-effective property finance package. The reason I say property finance is because we do other types of finance, not just mortgages. We do bridging loans and development finance too. I describe it as the ‘square peg, round hole’ analogy, where we’re using our experience and creativity to find the right solution – and that may not exist with mainstream lenders.

We’re more fun to deal with! We have brilliant relationships with lenders and we deal with them on a daily basis – both mainstream lenders and non-high street lenders. We can leverage those relationships which really helps when there are challenges and issues – and with property those are pretty common. 

We’ll have a dedicated contact at each lender and they update us on a monthly basis about their products and the market. So we keep on top of things with every lender in the market. 

If you go to the high street and sit down with a banker, you could spend an hour or so with them only to hear that they can’t help or their rate is expensive compared to the rest of the market. You’re either going to have to go to every bank or building society which would be quite painful, or research online. 

But online tools only give you headline rates and you don’t know whether you’re going to meet the affordability. You don’t know whether you’re going to fit that lender’s criteria.

Meanwhile we know all the lenders are doing in terms of their service, the process and their rates. If someone says they need to complete within 12 weeks, we know which lenders to avoid at any given time in the market. Some lenders will be slower at certain points of the year, and that helps us navigate the waters. 

We’re an end-to-end mortgage service. We help assess your circumstances before you start viewing properties. And we get you ready to buy, by getting you a Decision in Principle. We’ll be working with the underwriters, surveyors and agents from the point of applying to getting the full mortgage offer issued.

Then, once the full mortgage offer is issued we would liaise with solicitors and estate agents all the way through to the point that you physically pick up your keys. We communicate with everyone in that chain. When everyone works together and collaborates it makes the process as painless as possible.

People then come back to us two years, three years, five years down the line. They’ve had babies, their families have grown and they’re moving home. It’s wonderful to see them on that journey.

Protection is a huge part of our job and it can be quite rewarding because a lot of people don’t fully understand what protection is. We essentially mean insurance products to protect different parts of your life and your assets.

A lot of First Time Buyers don’t have a budget for protection – they didn’t think that they needed it. So it’s important for us to educate people about why they might need that protection in case of an unfortunate event. It’s not just life insurance.

One client – that I would deem as a friend now – was in a very hard situation. They had a baby and we’d added child critical illness onto their protection package. Everything was fine in the end but initially the baby and mother were rushed to Royal London Hospital. They were worried about how they were going to deal with not being able to work for a few weeks because both parents were at the hospital.

Fortunately we had income protection in place to cover the father’s income. So their bills were paid and they also had a bit of cover that they didn’t realise they had, which covered them for other costs whilst the baby was being cared for. It was incredible for me to know that we’ve helped in an awful situation.

Ideally, at any stage before downloading the Rightmove app, speak to a mortgage broker. We sometimes speak to people a year or 18 months before they’re ready to move, because there are lots of things that could be worth working on.

You might need to improve your credit or your circumstances from a mortgage lender’s perspective. So see us before you view any properties, even before your deposit’s ready.

We’re here to help you understand what the affordability looks like, what the costs are and help with any questions you’ve got. We’ll give you an idea of what you could borrow, your minimum deposit and if there’s any improvements that you need to make along the way. Don’t wait until you are offering on properties, when emotions are high and you have to make difficult decisions at too late a stage.

Our headquarters is in Southend in Essex and we have a base in St James’ Square in London. We split our time between them, but we deal with clients in Essex, London, the north-east of England, Liverpool and the north-west, especially with the help of Zoom and electronic signatures becoming the norm. 

It really makes no difference where you’re based. We can deal with anyone across the country. A lot of people would prefer to do a Zoom call on their lunch break now than meet face to face. And no one should talk about mortgages in their spare time if they don’t have to! But if someone wants to meet face to face that’s absolutely fine. 

I’ve lived here all my life. Southend is a city now. We’ve got London Southend airport which is popular and the city has attracted a lot of outside investors. We’ve seen a huge increase in the population within Southend. 

A lot of people are relocating from London, especially those who want more space but don’t want to pay London prices. Southend Central station is about 50 minutes from Fenchurch Street in London so it’s an easy commute. It’s a great place to live. 

As brokers we do a lot in central London and have links with agents in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Marylebone. The type of buyers or investors in these markets are very different. A lot of the buyers in central London aren’t investing for rental yield, as these aren’t incredible. It’s more about long-term capital appreciation. 

Meanwhile in and around Southend-on-Sea the yields are relatively good and the capital appreciation is quite good as well. So it’s the best of both worlds. They are two very different markets for sure.

I started in an estate agency in 2011 and the market was very different then. It wasn’t as buoyant as it is now. Then after two years in the industry I did my CEMAP qualification to give mortgage advice. So in 2013 I started in mortgages and then Four Financial started in 2018.

We had an incredible start and then the lovely Covid hit. So it’s been more than stressful, but even with a pandemic and all the mortgage madness, we’ve grown the team. It was just me and my partner Farah in the beginning and we’re now at seven staff.

I’m really proud of how we operate as a business, how we all get on as colleagues and how we treat our clients. We never want to grow into a machine where we’re just churning through work. A lot of our clients turn into friends and we stay in contact with them for years on end.

We don’t want to grow much bigger than we are. We want to stay grounded in what we do and continue offering the service that we’re known for. 

No, it’s absolutely free for a consultation. Our typical process is that someone will get in contact with us or they might be referred to us by an agent. We’ll have an initial five minute chat to address any burning questions, then we’ll set up a Zoom call or a meeting and spend an hour or so going through your affordability and any advice that we can offer at that stage.

That’s entirely free. No matter what type of finance we do, whether it’s residential, Buy to Let, bridging finance, we don’t charge a penny until we physically apply for a product for you.