Do British expats need a home country credit history to get a mortgage?

Published:  9 Aug at 6 PM
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As British property prices fall due to the threat of a no-deal Brexit, many UK expats might be tempted to invest in a buy-to-let as a backstop for future residence if they’re kicked out of their present locations.

One worry for those who’ve led a less than organised life prior to emigrating is the possibility of a prerequisite for a UK credit history as part of their mortgage application. The simple answer is a reassuring ‘no’, although a good credit record might be of use in getting a better deal as regards interest rates, especially from UK-based lenders offering flexible and competitive terms.

The majority of UK lenders as well as their offshore equivalents require only three years’ address history, and expats who’ve worked overseas for a duration normally exceed this timescale. However, issues can arise if expats have kept their home country property or parents’ home as a banking address, but it’s generally good news under these circumstances as a search is very unlikely to reveal any anomalies. It can actually be helpful, as it increases the number of lenders who don’t insist on minimum loans of £100,000 as well as opening up a larger range of suitable local deals. In the main,

UK lenders are quicker for main residential or buy-to-let loans and have lower arrangement fees, better interest rates and a wider choice of mortgage options. Expats can actually create their own credit scores, by firstly keeping on a UK address for correspondence and banking or reinstating a new address such as the parental home. Before applying for a mortgage, it’s recommended you get an online copy of your file from one of the three major agencies – Equifax, Experian or Call Credit. Even if there are no issues, forwarding the file to your mortgage broker will help sort out any issues before your mortgage is applied for.
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