Australian Expat Home Loans

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Applying for an expat home loan to buy property while living overseas can be a complicated process, and it is not something an inexperienced buyer should try to accomplish alone.

The rules can vary according to the country where you now reside, and, in some cases, lenders limit the currencies and countries they will accept. Additionally, lending policies for Australian expats can be difficult to understand, and guidance from an expert is necessary. There are also cases where lenders are reluctant to work with expat borrowers, adding increased frustration to a tricky situation.

When applying for an expat home loan as an Australian expat, getting assistance from an experienced expat mortgage broker is in your best interest. Preferably one who knows facilitating offshore or expatriate loans as this can lead to a substantially better outcome. By working with Quantum Finance, you can have peace of mind from knowing your expat mortgage broker is an experienced professional capable of apprising you of all the necessary details about expats purchasing a property.

What is an Expat Home Loan?

Simply put, an expat home loan is a mortgage product for an overseas Australian citizen. Expat mortgage loans can be taken to purchase property in Australia or for a property purchase in the country of residence.

Contrary to what some say, expat mortgages are not limited to Commonwealth Bank expat home loans, and private funding sources are perfectly acceptable.

What is and expat home loans

Will I Need A Deposit For an Expat Home Loan?

A deposit is necessary for expat home loans in Australia. Typically, you will need a deposit of 10% and the funds to cover additional expenses such as,


Mortgage set-up fees


Legal fees


Stamp Duty


Lender's Mortgage Insurance
(LMI if applicable)

Your deposit for the expat mortgage loan must be from genuine savings. Although various lenders may have different specifications, genuine savings usually includes,

  • Savings accumulated over three months or more
  • Contributions from the First Home Super Saver Scheme
  • Shares or managed funds held for at least three months
  • Cash gifts held for at least three months
  • Inheritance funds held for at least three months
  • Term deposits you have held for at least three months
Loan Money

How Do I Prove My Income to Get My Loan?

There are a number of ways income can be proven for expat mortgages.

  • Foreign tax returns or pay slips written in English
  • Three months of bank statements that show your paycheck is deposited into your account
  • Many lenders will require a valid work visa as well

What if I am Self-Employed?

Not all lenders are eager to make loans to expat borrowers who are self-employed. Some factors that influence how easily you will be able to get a loan include the country where you live and the currency in which you receive your pay.

Your expat mortgage experience will be easier if you can submit:

  • Six months of business bank statements
  • Two years of personal and business tax returns
  • A letter from your accountant that verifies your income
Man Business
Borrower looking at their mortgage documents.


Overseas Loan FAQs

A deposit is necessary for expat loans in Australia. Typically, you will need a deposit of 10% and the funds to cover additional expenses such as,

How Much Can You Really Borrow as an Australian Expat?

Lenders will calculate a person's borrowing power based on the following conditions:

  • For those working in a country that does not charge income tax, the lender may use Australian tax rates.
  • For expats with foreign loans, repayments may be considered in determining the borrowing power.
  • You're allowed to borrow up to 80% of the value of the property.
  • However, you need to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident living in New Zealand or overseas. Your actual income will also be assessed.

Meanwhile, if you don't fit the mentioned conditions, you can still borrow up to 80% of the property value. There are some aspects, however, including the following, which all have an effect on the amount you are allowed to borrow:

  • The country where you currently live in
  • How much you're earning and in which currency
  • The status of your visa

Extra things to consider:

  • The exchange rate will also affect how much you will get once you have been approved.
  • If the country you're in is not in the preferred list of the lender, that currency may not be accepted.
  • It' is important to learn how the exchange rate will be imposed
  • There are no negative gearing benefits for expat borrowers.

What About the Interest Rates?

It can be difficult to find attractive interest rates if you live overseas;however Quantum Finance Australia understands expat home loans & what good rates look like in the current market.

Let's not forget about tax rates, either. 

  • Many lenders make it simple by using Australian tax rates instead of the rates of the country where you work.
  • Unfortunately, tax rates in Australia are among the highest in the world. That means you could get less than what you need because the taxes will be deducted from the amount you will borrow.
  • It will not matter if you are in Singapore or Hong Kong that has very low taxes. Even if you are in the UAE, where taxes are not required, you will still have to pay Australian tax rates.

If deemed an advantageous; Quantum Finance Australia may endeavour to  find a lender that uses foreign tax rates if it is what you wish for. However, we require that you provide as much income proof as you can. That way, we can provide you with a lender that will use foreign tax rates based on the withheld taxes from your payslips.

Are There Other Costs to Worry About?

You should know about the following possible expenses:

  • Deposit: You may be asked to provide a 20% deposit. The deposit should typically be in the form of genuine savings, such as savings accumulated over the last three months or more. If you provide a big deposit or you are a real estate owner in Australia, your deposit can be the equity on your existing property. An exception is if your parents have a property in the country, and they can act as your guarantor for the home loan. In this instance, you may not need to provide a deposit.
  • Leaders Mortgage Insurance: If you are an Australian living overseas; you are not eligible for Lender Mortgage Insurance (LMI).
  • Others: You will also have to pay for stamp duty, mortgage set up costs, legal fees, and other property purchasing costs.

To see how much you need for these extra costs, let's have an example:

  • The property that you wish to buy is valued at $500,000. You are allowed to borrow 80% of that value.
  • You will then have to provide $100,000, which is for the deposit.
  • For this amount, the stamp duty is $20,000 and the transfer fee is around $268.20.
  • You still have to add mortgage registration, which is $178.20, along with legal and other fees. The figures here will depend on the lender.

Which Currencies Are Accepted for Expat Mortgages in Australia?

As an Australian expat, you're earning an income from a different currency. Therefore, you should first know if the lender accepts whether that currency is accepted.

Most of the time, the following currencies are accepted by lenders:

  • US dollar
  • Hong Kong dollar
  • Canadian dollar
  • Singapore dollar
  • New Zealand dollar
  • Great Britain pound sterling
  • Euro
  • Swiss franc
  • Japanese yen

If you earn from any of the above currencies, your application has a better chance of getting approved. Many lenders also accept Chinese renminbi (yuan); however, stricter conditions apply. For example, some lenders will limit the amount you can borrow to below 80% loan to value ratio (LVR).

Other currencies with the same restrictions and requirements include:

  • Bahrain dinar
  • Fijian dollar
  • Indian rupee
  • Kuwaiti dinar
  • Malaysian ringgit
  • Norwegian krone
  • Oman rial
  • Philippine peso
  • Saudi Arabian riyal
  • South Korean won
  • Thai baht
  • Vietnamese dong

Please note that the currencies listed above are not exhaustive. If yours is not listed, it's still highly possible that lenders will accept your application as an Australian expat.

What Proof of Income Do I Need to Produce?

You will need to provide foreign tax returns or payslips. If they are in English, these documents can readily be accepted as proof of income. If they are in a foreign language, the lender may have to seek translation services. Your application can take longer than usual.

  • You will most likely be asked to give your bank statements for the past three months, which should show your salary is deposited into your account.
  •  You will also have to own a valid work visa for the verification process.
  • If you're a dual citizen or you have proof that you can work in the country you're in, you may no longer have to provide a work visa.

Some expats earn in more than one currency. If you are among them, you should pick the more dominant or preferred currency, which is one of those we have listed above. That way, you have an even more significant chance of getting approved.

Remember, however, that the exchange rates are different. These rates apply when you borrow money to buy a house, which can affect the amount that you can actually receive.

Can I Still Get a Home Loan as a Self Employed Expat?

Unfortunately, not many lenders accept applications from self-employed individuals. There are some options available, but those with an employer have more flexible choices. That's because lenders view PAYG income overseas as something more manageable to evaluate than self-employed ones.

If there is a suitable lender, you may be able to borrow up to 80% of the property value. However, you should meet all the requirements, including the following documents:

  • Tax returns for the business and the owner for at least two years
  • Six months' worth of bank statements
  • Income verification letter signed by an accountant

What Happens to Borrowing When You’re Married to a Foreign Citizen?

If you're an Australian citizen overseas and married to or in a civil union with a foreign citizen, your application will be assessed differently:

  • Some lenders may take you and your partner as Australian citizens.
  • Some will consider you both as investors from another country.
  • Other lenders pick the one with the higher income as the principal borrower and nationality.

If you're the main earner, your partner's income will usually be ignored. Most of the time, the Australian citizen's income is assessed. However, if you believe that you will benefit more if your partner's income is considered over yours, you can turn to a broker to help you out. Here at Quantum Finance, we can help you find a suitable lender for your case. We do have specific requirements, and you can have the upper-hand if you meet them all, such as:

  • Your partner holds a valid Australian visa.
  • Your partner lives in Australia, particularly when you send out the application.
  • The other person has relatives in Australia.
  • You two are legally married or in a de facto relationship for more than two years.
  • You have children together.

Please note that you may have to pay foreign citizen stamp duty when you get a home loan with a non-Australian citizen.

Do You Need to Visit the Australian Embassy?

The short answer to the question is "yes." It is necessary to have your ID certified by going to the Australian consulate or embassy in your current country. Some lenders will accept a Power of Attorney, which gives a trusted person, such as a family member, to sign the required lending documents on your behalf if you're overseas.

Some lenders need you to have a POA as part of their requirements, while others may not accept the document. In the event that the lender does not allow a POA, it may be such an inconvenience. You will have to send the documents from your country. Also, you should attend the Australian consulate to have a legal witness.

If you're borrowing with your significant other, only one of you needs to go to the embassy. However, you should bring your partner's passport with you.

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