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The challenges of placing a mortgage for a UK visa holder – Hall

by: Chris Hall, operations director at Mortgage Guardian and mortgage and protection Adviser with 1st Call for Mortgages (UK) Ltd
  • 23/07/2018
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The challenges of placing a mortgage for a UK visa holder – Hall
There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to mortgages. Each lender has its own criteria and target market, which means some types of clients are looked upon more favourably than others.


Choosing a lender to approach on behalf of a client is a bit like borrowing a tenner from a mate. You probably have a good idea who is going to say no, which ones will make a big deal out of it and who will lend without batting an eyelid.

It is the same for mortgage lenders, which is why mortgage brokers often have to source the mortgage lenders willing to lend in the first place before choosing the best deal for the client.

This principle applies particularly to mortgages for those who are living and working in the UK under the privilege of an immigration visa.

There are tiered visas and also specific types which brokers will need to look out for.

There are of course market limitations because applicants who are in the UK on a visa do not have British Citizenship or indefinite leave to remain.

This causes quite a few lenders in the marketplace to say: “That’ll be a no from me”.

However, the good news is that there are a small handful of mortgage lenders who will consider an application from those applicants who have a visa stamp in their passport and want to buy a property of their own.


Key considerations

As well as having to satisfy criteria just like any other applicant, mortgage lenders who will accept applications from visa holders have other considerations which need to be taken into account.

What type of visa does the applicant have? How long have they been in the UK? How much of the visa has expired and how long is left on the visa?

Then there are other financial questions: What deposit is available from the applicant? Do they own other property, even if worldwide? Where is the deposit coming from?

These are just a few of the things that we need to ask and by no means is this an exhaustive list in what can be a minefield if you really want to get it absolutely right.

Even in the field of visa mortgages, one lender will help when another will not and some even go as far as giving alternate criteria should the applicant not meet the exact criteria in the main.


Inconsistent lenders

But applying for the mortgage with your chosen lender can also be frustrating.

Sometimes acceptable lenders respond that they do not entertain mortgage applicants who are in the UK on a visa, which can be quite an interesting conversation.

This is especially so after having received several mortgage offers on a visa basis recently from that lender and even placing such a mortgage the day before.

So unless they get lucky, I am certain that most customers will have difficulties getting a mortgage without the expertise of a mortgage broker who does this regularly.

There will of course be challenges for mortgage brokers who do not place this type of case on a regular basis.

Placing the case correctly is just one challenge but navigating through the application process and meeting client expectations is another thing all together.

As we all know, too many applications can’t be good for your client’s credit score, so it is best to get to grips with lenders criteria and your client’s circumstances to help get it right first time.

When all said and done, delivering good news to a client can be a good reward after a hard day’s work.



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