Obtaining an expat mortgage in the USA is one of those banking topics that few people really understand. Including many US bankers.
But not to worry, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to share our knowledge on the available options and about how you can get started applying for US mortgages as an expat today.
We’ll also discuss the different types of banks (and mortgage brokers) that cater to expats in the US, including some of the best US banks for non-residents.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- USA Mortgages 101
- Can Expats Get a US Mortgage?
- What You Need to Know Before Buying a Home in the USA
- Frequently Asked Questions
USA Mortgages 101
Now, like most countries, the vast majority of banks in the US will only issue a mortgage to local residents with US credit history. In other words, expats living outside of the US (and limited US credit history) are not eligible for mortgages at most US banks.
That said, if you are a US expat (or a foreigner) with an SSN or ITIN (US tax identification number), then you may still be eligible for mortgages at even the strictest US banks.
But, since we’re talking about US mortgages for expats, let’s discuss mortgage options as if you do not have an SSN or ITIN.
Note: If you have an SSN or ITIN but live outside of the US, these options will also be available to you.
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Can Expats Get a US Mortgage?
Yes, both US citizens and foreign expats can obtain US mortgages from US banks to purchase US real estate. That is a fact.
Of course, the application process to obtain a US mortgage as a non-resident expat without US credit history and without a US tax identification number is different than the average person. So, let’s take a closer look.
Expats interested in obtaining a US mortgage are typically required to fulfill the following requirements in addition to a standard mortgage application:
- Large deposit held at the bank to offset added non-resident risk and lack of credit history
- Provide a credit report from country of citizenship or residency
- Provide a foreign tax identification number (TIN)
- Provide supporting documentation for source of wealth & income
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Home in the USA
Before you move forward with a mortgage application as an expat, it’s important to note that US banks catering to expats typically offer mortgages in specific regions of the US. In other words, if you are looking to purchase a home (or other real estate investment) in a specific state, it’s important that you find a bank that is willing to issue mortgages in that area.
In most cases, banks will issue mortgages in the regions of the US where they have branches. So, if you are looking for a mortgage in a specific state, start by contacting banks that operate in that state to inquire about mortgages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from expats looking into US mortgages. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Can an Expat Apply for a US Mortgage?
Yes, an expat can apply for a US mortgage even without a US tax identification number like an SSN or ITIN. However, not all banks offer US mortgages to expats without US tax identification numbers. So, it’s important to confirm whether a bank will even consider an expat application before starting with the process.
Is it Difficult For an Expat to Obtain a Mortgage in the US?
No, the process to obtain a US mortgage as an expat can be straightforward if you choose the right bank, have sufficient funds, and have the right documents available. That said, many banks will require more time to verify international documents, supporting information, and foreign credit checks. So, while it might be easy to navigate the process initially, approval may take more time than it would for a local resident.
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Of course, if you have any questions before deciding whether you would like to move forward, don’t hesitate to contact us directly!