Applying for a loan as an expat
At first blush, this may seem like a complete impossibility. But in reality, banks are banks wherever they are located in the world. If you have lived a respectable life in a nation that is not your home, for at least a moderate length of time, chances are that you may be awarded a loan. But it's not as easy as sitting down at a computer and putting in some personal details. Because you "aren't from around here", there's a good chance that you'll have to spend some extra time and effort getting a loan in a country you weren't born in. But don't let that stop you. Here are some ways to make the whole process go a lot easier.
2 Dec 2015 12:32
- Don't Aim Too High. The expat loan-getting process will be different depending on what country you find yourself in. But in almost every case, you won't be able to get a big, long-term loan like a mortgage unless you are a legal resident. Keep your request small, and take what you can get. In many cases, the loan amount offered to you by the manager to whom you are speaking is set in stone, or has little room for negotiation.
- Get Comfortable. Because you are not a legal resident, the bank is going to scrutinise you in many ways. This will take a while, and could pertain to your personal habits as well as your financial reality. Don't take it personally. Because you don't have a lot of history to go off of, banks are forced to honestly gauge the risk they are taking on in offering you a loan at all. The process should, however, be pretty friendly. Get to know your branch bankers before you ask for a loan, doing simple everyday banking. This should make the process easier when you start asking for money. This strategy has helped many expats get loans through Norskelån, a Norwegian affiliate.
- Have Your Own Money. Unless you are able to front much of the bill for whatever it is you're trying to finance, it really helps to have some cash in the bank. It's a good rule of thumb to have 70-80% of what your project costs already squirreled away. This will make you much more likely to be awarded a loan, because it will demonstrate that you have the responsibility and means to handle it.
Loans can be provided overseas for expats for many purposes. It just takes a little perseverance and responsibility on your part. There are some requests which are almost sure to be denied however. One is the mortgage loan mentioned above. The other is a debt consolidation loan. Borrowing money to pay off debt is a uniquely American strategy, and if you ask a foreign bank manager to set up this kind deal for you, you will likely be looked at like you are an alien from another galaxy (not an alien from another country). Take your time, get your ducks in a row, and it's entirely possible for you, an expat, to get a loan overseas.