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International companies with offices in the United States commonly send foreign workers on the company’s behalf to the United States. Once their employees are in the US, these foreigners receive an L1 visa document, which is used to classify foreigners from another company as legal workers in the US.
After having lived in the United States for quite some time, many people decide they want to stay in the country and establish roots in their new home. The first step to doing this is by buying a home to live in — but can L1 visa holders actually get a mortgage loan in the US? How does it work? Is it even possible for a nonresident to get a US mortgage?
In order to answer these two questions and give you further insight on how to do get a mortgage on an L-1 visa, we’ve set up this article. After reading this article, you’ll know what you need to know to get a mortgage loan in the US while on an L1 visa.
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Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage on an L1 visa. Just because you are not a citizen of the US, does not automatically mean that you can’t apply for a loan. Indeed, you will face several challenges on your way to buying a home that will make the process a headache. However, no one said it was impossible! Other then having the correct documentation, if you follow procedures correctly, nothing should stand in the way of getting a mortgage loan in the US.
The requirements for getting a loan vary based on your residency status and the kind of visa you are holding. For example, it is much easier for someone holding an L1 visa to get a mortgage loan than it is for other visa holders.
The documentation needed depends on the type, as well as the total amount of the loan you are requesting.
Here’s what you need:
When you decide to apply for a mortgage loan in the US, you need to have at least 2 years of work history in the US. You will have to show your employment history to the lender for you to qualify for the mortgage loan on an L1 visa.
Since you are on an L1 visa, you have probably worked some duration of time in another country for the same company, which will be taken into consideration during your loan application. This is good news!
Aside from your employment history, you need to be able to show 2-year credit history in the US. If you are lucky, your bank in your home country is partnered up with your US bank, which will make this part easier. If your bank is partnered up (as is the case for many Canadian banks) the bank you are getting a mortgage loan from will consider your credit history from outside of the US.
For identification and visa verification purposes, the financial institution will need your passport.
As a person in the US on an L1 visa, you do not have residency status. When you enter the US under an immigration status and work and pay taxes on earnings, you will need to have an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number). With the ITIN, you can show the lender your employment history, which the lender will use to determine whether or not your income will continue for at least another three years.
You need to prove that you have sufficient assets to cover the down payment and closing costs of the loan. Even if you don’t have assets in the United States, you can still qualify. You have to show that your foreign funds belong to you and that they can be transferred to a US bank account prior to closing. Usually, the bank hires a third party to get foreign bank statements and other documents translated into English.
One of the most important considerations when buying a home is the down payment. Most realtors will suggest putting at least 20% down of to total cost of your mortgage, which, in the long run, has benefits for you as the buyer:
So, if you wanted to buy a $200,000 home, you’d ideally put down $20,000 toward the cost of that home upfront.
Many people, though, don’t have savings enough to put down 20% or even 10% when buying a home. Luckily, homebuyers can work around this problem by using a personal loan to cover the cost of their down payments.
So, for example, let’s say you’re buying that $200,000 dollar house mentioned above and let’s say your mortgage is for 40 years (or 480 months) at 3% interest. Including monthly interest, your monthly payment would be $716. Let’s see how that breaks down:
$716 x 480 = $343,665
But, if you were to pay $20,000 down (10%) and had a mortgage of only $180,000 at the same rate and for the same length, your monthly payment would be only $644. That breaks down to:
$644 x 480 = $309,299
That’s a savings of $34,366! But what will the personal loan used for the down payment cost you? Well, let’s say the personal loan for $20,000 came with an 8% interest rate and was for 36 months. The monthly payment would come out to about $627 and the break down would be:
$627 x 36 = $22,562
So, on a $20k loan at 8% for 36 months, you’d pay $2,562 in interest, which, when subtracted from the $34,366, nets you $31,804 in savings over the lifetime of your mortgage.
After providing all of the above documentation and having your loan approved, you have the same access to mortgage credits as a United States citizen does. This means you are eligible for the same credit rates and down payments as US citizens. However, if it is a Jumbo loan, you need to consider making a higher down payment.
As you can see, nothing can stand in your way of getting a mortgage loan in the United States with an L1 visa. The only obstacle is to prove to the lender that you fit their risk profile and are not a financial threat to the organization. If you follow the 4 steps outlined above have mentioned above, you will get your mortgage loan in no time!
We hope this article has helped you to figure out how to get a mortgage loan in the United States with an L1 visa. If you have any further questions or experiences you want to share about acquiring a loan, please feel free to contact us. We wish you the best of luck during your journey on getting a mortgage loan and building your perfect home in the US!
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