Home Loans for Foreign Nationals

Posted by Frank Gogol

Disclosure: Stilt is a lending company. Nonetheless, we are committed to recommending the best loan products to our readers when their needs are outside Stilt’s loan offerings. 

Even as a foreign national, there may be a time when you will want to settle down, have your own home – and stop living off on rent. Still, if you were not born in the United States, there is a good chance that you will not be approved by the traditional bank – and there goes your plan to settle down.

There are a few options for you to take out a home loan. However, you just need to know where to look. With this article, we hope we will be able to provide some insight on the matter.

Can Foreign Nationals Get Home Loans?

Many foreign nationals live with the impression that they cannot get a home loan. In a way, this is neither true nor false. Granted, you may not be able to get a loan from a traditional bank, as they have some fairly strict rules. In the event that your loan is approved, it is very likely that you will have to wait a long time until you can get your money.

Thankfully, in the United States, there are many lenders that are willing to give you a home loan – as long as you can prove that you wish to remain in the United States and that you have the means necessary to build a life here.

Home Loans Options for Foreign Nationals

Home loans for foreign nationals represent a particular kind of loan that allows non-citizens to buy property in the U.S. – no matter if it is for living or investing in it. This type of loan has some requirements that are slightly different from those of a traditional lender – and is generally given much faster. In most cases, regardless of the borrower, such an alternative lender will have your funds ready in 2-3 days after you made your request.

Considering that home loans for foreigners are pretty much given on a “risk factor,” you may expect interest rates that are fairly high. Most of these loans do not have collateral, nor do they have any kind of security – which is why lenders grab that security in any way that they can.

LenderBest ForEstimated APRLoan Term
BBVA CompassHome Loans for Foreign Nationals3.323%-3.567%10-30 years

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North Star FundingHome Loans for Foreign NationalsVaries by Program15-30 years

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Citadel ServicingHome Loans for Foreign NationalsVaries by Program10-30 years

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Impac MortgageHome Loans for Foreign NationalsVaries by Program10-30 years

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AmerifundHome Loans for Foreign NationalsVaries by Program10-30 years

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ACC MortgageHome Loans for Foreign NationalsVaries by Program10-30 years

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General Borrowing Criteria

There are some general criteria that you will have to follow if you want to take out a home loan for foreign national – but none of those requirements are really so complicated. In fact, they are much simpler than you might think.

First things first, if you have obtained permanent residency, you will need your social security green card and your green card number. With the right lender, the application process will work just as smoothly as it would with your average U.S. citizen.

If you haven’t obtained permanent residency, don’t fret – you may still get a loan. You may not have a green card, but you still have your social security number. In this case, you may become eligible for a loan if you produce a work permit – also known as EAD (Employment Authorization Document). The lender must be able to verify that you have the possibility of working and living in the United States for the next three years at least.

Methodology

Stilt considers a wholistic range of features when considering personal loan lenders, including, but not limited to: accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education, flexible payment options, related fees, soft credit checks, and transparency of loan rates and terms. We also review consider the complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Stilt is not compensated in any way for our reviews and recommendations.

Recap: Home Loans for Foreign Nationals

An In-Depth Look at the Home Loan Options

If you are looking for a home loan as a foreign national, then there are several options for you. Each of them will have its own rates, which is why you are advised to do some proper balancing of their features before you settle. Here are the top choices:

BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass, or also simply referred to as “Compass Bank,” has a few good options for foreign nationals. Among these options is the Corporate Foreign National Mortgage, which can be given to any foreign citizen that is under the employment of a U.S. company.

Aside from that, you may go for their Construction and Renovation/Permanent Financing loan. You will be provided a singular application, the loan, and the closing, no matter if you go for the construction loan or a permanent one.

North Star Funding

North Star Funding is quite convenient for foreign nationals, as it permits for an LTV up to 90% – which also means only a 10% down payment on loan amounts that go as high as $5,000,000.

You may also go for $10,000.000, but in this case, you would have to go for a lower LTV. The exact percentage would depend on the sum that you have been approved for.

Citadel Servicing

Citadel Servicing has no income verification program, which is why it is such a good option for foreign nationals looking for a house in the States. They allow for a maximum 75% LTV, which means that you will have to come up with a 75% down payment. You may also get a loan that is as high as $3,000,000.

What other aspects make this an attractive option for foreign nationals? Well, in this scenario, there aren’t any reserves required, no penalties for paying early, and a multitude of interest-only options available.

Impac Mortgage

Impac Mortgage is mostly popular among foreign nationals for their iQM Foreign National Mortgage Program. It does not require your FICO score, so you can borrow even if you have no credit. However, if you do have a FICO score, an ideal would be 620 (although you will not necessarily be rejected simply because you have a lower credit score).

There are multiple options for which you may go with this lender, not just that one. To make sure that you only choose the best one, you may want to review the features of each program. This way, you will know for certain that it will suit your needs.

Amerifund

If you are looking for home loans for foreign nationals that are slightly higher than the average loan of the kind, then you may want to go for Amerifund. Their minimum loan amount is $500,000 – and can go all the way up to $2,000,000. This is a good option if you are looking to buy a fancier home.

Bear in mind that with a loan this big, you should expect at least a 300% down payment – which means the LTV will be somewhere around 70%. You might also want to make sure that the state you are in is one in which Amerifund Activates.

ACC Mortgage

Acc Mortgage also has a program with home loans for foreign nationals that is very attractive for those that do not want to show (or can’t show) proof of their income. The program provides financing of up to 75%, which means that 25% will be up to you to bring.

With this program, you will not have to provide any proof of income, nor will you have to prove that you are employed. All you need is a credit score of at least 640 (if you have a credit score), an unexpired visa, and a copy of your passport. With this loan, you may get a loan up to $2,000,000.

These lenders are only a select few of the multitude that can help you with a loan. There are many more from which you can choose, all with different rates and different loan amounts. You just have to do your “shopping carefully,” and then take the right steps to get pre-approved for your mortgage. If you work with the right people, it should not be difficult.

Obstacles Facing Foreign Nationals at U.S. Banks

Procuring a mortgage is a complex process of paperwork and approvals, even for the most attractive of borrowers. For foreign nationals, the process is mired in additional complexities arising from their status as non-U.S. citizens. Below, we discuss some of the big obstacles that block foreign nationals from getting home loans in the U.S.

Foreign Nationals Tend to Lack Credit History – Mortgage lenders in the U.S. are very risk-averse. So, they use borrowers’ credit history as a measure of how loan-worthy a borrower will be. The problem for foreign nationals is that they usually do not have established credit histories in the U.S. While there are alternate methods of proving creditworthiness, a lack of credit history adds a layer of difficulty for non-U.S. citizens when it comes to borrowing to buy a home.

Foreign Nationals May Leave the Country – As mentioned above, mortgage lenders are very risk-averse, and in the case of immigrants and visa holders, there’s an added risk when lending: non-U.S. citizens, being residents of other countries and somethings being required to leave the U.S. after a certain period, may not complete their loan repayment.

Foreign Nationals Don’t Always have Cosigners – Sometimes, even a decent credit score is not enough evidence to assure a mortgage lender that a foreign national is not a high-risk borrower and often times a cosigner will be required to finalize a loan. The problem for many foreign nationals is that they came to the U.S. alone and do not have an extended network of family from which to draw a potential cosigner.

Home Loan Down Payments for Foreign Nationals

The lenders highlighted in this article all offer mortgage products designed to improve the chances of foreign nationals getting approved for home loans, but none will cover the full cost of purchasing the property. Each will require that a borrower pay a portion of the mortgage (the down payment) upfront as a show of good faith of your intention to pay back the loan over its lifetime.

The general expert consensus is that the homebuyer should put 20% of the loan amount as a down payment. This sizable piece of the whole will be enough to show lenders your intent to see the loan payments through to completion.

That said, many borrowers, foreign national or U.S. citizens, do not have tens of thousands of dollars at their disposal to make the 20% down payment.

Many borrowers opt to take out a personal loan to cover their down payment. You can learn more about using a personal loan as a down payment on a mortgage here.

Personal Loans
 for Non-U.S. Citizens!

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Loans for up to $35,000. No cosigner required. No prepayment penalty.

Wrap Up

As a foreign national, it might seem difficult to get a home loan – but even so, it is not impossible. You just have to know where to look. Once you find the right lender, you should be able to buy your perfect home and finally live the dream.

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