Loans for Non-Residents – Yes, Non-Residents CAN get loans in Australia

 

If you’re feeling the pinch to your bank account from moving countries, a loan might be an excellent way to reduce some of that monetary stress.

Between having to pay for your flight to Australia, current accommodation, and all other financial drains involved with “packing up and shipping off”, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of dollars left in your bank account.

And while some types of finances might not yet be available to you in Australia, there are a wealth of options for you in the home, personal, and student departments, to help you set up home in your new, erm, home. This question will likely be one of the first to pass your worried mind.

man juggling cards

What about my credit history?

Here's your answer: Australian lenders CANNOT access your overseas credit history, and if you’re new to Australia, then you won’t have yet built a credit file. But this DOESN'T mean that loans will be inaccessible to you until you do.

Many lenders who approve migrant loans will use other criteria to determine their credit risk, assessing them on their financial situation, visa, assets, and overall ability to pay off the loan. Some may even lend migrants higher amounts depending on the strength of their application.

Something to remember is that your Australian credit history begins the moment you have funds or debts with an Australian financial institution. If you apply for too many loans in a short period of time, or obtain negative or bad credit history, this can damage your credit score with lenders. Maintaining a good credit history and keeping on top of your debts and bills will help increase your chances of successfully obtaining a loan.


So, can I get a loan for X amount?

This answer is never straightforward. Certain lenders will let non-residents borrow from them, others won't. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Big Four have options for non-residents, but they'll likely require you to meet some eligibility requirements before they can approve a loan and determine for how much. This eligibility may involve you:

  • Having stable employment / a source of income
  • Having a visa
  • Being able to repay your loan before your visa's expiry date
  • Having an Australian residence
  • Having an Australian bank account

Additionally, the lender may require you to pay a higher interest rate on your loan - depending on your circumstances and how much of a risk they assess you to be. You can compare some of the banks that offer loans to non-residents here and can further discuss your options by contacting them direct with details of your needs.


Migrant Mortgage: Home loans for non-residents

One of the creature comforts you’ll want to secure after arriving in Australia is a permanent home here - especially if you’re on an indefinite-stay permanent resident (PR) visa or have migrated with your family. When preparing to buy your first home in Australia, an important consideration is to research the best area for you to live in. As you house hunt, consider how accessible the house is to your workplace, school, and shops, as well as how safe the area is. If you intend to live in Australia for an extended period of time, you might want to look at ‘up-and-coming’ suburbs and turn your home purchase into a smart investment. Another consideration is to look at mortgages. It’s important to shop around and compare home loans to find the one that fits your needs and a good place to start doing this is by using the comparison tables found on finder.com.au.

Are you eligible for a home loan as a temporary resident?

Australia aims to promote growth by offering migrants easy options for home ownership, and as such, does not penalise permanent or temporary residents with things such as higher monthly payments. As a temporary or permanent resident, all the same terms, interest rates, and features (including offset accounts and the option to delay your mortgage payments under certain circumstances) that are offered to Australian citizens will be available to you. As such, the same eligibility criteria also applies. This includes;

  • Ongoing regular employment - you must be employed and be able to afford repayments on the loan with your income
  • Evidence of existing assets (liabilities, savings, equity)
  • A good credit history in Australia (if available)
  • Proficient funds to cover fees associated with purchasing property
  • Loan security (i.e. the value and saleability of your property)
  • Sufficient identification
  • Age (you must be over 18 to apply for a loan).

Where the main differences lie are in how much you can borrow and the documentation you have to present. Fill out the form below to speak with a mortgage broker who can help you find a home loan.

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Migrants with permanent residence

Migrants who have PR will usually find it easier to obtain a home loan than migrants on temporary residence visas. Those who meet the financial requirements and hold a valid PR are eligible to borrow a higher percentage of the property value (on average, 90%). The exact amount will vary depending on whether you’re living in Australia, overseas, or if you’re a resident with a foreign income. Migrants with PR are also eligible for the first home owners grant (FHOG) so long as they meet the standard requirements i.e. they haven’t owned a home previously, intend to occupy the property as their principal place of residence for the first 12 months of settlement, and continuously live in the property for at least six months.

Did you know...

As an aside, New Zealand citizens can borrow up to 95% of the property value, even if they live in New Zealand. As Australia and New Zealand share the same credit reporting system, New Zealand citizens’ applications will be assessed on their credit history. If the applicant lives outside New Zealand and Australia, they may be treated as a foreign citizen and be offered to borrow up to only 80% of the property value. Of course, the percentage available to borrow will depend on the particular loan's maximum Loan to Valuation Ratio (LVR).


Migrants with temporary residence

While only select banks and lenders have policies available for temporary migrants, the opportunities to obtain a home loan are still very much available - although there may be certain conditions and extra requirements that will have to be met before approval. Temporary residents of Australia who have been issued with one of these long-term working visas: 457, 475, 487 or 495, qualify for a home loan in Australia. To apply for this, you’ll need to prove that you have a steady source of income and, in many cases, need to obtain special permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Some lenders might also ask you to provide evidence of overseas liabilities and bank accounts to help create a more complete financial profile of you before approving your request. Once these requirements are met, you may apply for a home loan worth up to 80% of the value of the property, with a 20% deposit as security. As a temporary resident, you are not entitled to the FHOG, or to have your stamp duty waived. A select number of lenders will allow student and bridging visa holders with stable incomes to borrow up to 80% of the value of the property, however there may be stricter eligibility rules involved in these cases.


How to increase your home loan benefits

  • If your spouse is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident… and you purchase the property jointly with them, then you are eligible for the FHOG, so long as you meet all the other requirements.
  • If your spouse is an Australian citizen… you might be eligible for a loan worth up to 95% of the property value.
  • If you have good employment history… If you’ve held a professional job with the same company for two or more years, you may be entitled to borrow up to 10% more for your loan.

While the ability to obtain a home loan is there, not all lenders will grant loans to temporary residents. Each has its own policy regarding visas, so it’s important to research and ask around to determine what your options are for your specific visa. It can be worth speaking to a mortgage broker who has access to range of loans that may be applicable for you You can compare some of Australia’s award winning brokers below:

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Personal loans for non-residents

image02 Personal loans are not usually loans that are specifically designed for migrants, but rather are loans that have flexible eligibility criteria that allow migrants to apply. As with home loans, migrants with a PR will generally find it much easier to obtain a personal loan than migrants on a temporary visa, but this doesn’t mean that temporary residents cannot access personal loans. Depending on your financial situation and visa, you may still be eligible for a number of personal loans including; car, secured, unsecured, and payday loans.

How do I get a personal loan?

Personal loans for both permanent and temporary migrants can be offered by traditional banks, credit unions, and smaller lenders. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the Australian market and compare your options to avoid unnecessary rates and fees before taking out a loan. Owing to the fact that a migrant’s lending risk cannot be determined by credit file (which is normally the first point of call when assessing any loan application), the lender will determine the migrant’s risk on the strength of their overall profile and capacity to repay the desired loan amount. This is based on:

  • Confirmed employment in Australia
  • Profession
  • Minimum income
  • Cash savings
  • The holding of an Australian bank account
  • The type of Australian visa you are on

Depending on the lender’s policy and your financial/visa situation, temporary residents and students in particular may be required to meet a few extra requirements for their loan to be approved.This might include having to provide a cash deposit to reduce the amount borrowed against your loan and minimise the lender’s risk. If you’re on a temporary visa, your loan will NOT extend past the length of your visa. For example, if you have two years left on your 457, you will only be able to secure a two-year loan. Certain lenders might be better suited to cater to a migrant’s circumstances than others. So if you're here on a temporary visa, it might be worth considering speaking to a broker to find a loan that fits your needs.

Personal loans available to migrants

  • Car loans: Although car loans are usually restricted to PR and citizens, migrants on a the 457 may have a better chance at being approved for a car loans so long as they meet certain financial conditions.
  • Secured personal loans: When you use other assets, such as jewellery or property, to access finance, you’re taking out a secured personal loan. Unlike car loans (the monies of which you can only use to finance your vehicle), personal loans can be used to finance a variety of needs. Before taking out a personal loan, ensure that the purpose you intend for the loan amount is permissible.
  • Unsecured personal loans: Unsecured personal loans don’t require any assets for security, which means these loans typically come with higher interest rates and fees. As there’s no security or assurance involved, unsecured personal loans may have stricter criteria and may not be available to migrants with certain lenders.
  • Payday loans: These are small, short term loans, generally no greater than $2,000 and for no longer than a year. Due to these minimal amounts and lending time periods, migrants may find it easier to access payday loans than other, more long term and high risk loans.
Rates last updated December 9th, 2016
$
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Repayment
ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan
A flexible loan option that lets you pay off your debt, buy a car, fix up your house or cover travel costs.
From 13.95% (fixed) 14.81% $5,000 1 to 7 years $150 Go to site More
ANZ Variable Rate Personal Loan
A variable rate loan that lets you make and redraw additional repayments.
From 14.69% (variable) 15.55% $5,000 1 to 7 years $150 Go to site More
Bank of Melbourne Secured Car Loan
A low rate personal loan from Bank of Melbourne with variable or fixed option.
From 8.49% (fixed) 9.39% $3,000 1 to 5 years $195 Go to site More
Bank of Melbourne Secured Personal Loan
A low rate personal loan from Bank of Melbourne with variable or fixed option.
From 8.49% (fixed) 9.39% $3,000 1 to 5 years $195 Go to site More
Bank of Melbourne Unsecured Personal Loan
An unsecured personal loan that gives you a choice between a fixed or variable rate.
From 12.99% (variable) 13.87% $3,000 1 to 7 years $195 ($0 for existing customers) Go to site More
Get a personal loan as a temporary resident

READ MORE: Compare personal loans for temporary residents

READ MORE: Compare business loans for non-citizens

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Student loans for international students

Australia’s student loan system is called HELP (Higher Educational Loan Program). This is a government initiative that provides students financial aid to fund their education. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for HELP, but this doesn’t mean that financial assistance systems aren’t available to them.

The first port of call for international students requiring financial aid is their educational institution. Most universities offer grants and scholarships, while some (e.g. Southern Cross University and the University of Western Australia) also offer student and general purpose loans for full fee-paying onshore international students or students with permanent residency. Note that all loans are subject to the university’s student loans policy and are granted at the university’s discretion. To review all your options, consider making an appointment with your educational institution’s student financial assistance officer.

If a student loan is unavailable, international students might wish to consider applying for a personal loan (see above) to aid them in their financial situation. Alternatively, there are countries that have loan systems in place to offer financial aid to citizens studying in Australia. These countries include: Canada, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, the UK, and the US. Once you’ve been approved for a loan, the next thing you’ll have to think about is how much to borrow. Keep in mind that it’s not just about covering tuition fees, there’s also room and board, general living, and insurance expenses to consider, so play it smart and spend the time to calculate your financial requirements before committing to a loan.

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How to compare loans

  • Loan terms and amount: Lenders will offer varying lengths for loan terms and different minimum and maximum loan amounts. Make sure what’s offered meets your borrowing needs.
  • Fees: All loans come with fees, which can add considerably to the overall cost so always calculate how much you’re likely to pay all up before committing to a loan.
  • Repayment flexibility: Many lenders allow you to choose between weekly, fortnightly, or monthly repayments. Choose one that suits your pay frequency, and also check if your lender allows for additional payments without penalty so you can pay your loan back early (if possible), which can save you considerable interest.
  • Discounts and redraw facilities: Look out for offers and discounts - although remember that they might not be beneficial to your situation, despite their “special” tag. It’s better to take out a loan that suits your needs than one that’s a steal.
  • Reputation: It’s easy to fall into the trap of a “too good to be true” loan. Do your research and avoid dodgy lenders as, if anything goes wrong over the course of your loan, you’ll want to be sure the lender can be contacted and provide sound assistance.
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134 Responses to Loans for Non-Residents – Yes, Non-Residents CAN get loans in Australia

  1. Default Gravatar
    Aria | November 7, 2016

    I would like to know whether foreigner can apply for home loan in australia?

    Currently i have bought off plan property and need to settle soon.

    • Staff
      Harold | November 8, 2016

      Hello Aria,

      There are many lenders who approve migrant loans will use other criteria to determine their credit risk, assessing them on their financial situation, visa, assets, and overall ability to pay off the loan. Some may even lend migrants higher amounts depending on the strength of their application. It really depends to the lenders, there are certain lenders will let non-residents to borrow from them, but others won’t.

      Basically this is the list they consider for borrower’s eligibility.
      - Having stable employment / a source of income
      - Having a visa
      - Being able to repay your loan before your visa’s expiry date
      - Having an Australian residence
      - Having an Australian bank account

      I hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  2. Default Gravatar
    jhamela | October 31, 2016

    I see above the following blurb
    “As an aside, New Zealand citizens can borrow up to 95% of the property value, even if they live in New Zealand. As Australia and New Zealand share the same credit reporting system, New Zealand citizens’ applications will be assessed on their credit history. If the applicant lives outside New Zealand and Australia, they may be treated as a foreign citizen and be offered to borrow up to only 80% of the property value. Of course, the percentage available to borrow will depend on the particular loan’s maximum Loan to Valuation Ratio (LVR).”

    my question is are Australian banks allowed to credit check NZ citizens? Is it not illegal under the privacy Act? I understand Veda is operating in both the countries, but are they not bound by the law of the specific land? Or are they allowed to share credit information?

    also, could you please confirm that bank do a credit check on NZ citizens?

    Thanks so much
    Jhamela

    • Staff
      Stephanie | November 1, 2016

      Hi Jhamela,

      Thanks for your question.

      The provisions of s 5B of the Privacy Act dealing with its application to acts and practices outside Australia do not apply to the credit reporting provisions. Therefore Australian credit providers can check New Zealand credit reports, however they may choose not to.

      While Veda operates in both Australia and New Zealand, Veda Advantage doesn’t include information about foreign loans in their reports.

      I hope this has helped,

      Stephanie

  3. Default Gravatar
    hali | October 2, 2016

    hi
    is there any a loans for international student

    • Staff
      Stephanie | October 3, 2016

      Hi Hali,
      Thanks for your question.
      As mentioned in the article, student loans are not available for international students however personal loans may be. You will need to contact your desired lender to discuss your options for this.
      Hope that helps,
      Stephanie

  4. Default Gravatar
    Viv | September 12, 2016

    I have a PR in the skilled nominated sub class 190 sponsored by the state of Victoria and I am trying to seek a mortgage to buy a house and wanted to know what is the best way to go forward. Also wanted to seek if there is a difference in buying an off plan property with specific reference to loan. I have heard the ratio is 30 % deposit and 70 % Mortgage and a 5% fee is it correct.

    So confused and would appreciate your feedback.

    Many thanks … Viv

    • Staff
      Stephanie | September 13, 2016

      Hi Viv,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Please be advised that finder.com.au is a financial comparison website and not a broker. To speak to a broker direct please fill the the request form on this page.
      As mentioned above, temporary residents may purchase property, however you will need to meet the lender’s criteria in order to be eligible for a home loan wit them.
      You can find more information about buying off the plan here.
      I hope this has helped,
      Stephanie

  5. Default Gravatar
    Richard | August 21, 2016

    Hi. We are NZ Citizens and have put an offer in on a business in Melbourne. We now need to sell our house in Auckland to embark on the next chapter. We need bridging finance until we have sold the house. We are Westpac customers. What is the best solution? Could we get bridging finance through Westpac Aus and when the house is sold the proceeds of the sale can be transferred to Westpac Aus and the loan will be repaid? Many thanks.

    • Staff
      Stephanie | August 22, 2016

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can find out more about bridging finance and whether it suits your situation here.

      In terms of solutions, as you are Westpac customers, it might be worth contacting their financial advisers/planners for the best solution that they can provide for your circumstances.

      Regards,

      Stephanie

  6. Default Gravatar
    TrishR | August 11, 2016

    Hi, I have a car loan in Australia with Macquarie that is nearly complete in December 2016. However there is a bubble payment of $20,000 that I need a loan to cover. My issue is I am living and working in NZ at the moment. I am in permanent employment and earning good money. I own a house in Australia that is rented out. I need to find a financial institution that will let lend the money? Any ideas?

    • Staff
      Stephanie | August 16, 2016

      Hi Trish,

      Thanks for your contact.

      You can find out more about bubble or balloon payments here, which includes details on refinancing your payment.

      To speak to one of our advisers further, please fill in the form on the page.

      Regards,

      Stephanie

  7. Default Gravatar
    Yuvi | August 5, 2016

    Hi,

    I am a full time international student and currently working part time with a steady income to support myself.I am looking at applying for a loan of AUD 30000. I am on a 2 years study visa and very keen at extending it to another 2 years as TR. Do you think, I would be eligible for the loan if I am state the payment period to be 3 years?

    Please advice.

    • Staff
      Stephanie | August 5, 2016

      Hi Yuvi,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please be advised that finder.com.au is a financial comparison site and not a lender.

      There are a number of Australian lender who will consider applications from temporary residents such as yourself. Certain lenders do offer loan lengths for as little a one year, which may suit your circumstance.

      You can compare lenders and their eligibility requirements for non-residents on our Personal Loans for Temporary Residents page. For more specific enquiries and to see if you are eligible for a loan, pleases contact your desired lender direct.

      Regards,

      Stephanie

  8. Default Gravatar
    | August 1, 2016

    hi,

    please i need help, this is my last semester in uni however i have been unable to raise 12k for my tuition which is due this month,i wrote to my bank but i was declined cos i have less than 2years left on my visa, kindly advise on lenders with repayment period btw 6 months and 1year .

    ps:i am an international student on visa 573,pls i need your feedback urgently

    • Staff
      Stephanie | August 2, 2016

      Hi Yinka,

      Thanks for your question.

      RateSetter is one of the few lenders with terms for less than 12-months but unfortunately they do not lend money to non-residents. St George’s Get Set Line of Credit has no set repayment term or Fair Go Finance may be worth reaching out to for a loan however whether you are eligible for one will be up to their criteria and discretion.

      You can learn more about loans for non-residents here.

      I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      Stephanie

  9. Default Gravatar
    | July 22, 2016

    I’m from Norfolk island, we recently became part of Australia we are 100% part of the tax system etc.but I cannot get a loan anywhere in Australia because our phone numbers start with +672 not 04..it can bring a person to tears when we get told over and over “you are now all 100% Australian” yet company after company say “you are not part of Australia” what do I do!! I’m so frustrated and lost..

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | July 27, 2016

      Hi Racheal,

      Because it is still a transition period for Norfolk Island becoming part of Australia, you might find it difficult to be approved for a loan straight away. You may have luck applying in-branch in Norfolk Island, but you may be better off applying once the transition period is over.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance,

      Elizabeth

  10. Default Gravatar
    | July 20, 2016

    hi sir, do colleges in Australia also offer international students with loans just as the universities do?

    • Staff
      Stephanie | July 27, 2016

      Hi Eliah,

      Thanks for your question.

      Most universities offer grants and scholarships, while some also offer student and general purpose loans for full fee-paying onshore international students or students with permanent residency. Note that all loans are subject to the university’s student loans policy and are granted at the university’s discretion. This may or may not be the same with your college, depending on who you are studying with.

      To review all your options, consider making an appointment with your educational institution’s student financial assistance officer.

      If a student loan is unavailable, international students might wish to consider applying for a personal loan to aid them in their financial situation.

      I hope that helps,

      Stephanie

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