Spouse Visa Mortgage
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Spouse Visa Mortgage Frequently Asked Questions
Listen below as Michael Webb talks all about Mortgages on a Spouse Visa.
In just under 15 minutes, you’ll know a lot more about getting your mortgage sorted.
What is a spouse visa?
A spouse visa is given to a foreign national who is married to a British or Irish citizen. It’s for someone who settled in the UK with permanent or indefinite leave to remain.
It may well also be someone married to an EU citizen or someone from other European countries like Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. They have to have had pre-settled or settled status within the UK before Brexit took effect in January 2021.
Can someone in the UK on a spouse visa get a mortgage? How do I know if I’m eligible to apply for a mortgage on a spouse visa?
You can get a mortgage on a spouse visa in the UK. Most commonly you’ll be applying with your spouse who will have the right to remain within the UK. Therefore it will be a joint application.
Your eligibility for a mortgage on a spouse visa will be down to the individual lenders. Some lenders will treat you as if both people are British, in which case there’s no other questions or criteria around that. You would just need to supply evidence of your right to remain in the UK: your visa ID card, biometric ID card and probably a share code so people can see your status online.
Some lenders will take the view that you’re a foreign national, irrespective of visa status, and therefore they will apply their foreign national policy. So you’ve got lenders at both ends of the scale – some make it exceptionally easy and others put more criteria in place.
Overall, it should be fairly easy to get a mortgage on a spouse visa within the UK market at the moment.
Are there any restrictions on the property type if you have a spouse visa?
No, the spouse visa is not going to put any restrictions on property type. It will just be the lender’s individual criteria.
They may not lend on certain types of property, certain types of construction, apartments with short or property above commercial premises, for example.
Other than that, there’s nothing that correlates between property type and spouse visa.
Can I get a joint UK mortgage if one applicant has a spouse visa?
Yes, that’s the most likely way you will get a visa. It’s fairly rare in my experience for people to do the mortgage as an individual on a spouse visa. Most mortgage applications are done jointly.
Can I get a sole applicant mortgage if my partner has a spouse visa?
This question is asking if a UK citizen can get a sole applicant mortgage if their partner’s on a spouse visa – and the answer to that is of course, yes. You can apply by yourself because you’re a British citizen, or you have permanent right to remain here.
As long as you meet the deposit and credit score criteria, you can apply. It would probably be trickier the other way around, with the foreign national on the spouse visa applying.
That’s not to say it’s impossible. I’m sure it can be done, but the criteria would be much stricter that way round.
How much can I borrow with a spouse visa?
It will be exactly the same as anyone applying for a mortgage. Your income and outgoings will be assessed, and the mortgage term based on your age will somewhat dictate the affordability. There’s no direct correlation between being on a spouse visa and how much can be borrowed.
The only link is if the lender limits the Loan to Value because there is a foreign national on the application. But plenty of lenders would just view it as a standard application because it is for a British citizen.
How much deposit is needed for a spouse visa mortgage?
Some lenders are going to limit the Loan to Value to 75%, requiring a 25% deposit. Others may take a view on it, because they wouldn’t normally apply a limit to a British national.
Those are the two ends of the scale. It would depend on the lenders at the time and where their criteria and their appetite for risk falls. At the moment I wouldn’t see any real difference or extra deposit needed. You’d be able to get a lower deposit than 25% somewhere.
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What if I have bad credit? How does this affect getting a mortgage on a spouse visa?
It will affect any mortgage application in the same way, and it depends on what the bad credit is, how old it is and whether the debt is now paid. Lots of adverse credit questions would need to be answered, and that would dictate how much deposit could be requested by the lender.
If you have got bad credit, it’s worth speaking to a mortgage broker about what it is, how old it is, whether it’s up to date. Then we can advise you of where you will fall within the marketplace. We’ll explain what deposit is going to be needed to negate some lender risk and what the costs will be.
It’s not a definite no, but again, it’s just another hoop to jump through to end up with a mortgage offer.
Can I get a Buy to Let mortgage if I have a spouse visa?
Yes, again they’re likely to be joint applications. To have a spouse visa here in the UK, your partner has to have indefinite leave to remain. Lenders will take a view on that, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue to obtain a Buy to Let mortgage as long as all the other criteria fall into place.
How does remortgaging work on a spouse visa?
There are no differences. One of the things that would come into play with remortgaging is to see whether a product switch may be the better option for you. That takes all the underwriting out of the equation.
We would compare overall deals for you cost-wise and rate-wise, but generally, you’d just be looking at the overall criteria of the marketplace that the most appropriate deals for you – be they fixed, variable and for how long.
The fact that you’re remortgaging suggests that you’ve been in the country for at least a couple of years, which is also going to help build up your credit file.
How can I improve my chances of obtaining a mortgage with a spouse visa?
The longer you’ve been in the UK, the more history you’ve got and the stronger the overall application will be. Having a spouse visa, you are financially dependent on your spouse as per the regulations, but it does allow you to work.
Having employment will again help your credit score and affordability. Keeping your bank account well managed, creating a joint bank account with your spouse and things like that will overall help the credit scoring on the application.
Having as much deposit as possible is helpful, and so is assessing what’s needed with a broker.
How do I get a mortgage if I have a spouse visa?
There are nuanced bits of criteria that need to be assessed. They’re not necessarily things that brokers deal with day in day out if they’re not dealing with foreign nationals regularly.
So dealing with a mortgage broker who deals regularly with foreign nationals will have experience of different visa types and particularly spouse visas. We’ll be able to guide you through the process on what kind of paperwork you’re going to need.
The spouse visa scheme changed several years ago. it used to be that you were given a visa for three years, after which you were able to reply for indefinite leave to remain. In 2014 they changed the scheme and you now get a two and a half year spouse visa and then you need to apply for another two and a half year spouse visa. After five years you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.
So there is some planning to do around your application, so that you’re not doing your mortgage at the same time as your visa application. Although in most cases spouse visas are just automatically renewed as long as you’re still married, some lenders may refuse to lend until that’s renewed.
An understanding of how things work from a mortgage broker like ourselves is always very beneficial.
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