UK mortgage for self-employed foreign national

The mortgage application process can be complicated, particularly for clients who receive their salaries in unconventional ways. It’s even more difficult for those who live abroad, and may not have a good understanding of procedures in the UK. I was recently able to help a self-employed foreign national couple achieve their goal of purchasing a family home in Peterborough.

The couple had been living in Turkey for the last decade; he was Turkish and she was British. My clients wanted to move back to the UK for their children’s education, but as they were still living in Turkey, they had little current knowledge of how to get a mortgage in the UK. After looking for assistance online, the couple contacted us through our website.

They were hoping to purchase a large family home in her original hometown of Peterborough, and were looking for 75% loan-to-value (LTV) on a property with a purchase price of £805,000.

However, the husband was self-employed in Turkey and his tax returns did not give an accurate picture of his income, as he was essentially paying himself in director’s loans. We needed to use an accountant’s reference to explain where his income was coming from. They also had an extensive property portfolio in Turkey, so we needed to outline the value of this and any lending against it. A final challenge was that Turkey is considered a high risk country for lenders.


I worked with a lender who is flexible with both overseas and self-employed clients, making them the perfect fit for this situation. Most lenders will not work with clients who pay themselves in director’s loans, however this lender is happy to take an accountants reference, which was a real benefit for my client. The lender was willing to discuss my client’s circumstances directly to gain an understanding of how their income works, instead of just asking for a figure on a tax return.

My clients had four properties in the UK already, one of which was unencumbered. I suggested taking a charge out on one of these properties to secure the necessary loan for my clients to purchase their new home. I managed to secure an interest only loan on a 5-year product tracking LIBOR plus  3.75%. . The lender was able to do a charge on the other property under one mortgage, which was simpler for the clients.

This was a great resolution for my clients, showing how Enness works successfully with foreign nationals and self-employed clients. This was also an example of how clients who pay themselves in director’s loan can still borrow successfully.

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