Global mobility activity has increased significantly over the past couple of years. At SIRVA Mortgage, we are often asked the question, “How hard is it for a global borrower to get a mortgage in the US?”
The short answer is that financing is available for these borrowers, but it is a bit harder to find and obtain. Many lenders do not offer financing to borrowers without already established US credit.
SIRVA Mortgage does have a program for your global transferees without US credit. The process takes a little longer and does have some hurdles, so it is important to start preparing your transferees early.
There are 3 primary areas to be mindful of:
- Credit: Most global borrowers do not have any US domestic credit, and therefore, no FICO scores. Because of this, a lender must ‘build’ their credit profile and create an international credit report. To do this, the borrower will need to have available four different sources of credit from their home country; one of the four must be a housing reference. This can be in the form of mortgage or rental history. The other three can be commercial (i.e. credit card, utility or installment debt). Conference calls are arranged to collect this information, and the borrower must be on the line. Each source must have at least a 12 month history, and this process can take a few weeks.
- Assets: Generally, a down payment of at least twenty percent is required. If the assets to be used for the down payment are still in accounts in the home country, these must be verified and audited. Confirmation of transfer or deposit to a US depository must be made once monies are moved.
- Visa: It is important to have your transferee’s specific work visa verified with a Loan Counselor to be sure it is one that lenders will accept. A social security number is required before a loan can close.
While these loans are a bit more work, they are available. We highly recommend speaking with a Loan Counselor as early in the process as possible. It can take 60-90 days to obtain a mortgage for a global transferee, so it is important to leave plenty of time from application to closing on a new home.