Top tips on how to secure a mortgage in Dubai for expats

Purchasing a property can be a lengthy and confusing process, especially if you also require a mortgage to do so. We share our professional advice and top tips for expats on how to get a mortgage in Dubai.

Dubai offers so much to international professionals looking to start a new chapter in life. While renting provides a way to get setup quickly, for many a place is only truly a home once you are properly settled with a home of your own.

Getting a mortgage in Dubai if you are an expat can be a smooth process with the right help and advice.

Here are seven key tips for expats getting a mortgage and buying a property in Dubai with minimal fuss:

1 – Have your down payment ready

As an expat in Dubai, to secure a mortgage you will require at least a 20% down payment (or deposit).

Unlike in other countries, where you may be able to borrow up to 95% of the property price from a bank, in the UAE the maximum you can borrow (loan-to-value) on a residential expat mortgage is 80% – which means you will need to provide the remaining 20% as a down payment for the purchase.

Before you start looking at properties and the mortgage products available, it’s important to establish where the 20% down payment will be coming from for example, savings, investments or help from friends and family.

You can read more here for examples on where you can source your down payment.

Some banks in Dubai may want to trace the origins of your down payment, so it is worthwhile keeping any paperwork or documents which show the source of funds.

2 – Get a copy of your UAE credit report

Credit history records are not transferable between countries, so it’s important that you keep a good credit record in the UAE to show your reliability when it comes to making credit repayments. The Al Etihad Credit Bureau holds this information in the UAE and it’s useful to know ahead what your credit score is so that there are no unexpected surprises later.

You can request this report online from the bureau, this will enable you to correct or improve your score if necessary before you submit your mortgage application.

You can read here about credit scoring in Dubai and the UAE.

3 – Contact a mortgage broker

Using a mortgage broker, like Mortgage Finder, will mean you benefit from their experience and positive working relationships with banks and other third parties. A mortgage broker can help you find the right home loan that best suits your personal circumstances and keep you up to date with Central Bank regulations. They can also help with all the paperwork and make sure everything is right before you make the final application.

Connecting with a professional and experienced mortgage broker early in the process is advisable, especially if you are an expat and new to the buying journey in Dubai. There will undoubtedly be several subtle differences between a UAE mortgage and one you might get in your home country, so be sure to use an expert and to avoid getting caught out.

You can read more about the role of a mortgage broker here.

4 – Get your documentation in order

The decision on whether you will be approved for a mortgage is partly down to how you present yourself to the bank in your application. The more you can do to show that you are a low risk and reliable investment, the greater the chance of your application success.

The bank will require various pieces of paperwork and documentation as part of your application to build a picture of you and your financial situation. In order to ensure your application is processed smoothly, it is worthwhile getting all the standard required documents ready in advance of your application submission. Ensure the documents are clear to read and error-free to avoid excessive back and forth requests from the bank.

For more information on the required documents, please read our FAQ here.

5 – Sole or joint mortgage application

Whether you are applying for a mortgage alone or jointly with a spouse can have a strong impact on your application. Two salaries means more buying power, but it also means more paperwork and checks.

It is important to establish whether you will be submitting a joint or solo application early on in the process so you have a better understanding of what you can afford to borrow, also it can be difficult to add an applicant at a later date.

You can read more about joint mortgage applications here, including the pros and cons of this.

6 – Understand your budget

It’s very tempting to go for the largest mortgage a bank will offer, but rather than stretch yourself too thin, go through your finances in-depth and make sure you work out a mortgage budget you can properly afford.

Banks will scrutinise your finances before agreeing to your mortgage, so why not beat them to it? Our mortgage calculator can help you see what the monthly cost of your mortgage will be and gives you the power to plan in advance.

7 – Be honest

There’s nothing to be gained in exaggerating your financial status or trying to present yourself in a false way. There are a huge range of mortgage products available, and it is far better to get the one that truly fits your real circumstances rather than finding your application rejected for not disclosing information or misrepresenting it.

Be clear with your employment status (self-employed or employed, for example), credit situation, current income sources and all your regular outgoings so that the bank can make a true assessment on your application.

If you opt to use a mortgage broker, it is important to be open and honest with them too as they are best placed to advise you and will know what the banks will be looking out for in your application.

At Mortgage Finder we are here to help you buy your dream home or investment property. We can advise on every aspect of your mortgage journey, from any early questions, to last minute specifics. Our advisors are all experienced mortgage professionals with a drive to find you the best mortgage deal.

Fill in our contact form to have a member of our team get back to you or, for a no-obligation chat right now, why not just give us a call?

Looking for a mortgage? We can help.

Our brokers will give you an independent and personalised mortgage recommendation to ensure you get the best product.