“I’m a self-employed Australian expat living and working abroad, can I still get a home loan in Australia..?”

The good news is that the answer to this question in most instances is yes.

Of the lenders that accept Australian citizens and Permanent Residents (PR) living and working abroad in other countries, not all of them will accept those who are self-employed. The good news is that there are still a few options here, and in most cases, self-employed applicants are not paying a high premium to access this funding in terms of additional costs or higher interest rates.

Let’s start with what is considered self-employed

Most Australian banks and lenders will consider you to be self-employed if you have a shareholding of 25% or more of the company. This can often include instances where the shares of the company may be held in trust or other structures where you’re the ultimate beneficiary.

What are the additional requirements for self-employed applicants?

There are a number of additional requirements if you’re self-employed and looking to obtain a mortgage or investment loan in Australia for Australian property. We’ve outlined the key requirements below:

  1. Company Financials

Where a potential borrower is self-employed, the bank or lender will typically want to see the financials for the company as well as for yourself. This could include audited company reports for the past two years, and the lender may also request a letter from your accountant for any points of clarification with regard to the company financials.

The lender will typically also want to see some consistency of earnings of the company, rather than large fluctuations. Given we are just starting to come out of Covid-19 for much of the developed world, in particular, there may be quite significant swings in earnings for many companies of the 2020 and 2021 years. Typically, a fluctuation of more than 20 – 25% could be considered quite significant for most lenders. If this is the case, speak with your broker about what the lender will accept, as well as any guidance that you may have for the years to come. This could give the lender and assessor more comfort in your application.

  1. Individual Financials

As is standard for ordinarily employed applicants to a bank, they will also request your individual financial documents in addition to those of the company. This would include payslips, bank statements, dividend statements, and your tax Notices of Assessment to reflect the income that has been reported. Depending on the jurisdiction that you’re living and working in, it may be the case that not all of the income you receive is reflected in your Notice of Assessment for reasons such as dividends not being required to be declared for example. If this is the case, it’s important to ensure that the company financials clearly outline this additional income and the lender is made aware of this.

  1. Company Liabilities

If you are a shareholder and Director of the company, then the bank or lender will also typically want to be clear on any liabilities that the company has on file. This may be credit lines, working capital, commercial loans for the business premises, or otherwise. If this is the case, the lender will typically require information and potentially statements for these liabilities also to be factored into the overall assessment.

Overall, the additional requirements for self-employed applicants are not too arduous, and certainly, mortgages and investment property loans are possible for self-employed Australian expats. If you’re thinking about buying a property in Australia, or refinancing an existing loan, be sure to reach out to an experienced Australian expat mortgage broker as early as possible to ensure that you’re taking the right steps, and have the right documentation in place to make the process as seamless as possible.


LoanSuite Pty Ltd is your lending partner for all of your home loan, investment property, business, and commercial financing needs. With our wide range of lending solutions, expertise in financial planning and investment strategies, and extensive experience in working with both Australian residents and Australian expats, we are your partners for your lending needs.

Book an obligation-free, complimentary consultation here today.

LoanSuite Pty Ltd is an Authorised Credit Representative (Credit Representative Number – 494608) of My Local Broker (Australian Credit License – 481374). Important Disclaimer: Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product.