Questions about IPF


Our team of bi-ligual, CeMap-qualified mortgage consultants specialise in arranging residential mortgages for non-residents purchasing property abroad. Our main markets are France and Spain. In 2020 we were awarded 'Best Specialist Mortgage Broker' in the British Bank Awards so we


Our main markets are France and Spain, but we are able to assist, for loans over €1M in other European countries such as Italy, Portugal, and Switzerland.


Our minimum loan amount for a French mortgage is €150,000. As the maximum LTV available for a noon-resident is 85%, we can therefore only assist with property purchases over €180,000. In Spain, our minimum loan amount is €250,000 and the maximum LTV is usually 70%


Yes, we are proud to have been the first UK-based international mortgage broker to become regulated after the European Mortgage Directive came into force in 2016. All out Mortgage Consultants are CeMap-qualified and able to offer you mortgage advice. Please bear in mind that any French-based mortgage brokers, or the bank's direct sales team do not have these qualifications and can not offer you advice on the most suitable products for your circumstances. If they are not FCA-regulated, then you will not be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You can find our details on the FCA register under number: 726230


We work with over 50 international retail and private banks across France, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Monaco. As there is no electronic mortgage sourcing system for international mortgages, the only way to scour the whole market is to have relationships with all the banks that will lend to non-residents. Due to the volume of business we have conducted over the past 12 years, and the depth of the relationships we have cultivated, we have the largest panel of lenders in the market.


Client questions


You first need to complete our online form and book a phone appointment with one of our Consultants. Once they have ascertained your priorities and assessed your financial profile you will be sent a set of mortgage illustrations, or quotes. These detail the products and rates that are the most suitable for you and the costs involved. If you would like to go ahead with an application, you just need to inform us that you have transferred our Commitment fee (or call us if you would prefer to pay by card over the phone) and signed our Engagement Letter. We will send you a Welcome Pack and set up a Welcome Call and off we go!


Our fees are split into two payments. The first fee, typically between £250 - £500, is due when you would like to engage our services - this can be paid by card or bank transfer and is non-refundable. The second fee, based on a percentage of the loan amount and the product you choose to apply for, is payable when a formal mortgage offer is issued. The fees are detailed in every mortgage illustration we provide you so that you are aware from the very start of the process of all the costs involved.


The more information we have regarding your financial situation and plans for the future, the more confident we can be that we can secure you an overseas mortgages and the rates and products that will be available to you. We will need to understand your current income, the level of all your liabilities (existing mortgages, car loans, credit cards) and what savings, investments and other assets you have. The international banks are forensic in their analysis, and so are we - this ensures that there are no surprises further down the line. For more information about the paperwork required, please check out our video.


We are not lawyers and are not qualified to give you any legal advice. We always recommend that you get independent legal advice on any document you are asked to sign and can certainly recommend a number of dual-qualified lawyers. That being said we will carry out a check of the compromis de vente and your mortgage offer to ascertain that the key details around the agreed price and loan amount are correct, and that the appropriate clause suspensive is in place and will flag any concerns we have to you. However, the responsibility on ensuring you have read everything in the documents and are happy to sign them remains with you.


French mortgages


Typically, it takes around 3 months to purchase a house in France - that's from the point you have signed the pre-contract (compromis de vente, or CDV), to transferring the funds and receiving the keys, whether you purchase with cash or with a mortgage. Assuming you haven't already got an Approval in Principle, the time taken from submitting an application (with all the paperwork) to receiving the formal mortgage offer will take around 4- 6 weeks with IPF, but can take over 3 months if you go to a bank directly! If we have already obtained an AIP for you, the formal mortgage offer can be issued in a much shorter timeframe.


In short, no! The notaire takes around 2 months to carry out all the checks and diagnostiques on the property, and IPF can easily apply for and obtain a formal mortgage offer for you within that time. In fact, becuase of our processes and the comprehensive service we offer, 80% of our clients complete BEFORE the date set in their compromis!


They don't use income multiples in France. Instead, they use a debt-to-income ratio, whereby they want to see that you don't spend more than around a third of your monthly income paying off your contractual debts (so that's your mortgages, car finance, credit cards where you don't pay the full amount off each month, personal loans, child maintenance). Check out our Mortgage Application Guides for more information on the eligibility and affordability criteria used by the French banks, or plug your information into our French Mortgage Calculator.


Yes, French banks will lend to self-employed persons (and anyone who is a Director of a business with more than 25% of the shareholding will be classed as self-employed). You will need to have tax returns and company accounts dating back 3 years. Bear in mind that the French banks will look at the salary you have taken from your business, and may not take into account the dividends - so please get in contact with us so we can help you understand how to best present your situation to the French banks to avoid jeopardising any French mortgage application.


It's not an immediate 'no' but it will depend on a variety of other factors, such as the level of your income, whether the overdraft is authorised, or if you have savings elsewhere. It is undeniable however that the banks will look more favourably on those that don't use their overdraft and those that pay off their credit cards at the end of the month.


Not unless you want to borrow more than €2M - in which case we can work with the UK-based Private Banks. However, if you are looking for a loan size of less than that, the only option is to use a retail (high street) bank based in France. Which is what we do - so get in touch!


Firstly, be wary of the ultra-low rates you may see on the internet as they are a) likely to be only available to French residents, and b) if they are available to non-residents they will also require you to take out life insurance and also deposit a large sum of money with the lender. These can then make the rate more expensive than the slightly higher rates offered elsewhere, which don't come with 'strings' attached.

You can check out some of the more popular products in our French mortgage rates table, but we work with all the banks that will lend to non-residents so do get in touch so we can find you the product and rate most suitable to your circumstances


Spanish mortgages


Becoming a partner


We are the experts in obtaining overseas mortgages for non-residents and have a 97% mortgage approval rate. You can simply, leave it up to us. Allowing you to focus on what you do best, be that selling houses, advising people how to invest their money, or brokering UK mortgages. We also have a referral commission scheme, so not only will you have more time to make more sales, you will also be rewarded for any clients you refer to us that go on to take out a mortgage that we broker for them.


Every enquiry we receive is asked to specify where they heard about us and it is logged on their file. We can also send you a personalised URL link to our form that will auto-populate the 'recommended by' field with your details, should you wish to put a link to it on your site or in an email. Or you can simply email us directly with your client's details and we will do the rest. Once their mortgage is completed and we have received all the fees due to us, you will be sent a percentage of the total we receive for that file. The percentage is based on a sliding scale, based on the volume of loans we broker for all clients referred by you. For more details, please email partnerships@internationalprivatefinance.com


Please just email partnerships@internationalprivatefinance.com and we can take it from there!