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Best banks for mortgage for new arrival to Sweden

One income, 1+ dependents and UK mortgage still

northernlad
post 1.Jan.2018, 02:55 PM
Post #1
Joined: 1.Jan.2018

Hi

I am British and have recently moved to Stockholm with my Swedish wife. She is studying at university and I am working. She is a few weeks into a pregnancy (due date July / August). We are currently living in temporary rented accommodation until February and plan to rent after that too for a little while until we find somewhere to buy, ideally before the summer.

We are probably looking to buy a 3 room (2 bed) flat in outer Stockholm, and we have enough for a 15% deposit for this.

We're aware of the current situation in the market and that loan terms have got a bit tighter.

I'd really appreciate people's views on which banks are most likely to grant us a mortgage and to be most generous - or more general advice - given the following circumstances:

- I have only worked for a few weeks in Sweden, only recently got a personnummer and a bank account etc. So no credit history yet. My wife also does not have a Swedish credit history as she lived in the UK for eight years until now. We both have good UK credit histories.
- I still have a UK mortgage. The outstanding amount on it is nearly double my income, but the monthly rent from renting it out more than covers the mortgage cost. (I want to sell it but will probably have to wait until the mortgage fix expires in December 2018 otherwise there's a hefty early repayment fee.) I've kept up to date with all the payments on it. Is the typical Swedish bank loan limit of 4-5 times income likely to be less due to having this mortgage already?
- We only have one income, albeit it is at a fairly good level.
- My job is a permanent one, but on the contract it states that the first 6 months (until June) is probationary.
- Obviously we're not planning to mention anything re pregnancy / children / being on parental leave to the bank, hence the reason for applying now!, but would be good to know which banks are more lenient on this issue as we'd probably try to get a bigger mortgage and move to a bigger place in a year or two's time.

I saw a couple of posts on the forum suggesting that Handelsbanken and Skandia are good banks to get a mortgage for expats?

Very grateful for any thoughts / experiences of those in a similar-ish boat.

northernlad
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hatim
post 1.Jan.2018, 04:19 PM
Post #2
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 31.Dec.2010

Well if you have a Swedish salary then it would be fine. You have credit history in another EU country so it is some thing. Also Handles has branches in UK, may be that can help.

You have to show that you will be able to pay back the loan and the premium. I am not sure what is generous rate but you can find some list rates here .

https://www.compricer.se/borantor/#three_months_to_two_years

I would check with Ikano, they have new properties popping up around the city and they might be more open than traditional banks.
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Rick Methven
post 1.Jan.2018, 06:33 PM
Post #3
Location: Linköping
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

You would normally have to have a minimum of 12 months employment with a Swedish company and permanent employment status to get a mortgage.
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northernlad
post 1.Jan.2018, 08:10 PM
Post #4
Joined: 1.Jan.2018

Many thanks for this.

ONe more thought - would I be able to get a bigger loan / a loan more easily if I apply for the mortgage in my own name? They will be able to see I'm married.

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northernlad
post 1.Jan.2018, 08:12 PM
Post #5
Joined: 1.Jan.2018

@Rick Methven

I see. I thought that others on the forum had got loans while newly arrived in Sweden, but thanks for the heads up.
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yet another brit
post 2.Jan.2018, 12:13 PM
Post #6
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

The banks can be reasonably flexible - many find that the larger banks (Handelsbanken in particular) are more prepared to look outside the "check lists", especially if you can develop a personal relationship. If you don't like the answer at one branch, try another. Also, ask around in your network at work etc for contacts at the banks, a personal intro will help. In theory there is no reason why they shouldn't be able to help you.

Handelsbankens (and others) published interest rates are higher than others, and should be taken (and are intended to be taken) as starting point for an individual negotiation process.
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northernlad
post 2.Jan.2018, 01:30 PM
Post #7
Joined: 1.Jan.2018

That's really helpful, yetanotherbrit.

Also does anyone happen to know if banks are likely to be amenable to granting a bridging loan until I can sell my UK property and release more funds at the end of 2018?
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yet another brit
post 3.Jan.2018, 10:31 AM
Post #8
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

The banks will give you bridging loans if they think you can cover them; this is though one of the things that is slowing the market right now; banks are becoming more wary of them as apartments become a bit slower to shift (attendant risk of it all becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy).

For years, you didn't get UK-style chains here precisely because the banks were really good about bridging loans, as apartments in Stockholm were selling in days, but that is said to be changing.
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Cheeseroller
post 3.Jan.2018, 12:47 PM
Post #9
Location: Germany
Joined: 10.Apr.2007

You will need to shop around. I discussed a bridging loan with SEB a few months ago - bearing in mind I opened private and business accounts in 1999 and have a 18 year old business that has made good profits every year - he told me it would be "difficult" as the bank is pessimistic about the housing market and expects prices to fall.

Fortunately, we didn't need to do this - it was just an idea to possibly move our son closer to town. Given SEB's pessimism, I decided not to ask other banks and end up with a more expensive property with the potential for bigger loses.
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northernlad
post 4.Jan.2018, 10:21 AM
Post #10
Joined: 1.Jan.2018

Thanks all. When I walked into Handelsbanken yesterday I was surprised to be told that I needed to have my bank account with them in order to apply for a mortgage. Hopefully the online application process will be more welcoming...
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yet another brit
post 4.Jan.2018, 01:43 PM
Post #11
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

QUOTE (northernlad @ 4.Jan.2018, 10:21 AM) *
Thanks all. When I walked into Handelsbanken yesterday I was surprised to be told that I needed to have my bank account with them in order to apply for a mortgage. Hopefully t ... (show full quote)


No, that is pretty normal, and the other banks will do the same. They may want to see your salary going into one of their accounts (not really sure why, other than to be able to sell you even more products), but nothing stops you opening more accounts elsewhere.
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slhwhitworth@gmail.com
post 10.Jan.2018, 02:58 PM
Post #12
Joined: 10.Jan.2018

Hi,
This thread is very topical for me. My wife and I have been living and working in Sweden for 10 months and both bank with SEB. Initially SEB seemed keen to provide us with a mortgage (we have sufficient earnings and 15%+ deposit in our account) but in a phone call today when I was hoping to get the lånelöfte they have said that because we have minimal credit history here and have yet to complete an annual tax return, we will both need to provide:
1. Certificates from our employers confirming employment terms
2. Bank statements and pay slips from the last three months.
3. Letters of recommendation from our UK banks
4. Certificates showing all assets and liabilities with UK banks

#1 and #2 are fair enough and can be obtained quickly but god knows how long our UK banks will take to come back with #3 and #4. Does anyone have any experience of this? Do you think if we approach another bank they may be more accommodating?

Thanks in advance
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yet another brit
post 10.Jan.2018, 06:39 PM
Post #13
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

QUOTE (slhwhitworth@gmail.com @ 10.Jan.2018, 02:58 PM) *
Hi,This thread is very topical for me. My wife and I have been living and working in Sweden for 10 months and both bank with SEB. Initially SEB seemed keen to provide us with ... (show full quote)


When I first moved to Sweden (admittedly a number of years ago),my UK bank suggested and provided a letter of recommendation before I left...seemed to be standard at the time and was done on the spot. Charged me a fiver for it though.
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nicola4444
post 10.Jan.2018, 07:17 PM
Post #14
Joined: 4.Oct.2015

Have you applied for a lånlöfte from a bank yet?

Usually you can do it online and then hear back in a week or two

Here's a blog post on how to do that

http://www.checkinsweden.se/blog/buying-apartment-1
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slhwhitworth@gmail.com
post 11.Jan.2018, 12:39 PM
Post #15
Joined: 10.Jan.2018

QUOTE (yet another brit @ 10.Jan.2018, 06:39 PM) *
When I first moved to Sweden (admittedly a number of years ago),my UK bank suggested and provided a letter of recommendation before I left...seemed to be standard at the time ... (show full quote)

Yeah, that's what SEB want now. I kind of hoped the era of electronic banking and credit checks meant we were past such things. Do you recall how long it took to get the letter sent to your Swedish bank?
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