These things may affect your mortgage application

These things may affect your mortgage application

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Everyone has their own reasons for buying a house and because each situation is different,, an informative website that provides guidance for expats who are looking to buy a home in the Netherlands, will highlight a few important things that may affect your chances of getting a mortgage.

If you are applying for a mortgage at a bank, there are a couple of things, besides being a Dutch resident, that will influence the bank’s decision regarding your mortgage, such as:

  1. Your nationality
  2. Reason for purchase
  3. Income from work
  4. Business income / self-employment
  5. Income from outside of the Netherlands
  6. Student loans

1. Nationality

If you are from the Netherlands, it’s relatively easy to apply for a mortgage here. However, if you do not have a Dutch passport, this isn’t always the case.

Do you have an EU passport?

Some banks may be a bit stricter and will have additional requirements, but, in general, if you are an EU citizen, you are considered to be “Dutch”.

Are you from outside of the EU?

If you are from outside of the EU, other rules apply. In most cases, you will have to have lived and worked in the Netherlands for quite some time before you can apply for a mortgage.

Registration and BSN

In any case, Dutch, EU-citizen or not; you need to be registered in the Netherlands and have a BSN number in order to apply for a mortgage. If you are an international, it could be that banks will not finance the mortgage up to the limit of 100%, but set a lower limit, such as 90% or 85% loan to value. Luckily, the longer you have lived and worked in the Netherlands, the more options you will have and the less (extra) requirements there are.

2. Reason for purchase

Are you buying a house for yourself, or are you buying it for investment purposes?

For yourself

If you are buying a house in the Netherlands for yourself, meaning you (and your family) will be living there, you can get a higher mortgage from the mortgage providers than if you are purchasing a buy-to-let property. Also, the interest will be tax deductible.


Do you already own a house and are you looking to invest? Maybe you are considering buying a house to let? But what if you do not have enough savings to make the purchase and need the bank to help you out? How difficult is it to get a buy-to-let mortgage?

If you are considering buying a house to let, first you need to do some investigating. Ask yourself the following questions: How much does the house cost, are there any other (hidden) costs, what would the rent be, and how high would your mortgage be?

There are not that many banks that offer a so-called “buy-to-let mortgage”, and the ones that do usually have additional requirements. Generally, you will need to live and work in the Netherlands and be able to pay a large amount of the money yourself, roughly 40%. Also, keep in mind that the interest rates for a buy-to-let property are higher as well. 

3. Income from work

How easy it is to get a mortgage also depends on the employment type / work contract that you have. In the case of a permanent contract, no problem. If you have a temporary contract, it is important to request a letter of intent or something similar from your employer.

If you work for a payroll company, have variable working hours, a 0-hour contract or work via an employment agency (uitzendbureau), the mortgage provider will determine your income in a different way. What will count as your income is usually your average income over the past three years, with the last year as a maximum.

If you haven’t worked in the Netherlands for that long, there is a good chance this will influence your mortgage application. Some banks demand that you have worked in the Netherlands for at least 3 years. If you have worked outside of the Netherlands, in most cases, that income is not taken into account.

4. Business income / self-employment

If you are self-employed, your income will be assessed differently. Also, your company needs to be located in the Netherlands and registered at the Dutch chamber of commerce. Moreover, you need to have completed at least one financial year.

If all that is mentioned above applies to your situation, you can apply for a mortgage, but of course, you will need to provide some good numbers. Because you only have one or two years of income, banks only take a part of the income into account (one to two years in business means around 75% of the profit).

In addition, they could ask for an income statement from a specialised firm. You are advised to check with your mortgage consultant first to understand the options you have and what needs to be done. If you have had your business for three years or longer, banks usually take the average of the past three years to assess your income.

5. Income from outside of the Netherlands

Of course, it could be the case that your employer is not located in the Netherlands, but abroad, such as in Belgium, Germany or the USA. Your mortgage options are a bit more limited, but your case is still not impossible.

If you receive your income in euros (in your Dutch bank account!), it will definitely work in your favour. If you receive your income in a different currency, it is a different story. Your income will be converted to euros and will be lowered to 90% of the converted value.

Note: Because you do not work in the Netherlands, (usually) you do not pay taxes here (if you work in Belgium, Luxemburg or Germany that could be different). This means you are not eligible for interest tax deduction or other tax advantages. Also, the mortgage calculation is slightly different; the amount you can borrow is lower, as the interest is not tax deductible.

6. Student loans

Even though you might have a student loan, there are still options to get a mortgage. Of course, the loan will be taken into account, so you will be able to borrow less. It all depends on the monthly payment and the amount of the original loan.

In the Dutch system, the original loan is considered the starting point and 0,75% of that amount is considered the “monthly payment”. If you make an extra repayment on the loan, apply for a change of the monthly payment with DUO (Dutch institution who deals with student loans) and you have the confirmation letter of that new payment, banks may use that new (and lower) amount.

Suppose you have a student loan with an initial debt of 50.000 euros. Your monthly payment is considered to be 375 euros. The monthly payment for the student loan has an influence on what you are allowed to borrow. If that amount is lower, the maximum mortgage is lower as well.

In the case of a loan abroad, either the Dutch calculation will be used, or the amount you are paying now. If this is not in euros, it will be converted to euros. The bank will use whichever amount is the highest.

For example, you have a student loan of 50.000 USD; converted to euros this is 43.000 euros. Your monthly payment is 400 USD. According to the “Dutch method”, your monthly payment is 323 euros. 400 USD converted to euros is 344 euros. So, in this case, the amount that will be taken into account by the bank is 344 euros. If the monthly payment was 300 euros after conversion, the Dutch method would be used (so 323 euros).

Are you interested in a chat about your possibilities, or do want to learn even more about Dutch mortgages? The advisors at MortgageMonster are keen to help you out with the whole mortgage process and pave the road to a smooth transfer to your new home.

Jan Thomas  Fokkens


Jan Thomas Fokkens

Since 2010 I am working in the Dutch Finance branch and for the past years I have been taking care of mortgages. Starting at the back office, I was able...

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Claudia Beaurivage 19:05 | 30 October 2019

Might be a naive question, but how are the Dutch banks informed about student loans that are from abroad (ex: US or Canada) ?