There are a growing number of South African citizens that work and live abroad. Many of them intend to return to SA and often they wish to purchase property back home and pay for it with their foreign earnings.

These people fall into two categories namely those that receive their money they earn abroad paid into a local bank account and those that have an international account into which their earnings are paid.

Either way, local banks do perceive these loans as slightly riskier even if the income is significant. In such cases, they will probably require a significant deposit and the interest rate might be higher than you might expect. Banks would typically give citizens working abroad a loan of between 50 and 90%.

If you intend to purchase a home in South Africa while working abroad, ensure you keep your finances in good order, don’t leave any outstanding debts and it is best to maintain a bank account in South Africa. Having a few credit accounts that you pay regularly will also help with approval.

All of the large banks do provide loans for people earning their income abroad but each has slightly different criteria for the loans. It would be best to shop round to see where you can get the best deal. Fortunately, this can be done quite easily online.

If you have lived abroad for more than 5 years then you will be viewed as a non-resident and if you have made an application to immigrate, this will also mean you cannot apply for a loan as a South African working abroad. Different rules and criteria will apply in these cases.

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