How to apply for a housing loan in the Philippines if you are a foreigner

In recent years, there has been a growing interest of foreigners to own real estate property in the country.  However, Philippine law is strict when it comes to foreigners acquiring properties in the country. 

What types of real estate properties can a foreigner own in the Philippines?

While purchasing a property in the Philippines is possible for a foreigner, there are limitations as to what property and how much a non-Filipino can buy.

By law, non-Filipinos cannot own land in the Philippines.  They may buy condominium units, but this is still subject to a 40-percent restriction for foreigners. 

READ: How can a foreigner own a property in the Philippines?

What types of mortgages are available?

With an economy that’s growing and a property market that’s hot among foreign investors, banks have become a bit more relaxed, and home loans are now made available to foreigners.

There are local and global banks in the country offering a wide variety of mortgage products. Here are some banks you can look at. We recommend you contact each bank individually, for an individual assessment and up-to-date information.

When choosing a bank for a home loan, weigh your options based on interest rates, payment terms, and processing period.

What are the legal requirements needed?

The list of documents needed will depend on the bank you use. You will most likely be asked for the following:

  • Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)
  • Copies of your personal identification documents (passport), your visa type, and validity
  • Proof of legal residence in the Philippines
  • Documents to support your application and proof of income (certificate of employment, bank certificate, etc)

You might also need to have your paperwork translated by a sworn translator in order for the bank to accept it.

What are the fees to be paid for?

You’re likely to have fees to pay such as administrative fees and legal costs when you arrange a mortgage. The exact costs will vary.

You can also expect to pay the following fees when purchasing a property in the country:

  • Documentary stamps tax: 1.5% of purchase costs in most cases
  • Transfer tax: 0.5% to 0.75% of the house price, depending on the municipality you’re buying in
  • Notary fees: depends on the deal arranged, average of about 1% to 1.5%
  • Possible loan arrangement fees
  • Registration fee: based on the property price and location