There’s a lot to think about when buying a property in France and even if you already speak good French, you will likely come across a host of unfamiliar words and French mortgage vocabulary along the way.
When it comes to signing your mortgage contract or Compromis de Vente, we highly recommended seeking the services of an English-speaking mortgage broker, legal representative or a French-English translator.
But to help get you started, we’ve put together all the essential French mortgage vocabulary and terms.
Essential French Mortgage Terms
The key people, contracts, and legal jargon that you need to know when applying for your French mortgage. For vocabulary and useful phrases related to the buying process, see our guide to French Property Vocabulary.
Accord de prêt or accord en principe – a mortgage Agreement in Principal
Acte de Vente or Acte Authentique – the final purchase-sale contract signed by the buyer and seller of a property in France.
ADII (Assurance Décès Invalidité Incapacité) – life and incapacity insurance.
Agences immobilières or Immobilier – Estate Agents or Estate Agency
Compromis de Vente – a legally binding contract that sets out terms of a property sale agreement
Clauses Suspensives – provisional conditions that can be added to the Compromis de Vente
Crédit à taux fixe – fixed-rate loan
crédit à taux revisable– variable-rate loan
Dépôt de garantie — The security deposit paid after signing the Compromis de Vente, typically 10%
Demande de prêt immobilier – mortgage application
Durée de votre prêt – mortgage term
Euribor – Benchmark interest rates in the Euro area.
Franchise or période de franchise – the term of an interest-only mortgage
Mandat de recherche de financement – the mandate given to a mortgage broker to negotiate on your behalf
Montant de votre prêt – loan amount
Montant de votre mensualité – monthly payment amounts
Notaire – the public officer legally responsible for conveyancing in France
Offre de prêt – mortgage loan offer
Prêt Immobilier – mortgage
Essential French Mortgage Vocabulary
An A-Z glossary of all the essential words and vocabulary you might come across during your French Mortgage application.
Acheteur – the buyer
Acompte – deposit or downpayment
Acquérir – to buy (e.g. a property or land) or become the owner of
Adosser – to secure a loan with a life insurance policy
Amortissement – repayment schedule
Approvisionner (un compte) – to credit (an account)
Argent Liquide – cash
Assurance Emprunteur – Loan insurance (life insurance)
Assurance de prêt – loan insurance
Banque de Consignation – the bank into which you transfer the notaire’s fees
CAP – cap (maximum) rate of interest on a loan
Capacité de remboursement – repayment capacity
Crédit-relais – bridging loan
Délai de réflexion/Délai de rétractation – cooling-off period
Fonds de Roulement – capital required by flat-owners in an apartment block in case of unexpected liabilities
Frais de Dossier – mortgage arrangement fee
Frais d’Hypothèque – mortgage taxes and fees paid to the Notaire
Frais de mainlevée – release fees (when ending a mortgage before the term)
Frais de Notaire – notaire fees on the sale of a French property
Frais de tenue de compte – bank account fees
Échéance – date of payment/financial commitment
Hypothèque –mortgage deed
Hypothèque conventionelle – conventional mortgage charge
Hypothéque de privilège de prêteur de deniers – Priority Lien Charge
Immobilier – property or real estate
Immobilière – estate agent
Nantissement – legal pledge or guarantee
Offre de Prêt – loan offer
Prêt – loan
Prêt Immobilier – mortgage
Prêt Modulable – flexible mortgage
Prêt Relais – bridging loan for personal contribution.
Prêt à taux zéro (PTZ) – Zero-interest loan
Prêteur – lender
Retirer (de l’argent) – withdraw (money/funds)
Taux – (Interest) rate
Taux de Change – exchange rate
Taux Fixe – fixed interest rate
Taux Révisable – variable interest rate
Valeur Locative – market rental rate
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