Mortgage Update: “At what point am I too old for a French mortgage?”

Mortgage Update: “At what point am I too old for a French mortgage?”

When does your age begin to count against you in the eyes of a French banking underwriter? A question we are asked on a regular basis by prospective purchasers is whether there is an age limit (or stricter conditions past a certain age) on obtaining a mortgage in France.

Certain lenders will have direct age requirements, for example, the maximum age at the end of a mortgage term can’t be more than 75 or 80 years old, for example. Alternatively, they might apply indirect criteria, such as a minimum loan duration of 8 years. These combined might make you think twice if you are dependent on a loan to purchase.

What might be more of a consideration for the lender, rather than your age, is your income and ability to repay the loan – i.e. if you are retired and drawing a pension, will this be sufficient to pass their affordability tests? French lenders are obsessed with your ability to repay the loan and how ‘liquid’ you are.
You’ll have to factor in the cost of life insurance to run alongside the mortgage, which is obviously more expensive the older the borrower. Declaring health conditions – which in late 60s may have become apparent – will also drive up the overall cost.

We’ve had a few buyers who have attempted to find a loophole to the age problem, and ask their son or daughter to be named on the loan as well. In most cases this doesn’t work, the bank will look at the date of birth of the oldest applicant to determine the conditions, not the youngest. Points for effort though!

In short – if you’re in your late 60s and in good health, have decent pensions/investment/consultancy income, you’re purchasing within your means and you’re happy with a ten year duration on the loan, you should receive a favourable response.

If you’d like to discuss your mortgage options in France, please get in touch – [email protected]

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Property Director @ FrenchEntrée

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