Mortgage Update: French Mortgages for the Over-60s

Mortgage Update: French Mortgages for the Over-60s

Since the 1970s, France has been a property and lifestyle destination for retired and pre-retirees from overseas, particularly the UK. Every week we speak with clients in their 50s and 60s who are either looking for a holiday home or to retire permanently to France and enjoy in the sunshine. Last month we even heard from an elderly couple in the US where the husband was 80 and the wife was 95!

Although 60 isn’t considered ‘old’ anymore – with many people continuing to work well into their 70s, there are some extra considerations when looking to get finance in France. Simply put, it is harder and more expensive to get finance at the age of 65 than 55.

We spoke with David Carbuccia of Ambassador International Mortgages in Paris, about some of the hurdles a prospective borrower over the age of 60 might face when applying for a home loan in France.

Retirement horizon

David Carbuccia: “Most French lenders have direct age requirements because they appreciate how the borrowers’ retirement income will impact their affordability and debt-to-income ratio in the long run.”

Alistair Lockhart, Property Director at FrenchEntrée: “We talk to a lot of individuals and couples in their late-fifties and early-sixties who are still employed or self-employed, and earning a reasonable income. Any French lender is going to look at their ages and wonder (a) when they will be retiring, i.e. stopping work and (b) what the impact would be on their income. This is why the financial buffer of liquid savings or investments is very important to French lenders.”

Life Insurance

David Carbuccia: “Mortgage protection life insurance is usually mandatory, which impacts the annual percentage rate (APR). If you are over 60 you will be required to have what is known as a ‘Senior Policy. This will run alongside the mortgage, and increase in proportion with the risk insured and the borrower’s age.”

Maximum Loan Duration

David Carbuccia: “Most of the time, the maximum age at the end of a mortgage term can’t exceed 75 or 80 years old because the life insurance premium is much higher under senior policy, which impacts the APR significantly.”

Alistair Lockhart: “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!”

Maximum legal rate of interest

David Carbuccia: “French home loans are heavily regulated and subject to a legal cap, called “Taux légal de l’usure”. For example, fixed mortgages from 10 to 20 years amortizing cannot exceed 2.40% maximum APR, which greatly limits financing options for senior client”

(click on the links below for more detailed information):

If you’re considering a French mortgage to finance your dream of owning a property in France, feel free to get in touch for an informal chat. You can either email us at [email protected] or complete our online enquiry form.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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  •  Laura Cruz
    2022-08-10 04:13:08
    Laura Cruz tell me I'm a dreamer, but I've thought forever of moving to France, in a couple of years..depending on our economy...I have approximately $200,000 in equity...which I would want to put at least $100,000 down on a house...I've been looking in various areas. Was curious about doing Airbnb in France..why I'm looking at 3 bd/2 ba or 4 bd/2ba...I have numerous friends that I know would come to visit and pay to stay in France and they would share with family and friends. I'm attempting to do Airbnb here in the U.S...just getting used to the business. I'm looking at houses around $200,000-$300,000...which I've found, but I need to learn about the areas more...I'm not looking at making a fortune. I do have $1500 a month from social security and $1500 a month from investments. How would I fare? I'm in good health, no meds..very active. Of course I need to relearn the language, I do pick it up rather easy for as many times that I've been to seems to come back and become familiar. I would like to enjoy the things I love about France and share them with family and friends. I do have family scattered about in France. I know many houses have huge land..I'm thinking 600m-1200m the limit..I have a pretty big yard here in U.S. that I care for myself which I love. I understand things can happen, but I'm optimistic and outgoing, care about my health and enjoying life. Than you for your time in advance. The job I work at currently is about 35 hours a week and I may walk up to 9 miles a day. I shop in a grocery store for people. Im going to be 71 years old in September this year.


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-08-15 11:50:44
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Laura, Many Americans purchase French property and make the move to France every year, so it is absolutely possible! A good place to start would be our Buying Property and Moving to France zones, where you will find lots of articles talking you through every step of the process. I think the biggest obstacle to you buying in France would be that you would not qualify for a French mortgage due to your age - so you would need to look at buying something within your budget - however, depending where you look in France, that is absolutely doable! I also suggest becoming a FrenchEntrée member which you can do here It's free and gives you access to our property experts and our full database of properties, making it a great place to start your search! Best of luck in making your dreams come true! Zoe