How To Get A Mortgage In Japan As An Expat

How To Get A Mortgage In Japan As An Expat – that will be the topic of today’s article.

Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here

The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.


Tokyo rent might not be expensive as London or New York, but it’s still pretty high compare to other countries. With the interest rates in Japan so low, this could be an excellent time to own a house. Although there are several things to put in place as an expat but you’ll certainly be happy to have it.

After staying a few years in Japan with a steady income, many people with growing families start thinking about buying their own homes. If that’s what you aimed at as an expat, then keep reading to learn everything needed to know about. Besides, you need to be wary of the real estate agent in this country.

How To Get A Mortgage In Japan As An Expat

With that being said, there are no limitations to foreigners buying a home in Japan. In fact, you can purchase homes and own land for whatever purpose in the country. On the other hand, expatriates can experience some problems when purchasing real estate in Japan. Now, let’s explain the entire process!

If you’ve been surfing the internet to get the right information about getting a mortgage in Japan, look no further. Purchasing real estate in Japan looks exactly the same for Japanese people and foreigners. But in some cases, foreigners may be asked to provide different kinds of documents to be eligible here.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of getting a mortgage in Japan as an expat. Aside from this fact, we have compiled this article to explain the 5 things to consider when buying a house in Japan. Not only that, but you’ll also learn about Japanese floor plans, the application process, and many others.

Guides to Getting Mortgage as an Expat

How To Get A Mortgage In Japan As An Expat

Japan has numerous ongoing development projects, especially around Tokyo city, continuously creating countless opportunities for finding a perfect, luxurious house in a great location. However, this gives expats an edge to own or purchase a home. Without further ado, below are the steps to getting a mortgage as an expat in Japan.

1.    Visa Application Types

The type of visa you own is one thing to consider before applying for a mortgage in Japan. Ranging from tourism to permanent, there are about thirty visa types available for expats in this country. However, the type of loan you own will have a great impact on whether or not you qualify for a mortgage. The types of visas that are suitable for a mortgage as an expat in Japan include the following.

  • Permanent Resident Visa (Japan)
  • Japan Work Visa
  • Spouse of a Japanese National Visa

How Does Permanent Resident Affect Mortgage in Japan

Of course, in Japan, a permanent resident visa allows you to live in the country. Not only that, but it granted you the visa without any period duration limits. Also, it’s among the dangerous visa when applying for a home loan in Japan.

When obtained, you may be treated the same way as a Japanese citizen and will be able to apply for the loan. On the flip side, the work visa or spouse of a Japanese National visa does not necessarily guarantee its holder the right to apply for a home loan.

2.    Duration of Time Worked at Japanese Company

The duration of time worked at a Japanese company also contributes to getting a mortgage in the country. This means, the longer a foreigner works for a Japanese company, the more advantageous they are when applying for a home loan.

Additionally, if you have not transferred job, and you’ve worked for one company for several years, you have a higher chance of getting accepted. Again, if you switch to a company within the same industry, the effect will not be as bad. But on average, we recommend having worked in a Japanese company for at least three years.

3.    Married to a Japanese Spouse

Another thing to consider or the right way to get a mortgage as an expat is to marry a Japanese spouse. If fortunately, you’re married to a Japanese person, you have a higher chance of getting approved for a mortgage. However, this application becomes more advantageous if you have a child enrolled in a Japanese school.

Home Loan Pre-Application for Expat in Japan

Before we proceed to the explanation of the mortgage loan pre-application process for expatriates in Japan, there are certain things to put into consideration. First, what is home loan pre-application in Japan? Well, it is conducted by Japanese financial institutions prior to the actual mortgage application process.

This process determines whether the applicant is qualified to borrow money from the financial institution. Besides, if the applicant is approved at this stage, he/she is more likely for the actual application process to smother than you could ever imagine.

Additionally, pre-application can be conducted for free; however, it should be noted that some banks do not provide this service. But during this process, you may need to understand the following concept.

  • Mortgage Loanable Amount – This is known as the maximum amount of money you can borrow from the financial institution
  • Mortgage Repayment Duration – The mortgage repayment duration is the time at which you can pay up your loan
  • Mortgage Preferential Interest Rate – The mortgage preferential interest rate is known as the amount of interest the financial institution will deduct from your standard interest rate

Specific Information that Financial Institution Checks

While it may be easy for locals to get a mortgage in Japan, it’s always challenging for an expat. This way, you need to be aware of the necessary documents to hold in order to be eligible for a mortgage as an expat. In this section, we will walk you through the specific information that financial institution checks.

●        Personal Credit Information/History

If you don’t know this, it’s the right time to understand that personal credit history is one of the first things that’d allow you to qualify for a mortgage as an expat in Japan. Some of the criteria being used by the bank include; your place of employment and the previous and your present debts. However, the organizations responsible for managing personal credit information are Credit Information Center (ICC), the Japanese Bankers Association Personal Credit Information Center, and many others.

●        Expat Current Debt

If you apply for a home loan with remaining debts as an expat, your pre-application process might be difficult to pass. This is because, in the bank’s perspective, they find it difficult to trust a person with plenty of debts. This way, before applying for a mortgage, we advise you to finish paying other debts.

●        Expat Duration of Employment and Income

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, financial institutions trust those who have worked for the same company for several years, as it confirms they have a steady income. On average, you should have more than three years of employment to qualify for a mortgage as an expat in Japan.

●        Expat Health Conditions

In all ramifications, ensure you’re healthy before you seek a mortgage in the country. However, most banks in Japan require loan applicants to register for a group credit life insurance. This way, to enter, you must be in good health condition. Aside from this fact, there are also programs which allow those with the so-called three major illnesses to register for a mortgage as an expat in Japan.

Pre-Application Process to Getting a Mortgage in Japan

  • Choose at least one day to check for your desired property
  • Submission of your pre-application documents for at least 2 to 3 days after receiving the documents
  • The pre-application result with the desired property in mind. Here, the bank will consider the property’s collateral evaluation as a pre-application criterion.
  • Having a specific property in mind makes it easier for a financial institution to determine the loan amount
  • Depending on the season you apply for a mortgage, your application process might take two working days to one week before the financial institution approves it

5 Things to Consider When Applying for Mortgage

If, after living in Japan for a long time, and you’d love to apply for mortgage, there are certain things to consider. Every country has different regulations regarding the ownership of the real estate and mortgages. That being said, there are many problems foreigners may encounter. But, below are the things to consider when you’re applying for a mortgage in Japan. Check it out now!

1.    Learn the Mortgage Process

Learning the mortgage buying process is one thing to know while working or residing in Japan as an expat. The procedure to get one starts by learning to have a private viewing. From what we mentioned earlier, you’ll notice that your ability to get a mortgage depends on your credit or debts history in japan.

Process to Get a New Home

  • Find a property by consulting with a real estate agent
  • Make an offer and submit the necessary requirements
  • If there are multiple buyers, be aware that certain lottery will be held
  • Take out the mortgage after meeting the requirement
  • Sign a contract and proceed to receive the keys

2.    Property Taxes and Fees

As an expat, you should know that certain taxes are paid in the country after getting your mortgage, including payments after the housing contract is closed. Some of the following taxes may be imposed upon new homeowners at the time of purchase.

Related Taxes for Expats

  • Stamp tax, ranging from 5 to 10 million Japanese yen
  • Real estate acquisition tax, which is approximately 3 to 4 percent of the market price
  • Registration and license taxes it’s always about 0.15 to 0.4 percent of the market price
  • Brokerage fee, which is about 3 to 5 percent plus a maximum of 60,000 Japanese yen and consumption tax

3.    Housing Prices in the Country

Whenever you have a mortgage in mind, it would be better to understand housing prices in the country. On the flip side, many people may be more interested in learning about the housing strategies and the tricks before applying for a mortgage. Below is a special ward of Tokyo and its price range.

Price Ranking in Japan

  • Shibuya ward of Tokyo cost 110 to 140 Japanese yen
  • Minato ward of Tokyo cost 84 to 100 million yen
  • Chuo ward of Tokyo cost 76 to 93 million yen
  • Suginami ward of Tokyo cost 73 to 90 million yen
  • Nakano ward of Tokyo cost 83 to 100 million yen

4.    Don’t Rust to Get a Mortgage

Many foreign residents dreams of becoming a homeowner in the country. Meanwhile, it would help if you rather took the time to examine all of the housing options while considering factors like income, mortgage, and visa status than to rush and purchase a home.

5.    Know the Right Document Required

As we’ve highlighted above, knowing the right document to tender during your first time applying for a mortgage is crucial. More so, as long as you’re permanent residents, expatriates can take out home loans or mortgages the same way as a Japanese citizen. This is to say; the bank will grant you the mortgage if they determine or evaluate that you can pay it back.

Mortgage in Japan for Non-Residents

Have you ever been thinking about getting a mortgage in Japan, but you seem not to qualify? Well, you might be non-residents, right? If that sounds like a YES, worry no more. You’ve landed on the right platform, and we’re keen to explain everything needed to get a mortgage as a non-resident. Check it out now!

Ensure Your Visa is Eligible

Principally, non-Japanese residents who want to take up a mortgage in Japan need to have a permanent resident. On the other hand, if you don’t have a permanent resident, your occupation and working situation may influence the loan screening process. Again, if you stood in the position of a person that approves the loan screening, you might have a good impression to make a mortgage in the country.

Living in Japan for Over 5 Years

If you’ve been living in this country for at least nothing less than five years, you might be considered for a mortgage as an expat. In addition, even if you don’t satisfy the conditions of a home loan designated by a Japanese financial institution, you should keep in mind that living in the country for a long is a factor.

Having a Japanese Spouse

There are several ways in which a Japanese citizen can access a mortgage from a financial institution. However, if you’re an expat, it might be quite challenging. This way, you must ensure that you have a Japanese spouse before you can be given a mortgage loan as an expat in the country.

Matters Investigated During Mortgage Screening

As an expat, the main point of applying for a mortgage in Japan if to have sufficient knowledge about the screening process. To understand how you might be screened, we have compiled some hints that’d help you, though. They include the following.

  • How much of repayment amount do you have in presential
  • Do you have multiple loans made by other financial institutions in the country
  • What’s the length of services you’ve worked in your company in Japan
  • The organizers would love to know whether you’re self-employed or not. Also, you may need to provide copies of financial statements, and tax return certificates need to be submitted

Japanese Financial Institutions That Offer Mortgage

In Japan today, many financial institutions offer mortgages to non-residents. In this section, we will help you out by having a glimpse of the banks you can go to whenever you need a mortgage in the country. Does that sound interesting to your hearing? Read further to know what we’re saying.

a)    Tokyo Star Bank

Tokyo Star Bank is one of the first financial institutions to consider if you’re an expat looking to have a mortgage loan in Japan. Although they have certain conditions you need to put in place, but they’ll surely give you the offer even if you’re a non-resident. Below are some of the requirements to note when applying.

  • Expats must be living in Japan for at least five years
  • You must understand the contract regulations in the country or understand it with the help of a spouse or a lawyer
  • All applicants shall be older than or equal to 20 years old and less than or equal to 65 years old. Meanwhile, repayment shall be less than or equal to 75 years old
  • Expats must show proof of gaining stable income by public documents

b)    Shinsei Bank in Japan

Shinsei is the second bank on our list. Therefore, if you’re looking to get a mortgage as an expat, this is the right place to go. Some of their requirements include; showing proof of residing in the country. Not only that, but you shall have a Japanese spouse or a non-Japanese spouse with permanent resident status and let a spouse become your guarantor. Meanwhile, they have a fixed interest rate.

c)    Kyodo Residence Loan Ltd

Kyodo residence loan also offers incredible mortgage options to expats. Aside from this fact, they respond flexibly and sincerely through their own detailed examination. Now, the question is; is it possible to borrow a mortgage from this company? Of course, the answer is yes, and you’re free to contact me.

d)    Bank of Communication, Tokyo

Bank of communication offers a variety of options for expats moving to the country for the first time. Here, you shall have a Japanese resident of status. Not only that, but you must be older than ten as of the time you want to apply for the mortgage. Also, you’ll create a savings account in the bank of communication

e)    Bank of China

Bank of China is the last on our list of banks to give non-residents in Japan quick access to mortgages. While using this company, you must pass the necessary requirement. Some of these include; you must be a Chinese citizen that wants dual citizenship or would love to relocate to japan. Also, you must prepare at least 50 percent of the mortgage within the stipulated period of time.

Frequently Asked Question about Japan Mortgage

What is the mortgage rate in Japan today?

As research made it known, the median interest rate of five-year fixed-rate housing loans provided by city banks in Japan stood at 4.5 percent compared to other countries. Also, always remember that city banks are the largest banks in this country as of 2021. So, have this in mind while living as an expat in Japan.

Can I get a mortgage as a foreigner?

Of course, yes! From the information stated earlier, you’ll see that you can get a mortgage as an expat in the country. Additionally, you can get a personal loan, car loan, mortgage loan, and other kinds of loans available for citizens of the country. You can refer to this article (beginning) for mortgage information.

Can expat conveniently buy property in Japan?

As of the time of writing this article, there are no restrictions on foreigners buying land or property in the country. Aside from this fact, no citizenship or resident visa is required in some banks. That being said, without a work visa or permanent resident status, obtaining a mortgage can somewhat be difficult.

Are houses cheap in Japan Compared to other countries?

Japan is one of the best, underrated places in the world to own a vacation home for certain reasons. And this is because; houses in the country are incredibly cheap. In fact, the property taxes are low, and maybe most important; it’s such a lovely place to spend your vacation time.

Can I relocate to Japan without a Job?

Of course, you can move to Japan without a job. On the other hand, moving to Japan can be beneficial if you have a job, as it’s likely to improve your career. Moreover, you might face strict immigrations rules and restrictions if you’re caught without a lucrative job in Japan.


Japan is a country that comprises more than 6,800 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Moving to this country would definitely shape your life for good. But as an expat, you might want to own a home while living in this country. of course, it’s possible, but you may need to refer to the guide above to know what it entails.

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