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Bev once told me that France does not have the free-wheeling credit culture that we have in the United States. So my question is...how does one go about getting a mortgage. What is involved in the application/approval process? Is our US credit score carried over when we move to France? Anyone who would like to answer would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Go to your bank, it is quite straight forward but the loan is not secured on your house, rather on your ability to pay back the loan plus interest over a long period. Look out for hidden fees and insurances they add to the original quote!
Some UK banks have moved into this market but not had any experience of them.
 

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Your US credit score is of no interest here. To get a mortgage, go see your banker (in France) - or actually, you make an appointment with your bank "conseiller". They are constantly trying to get you to come in and talk to the conseiller for one thing or another - so if you ask to take an appointment to talk about a mortgage, they'll be thrilled to hear from you.

Basically, your French bank has far more information about you and your account than your US banker does. Plus, your bank sells insurance and other services on the side (though you can also get these from independent agents). They really will work with you to see how much of a mortgage you can afford (and there are legal limits to how much they can lend you). It will, however, depend very much on what your monthly income is (and the fact of having that monthly income direct deposited into your bank).

Expect to make a deposit of 20% or so of the price of the house. And French mortgages tend to last a shorter period of time - 15 years is common, though I think they'll go up to 20 years. Your date of retirement may figure into the calculation of how long they'll lend you the money, too.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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