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UK student loan and Belgian mortgage


Hi all, in applying for my mortgage, my mortgage broker insisted on having details about my student loan debt in the U.K. Now I’ve discovered the lender we’ve applied to seems to be hesitating because they don’t understand how the UK student loans system works.

The exact comment I got was: “Can you please give more information over that subject because in Belgium every loan has to be paid back…” so obviously as there’s no similar system in Belgium they’re looking at it through the eyes of standard commercial loan debt which it obviously isn’t.

So I was wondering if any Brits on this forum have had any similar experience in having to reconcile their UK student loan debt with their Belgian mortgage application? I've sent my broker a long explanation about how the UK student loans system works and how repayments are means tested annually and based on what your overall salary is, as well as several links to relevant pages of the Student Loans Company website but was wondering if there's anything else I can do... Thanks in advance!


If it's any consolation, even in the UK since 2014 mortgage lenders are supposed to take your student loan and (especially) your outgoings in paying off your student loan every month into account when they assess you for a mortgage. I don't know what else you can do, though, sorry.

Mar 23, 2018 10:18

Basically, Belgium has (sensibly) very much stricter rules about eligibility for loans than the UK, and lenders have to ensure that you have (and, in all probability, will have) sufficient income to cover all your outgoings including all your loan repayment obligations.

If you can demonstrate that your regular savings plus your regular net rental cost have been greater than the future regular cost of your proposed mortgage, and you have a regular income, you will probably get your loan. If you can't, you will have an uphill battle to persuade someone to lend to you.

Mar 23, 2018 10:34

You could contact the British embassy commerce section in Brussels and ask them if they have any documents which explain UK student loans.

Mar 23, 2018 12:11

UK student loans aren't really loans at all, it is a tax.

Now that your broker knows about it, it's too late, but I doubt very much if any bank in Belgium will lend you capital without first deducting the capital sum you owe in student loans from any borrowing required.

Next time, don't mention it (just say your parents paid).

The bonus is that as you now live abroad, paying it back is effectively voluntary, and once the UK leaves the EU it will be an unenforceable debt in Belgium.

Mar 23, 2018 14:40

"The bonus is that as you now live abroad, paying it back is effectively voluntary, and once the UK leaves the EU it will be an unenforceable debt in Belgium."

That is true in a way, but if too many take that route out I wouldn't put it past the UK to introduce the odd nasty to encourage you to pay. The obvious tactic would be to introduce a rule that they would only renew passports for those who are "in order".

Mar 23, 2018 20:55

Certainly in the UK it’s not on your credit report. We had no issue getting our mortgage and I have one I’m not intending to repay any time soon and likely to hit retirement before I do being in my fifties now. I was a mature student. That said here we only applied on my husbands income for our mortgage and it wasn’t our first mortgage. I’m not even sure if they asked about it. Even if they had since I’m not working we would have just said it’s not needing repaying. Can you send them the information from the uk Student loans site that show how it works? Also as for not paying it back ignore that remark they can and will employ debt collectors to find you.

Mar 23, 2018 23:17

"Certainly in the UK it’s not on your credit report. " Dream on.

Mar 24, 2018 07:53

CM a I suggest you read the above link it isn’t because in the uk a it’s understood that this is say a car loan or a debt that is due in full in the short term. Remember that the majority of people will never repay the whole amount unless in very high paying jobs and even then it’s not due fast. So rather than tell me I’m wrong read the i formation from the money saving expert website who lets face it don’t have a vested interested in lying about that fact do they?

Mar 25, 2018 23:38

Is not

Mar 25, 2018 23:38

CC_R I suggest you stop digging yourself into a hole.

Mar 26, 2018 09:30