German Mortgage

How to get a mortgage in Germany?

How to get a mortgage in Germany? We will tell you step by step. In today’s post, we will inform you about all requirements for getting a mortgage in Germany and how to apply for a home loan.

How to get a mortgage in Germany? Requirements and how to apply

Applying for a German mortgage is not so different from applying for a mortgage elsewhere. Where you will notice a difference, though, is due diligence. German banks apply a high level of due diligence when reviewing your financial status. 

German lenders assess not only the value of the asset to be mortgaged, but also your financial situation. In fact, your financial situation is just as important as the property’s worth. Below is the process on how to get a mortgage in Germany.

1. Check if you qualify for a mortgage

Your first step is to find out if you qualify for a loan in Germany. Then, you can begin to understand what your mortgage might look like in general.

Using a mortgage advisor

Consulting a specialized mortgage broker, like LoanLink, is helpful at this stage. Based on our deep knowledge of over 400 German banks, we created a survey that will instantly evaluate if you qualify for a loan. We will also tell you how to meet other common requirements for your financing process.

Loan pre-approval

A loan pre-approval sets you up for a smooth home buying experience. A pre-approved loan takes much less time to process and requires fewer documents and less administrative information. If you’d like to get pre-approved, please complete the LoanLink questionnaire.

2. Self assessment & expert advice

As you get ready to buy a property, you will want to complete a self-assessment. Now is the time to include information on your personal profile, your selected property and your financing preferences. We are available for any questions and can guide you through the assessment.

Review all financing possibilities

After your self-assessment, we will approach various lenders. Our goal is to get the best financing terms based on your profile. Next, your dedicated mortgage advisor will schedule a meeting or phone call with you.

Identify the best option

During this meeting, we will discuss all of your options and recommend the most suitable one. Then, we will let you know exactly what documents are required. As always, we are happy to help clarify any questions for you.

3. Finalize application

Once we identify the best offer, we will guide you through the rest of the application process. All next steps are non-binding and free of charge.

3.1. Provide documents

You will need to provide documentation to verify your financial and personal status. This includes personal and financial documents, such as:

  • Self-evaluation (you can start the questionnaire right away )
  • Proof of equity
  • Payslips
  • Income tax certificates
  • Passport copy
  • Residence permit (if available)
  • Certified copy of your HR department
  • Annual accounts (if you are self-employed)

Required documents also include information on the property, such as:

  • Building description / specifications
  • Pictures
  • Floor plan and land register marks
  • Draft of sale contract

For your convenience, we created a mortgage document checklist. You can review all required documents, where to get them and when.

3.2. Agree on credit report (SCHUFA)

German banks require proof of a stable banking history. SCHUFA is a credit data repository that provides consumer credit ratings. The bank will approach SCHUFA and request a “Bonitätsauskunft.”

You also can check your Bonitätsauskunft yourself and request a copy.

What if I don’t have SCHUFA records?

As a foreigner, you may not have any records at the SCHUFA. In this case, you may need to show proof of your credit status from your home country’s credit reporting agency.

3.3. Open a German bank account

A German checking account is a prerequisite and a must when it comes to how to get a mortgage in Germany. If you do not have a German checking account, we will help you set one up. In most cases, the home loan lender will provide the account.

4. Mortgage approval

While your application is under review, we will manage all contact with the lender. We also will provide all documentation that the lender requires for their credit assessment. We will stay in close communication with the lender on your behalf.

Final confirmation

After a couple of days, we will receive the final mortgage confirmation from the lender. We will immediately inform you of the corresponding terms.

5. Personal identification and mortgage closing

Before closing the mortgage, the lender will need you to identify yourself. You must appear in person in one of the lender’s branches in Germany.

While there, you can use this same appointment to sign the financing contract.

The withdrawal period

By law, Germany requires a 14-day withdrawal period on all financing contracts at no cost. This period is to finalize the property purchase. The property purchase will be official after you sign the purchasing contract at your mandatory appointment with a notary.

6. Notary appointment

Before your property purchase is official, you will need to sign a deed of sale in front of a German notary. 

Choose a notary

For a property transfer the buyer may choose his or her own notary. Many people, especially expatriates, may not know that they have this choice. Choosing your own notary allows you to work with a notary who speaks English.

Review the contract

Before going to the notary, always ask for a copy of the purchase contract. Review the contract carefully. If necessary, have it translated. Prepare any questions you have in advance and do not hesitate to ask them. You will want to allow sufficient time in the appointment to get full answers.

When you go before the notary, he or she will first check the land register to make sure that the seller can in fact sell the property. If so, the notary then will check what restrictions, if any, apply to the property’s use.

The contract should spell out the obligations of each party. The contract will also include the measures to take if one party defaults.

The signing ceremony

At the signing ceremony, the notary will read the contract of sale verbatim. The notary must be sure that both parties fully understand the contract’s content.

By law, the reading must be in German. If you do not completely understand a clause, you can always ask questions and interrupt the reading. You also have the right to bring a professional interpreter (at an additional cost).

Change of ownership

Once all parties sign the deed of sale, the notary will register the change of ownership. The notary will register this change with the municipal government. Then, the notary will enter the property in the land register.

7. Transaction

By this point, you will have your mortgage and the signed purchase contract. Now, all parties will process the transaction as laid out in the contract.

If you are purchasing an already constructed property, you can process the transaction in one payment. For a property still under construction, you can process the transaction in stages. 

We are happy to answer any questions. Via email at [email protected] or by phone +49 (0) 30 5683 7535. You can also start with the LoanLink mortgage illustrator here:

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