What are the conditions for obtaining a mortgage?

Securing a mortgage to finance your dream home is a goal shared by many. However, navigating the world of mortgage approvals can be a complex endeavor. In this article, we will explore the key factors that can make or break your mortgage application, ensuring that you are well-prepared to achieve your homeownership dreams. Let's delve into the details and find out what it takes to obtain that coveted mortgage.

What are the conditions for obtaining a mortgage?

The Crucial Role of Debt Ratio

Your debt ratio is a critical factor that can determine the success of your mortgage application. It represents the percentage of your income that goes toward repaying your monthly loan installments. Banks carefully assess this ratio to ensure that your remaining income is sufficient to cover your living expenses. If it falls short, your financing request may be declined.

As of January 1, 2021, the High Council for Financial Stability (HCSF) modified the recommended maximum debt ratio for mortgage approval from 33% to 35%. This change implies that your chances of obtaining bank financing with the same income have increased, offering a glimmer of hope for aspiring homeowners.

Tailoring Approvals Case by Case

When it comes to mortgage applications, banks understand that one size doesn't fit all. If you have a high income, you might exceed the traditional debt ratio threshold because your disposable income remains substantial. Banks can be flexible, tailoring their decisions based on the borrower's profile.

First-time homebuyers often receive preferential treatment, making it easier for them to secure a mortgage. Investors, too, stand a good chance, as they can leverage rental income for loan repayments.

The Power of Personal Contributions

Having personal savings to contribute to your mortgage can significantly enhance your eligibility. These savings can be used to cover notary fees, which typically range from 2 to 3% of the property's sale price. By presenting a financial contribution, you demonstrate your financial responsibility and your ability to manage your finances.

Personal contributions can come from various sources, including personal or employee savings, investments, or rental income from other properties you own. However, even if you lack a personal contribution, it's not a roadblock to mortgage approval. Banks consider your entire financial profile when making their decision.

Showcasing Financial Responsibility

Maintaining sound financial management is crucial in your quest for a mortgage. Your bank statements play a significant role in this process. They should reflect responsible financial conduct, showing that your accounts are well-managed.

In the three months leading up to your mortgage application, it's essential to avoid overdrafts and maintain a regular savings pattern. Honoring scheduled direct debits from your account is equally vital. Any missed payments could raise doubts about your ability to meet your mortgage obligations.

Professional Situations Matter

Your professional situation plays a vital role in securing a mortgage. Banks prefer borrowers with stable employment and regular income. If you are in a permanent position or a civil servant, your chances of obtaining a positive response are high. These positions reduce the risk of unemployment, ensuring stable income throughout the mortgage repayment period.

Civil servants, in particular, enjoy specific offers, with known income evolution over time. This predictability is advantageous for both the borrower and the bank.

Temporary workers and individuals on fixed-term contracts are not excluded from mortgage opportunities. Banks focus on stability, and if you can demonstrate a consistent employment history, your chances of approval increase.

Alternative Professional Paths

Mortgages are not exclusive to those with permanent positions or civil service jobs. Liberal professions can also meet the stability criteria that banks seek. Self-employed individuals, including auto-entrepreneurs, can apply for a mortgage by showcasing a consistent increase in their turnover over the past two years.

While these alternative professional statuses do not pose a hurdle to mortgage approval, they may influence the amount of borrower insurance you can access.

Personal Considerations

Your personal circumstances also influence your mortgage application. Regardless of your age, whether you're actively employed or retired, you can apply for a mortgage. Young buyers are of particular interest to banks, so highlighting your assets in your application can work to your advantage.

Even if you're over 60, you can still secure a mortgage. The key is to select a suitable loan term and insurance with robust guarantees.

Foreign Nationals Can Own Homes

Non-French citizens can also become homeowners in France under certain conditions. If you're a citizen of the European Union, obtaining a positive response for your French mortgage is relatively straightforward. For foreigners outside the EU with a residence permit, demonstrating your commitment to remaining in France throughout the loan's repayment period is essential.


Securing a mortgage requires careful consideration of various factors, from your debt ratio to your personal and professional circumstances. By understanding and addressing these aspects, you can increase your chances of obtaining the funding needed to make your homeownership dreams a reality.


Can I secure a mortgage without a personal contribution?

Yes, banks consider your entire financial profile, so a personal contribution is not always necessary.

Do banks favor first-time buyers when approving mortgages?

Yes, first-time buyers often receive preferential treatment from banks.

How do I prove sound financial management to my bank?

Maintain a consistent pattern of responsible financial conduct in your bank statements.

Can temporary workers or those on fixed-term contracts get a mortgage?

Yes, banks look for stability in employment, so a consistent history can lead to approval.

What options are available for foreign nationals to obtain a French mortgage?

EU citizens have relatively straightforward access, while non-EU foreigners with residence permits must commit to staying in France throughout the repayment period.

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