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How Chilean Nationals Can Get Mortgages in Florida

If you are from Chile and interested in purchasing a house in Florida, there are important details you should know.

In this article, we will provide essential information about obtaining mortgages in Florida for Chilean citizens. This will include an overview of the available mortgage options, a step-by-step guide to the application process, eligibility requirements, and additional insights.

If you want to understand mortgage options for Chilean individuals looking to buy homes in Florida, let's begin!

Can Chileans Obtain a Mortgage in Florida?

Certainly, just like US citizens, foreign nationals from Chile have the right to buy and own property in Florida. Chile is among the countries with a significant number of property buyers in Florida.

Chilean individuals can be eligible for a mortgage to purchase property in Florida if they meet certain requirements. It's important to note that it's possible to get a mortgage approval even without a US credit history.

Last year, a portion of Chilean property buyers opted for cash transactions. This tendency is mainly due to limited knowledge about the various mortgage financing options available to Chilean buyers.

For those looking to buy a primary home or an investment property in Florida, they can consider mortgage financing from US lenders without the need for a US credit history.

White paper house with dollars banknotes and calculator

How Do Mortgages Work in Florida for Chileans?

In Florida, there are two main types of residential loans that Chileans should be aware of: fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages.

A fixed-rate mortgage has a set interest rate that remains the same throughout the entire loan period. On the other hand, an adjustable-rate mortgage has an interest rate that can change over time.

Choosing between a fixed-rate and an adjustable-rate mortgage requires careful consideration.

For example, with a fixed-rate mortgage, you will have a steady monthly payment, which might be higher compared to the initial payments of an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Adjustable-rate mortgages often start with lower interest rates and monthly payments. However, after a specific time (typically around five years), the interest rate may change, leading to potential variations in monthly payments based on market conditions.

It's also essential to understand that even if the prime interest rate stays the same, an adjustable-rate mortgage could still result in higher interest rates and payments.

This happens because most adjustable-rate mortgages include a "margin." The margin is a set percentage that lenders add to the prime interest rate.

For example, if the prime interest rate is 3 percent and your mortgage has a 2 percent margin, your interest rate would be 5 percent.

Differences Between Mortgages in Florida and Chile

The mortgage processes in Florida and Chile vary in several key aspects.

Payment Method

In Chile, it's not unusual for properties to be purchased outright in cash or with a substantial down payment, often around 50 percent, with the rest financed through a bank loan.

In Florida, the approach leans more towards comprehensive mortgage financing, where individuals pay back the loan amount over a prolonged period, rather than combining a large down payment with a smaller mortgage.

Loan Duration

Florida's average mortgage term spans about 30 years. In contrast, Chilean mortgages typically have a shorter duration, often around 10 years.

Amortization Structure

In Florida, it's common for mortgages to have an "interest-only" period during the initial years, meaning payments are directed only towards the interest.

In Chile, mortgages usually adopt a "fully amortizing" structure from the start, where payments cover both the principal amount and the interest.

Credit Score Requirements

In Chile, to qualify for a bank loan, one often needs a robust credit history and a monthly income that's notably higher than the loan payment.

In Florida, many loan types require borrowers to have a minimum FICO® Score of 620. Those with scores below this threshold might look towards FHA or V.A. loans as alternatives.

Ownership Aspects

In Chile, it's important to note that the bank often retains ownership of the property until the entirety of the loan is repaid.

On the other hand, in Florida, the buyer becomes the property owner immediately upon signing the closing documents and paying the associated costs. The bank, however, places a lien on the property, which remains until the mortgage is fully paid off.

For individuals from Chile considering property purchase in Florida, understanding these mortgage differences is crucial.

Working with a real estate professional well-versed in international transactions can help navigate these distinctions and ensure a smooth purchasing process.

If you're looking to invest in Florida property, aligning with a knowledgeable real estate agent can significantly enhance your buying experience.

Obtaining a Mortgage Based on Citizenship Status in Florida

In Florida, U.S. citizenship isn't a prerequisite for securing a mortgage.

  • Permanent Resident Aliens, who have a green card and a valid social security number, undergo a mortgage application process similar to that of U.S. citizens.

  • For Non-Permanent Resident Aliens who don't hold a green card but have a social security number, avenues like a work visa or specific employer-sponsored visas are available for home financing. Proof of intent to stay in the U.S. for at least three years can enhance the chances of mortgage approval.

  • Individuals classified as refugees or those granted asylum can access employment and financing opportunities similar to legal resident aliens. To be eligible, they must provide documentation verifying their refugee or asylee status.

  • Non-U.S. residents living in Florida without lawful status aren't eligible for home loans provided by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the Federal Housing Administration.

Types of Mortgages Available for Chileans in Florida

Chileans in Florida have access to a range of mortgage programs, depending on their residency status and documentation.

For those without legal residency or an inability to verify U.S. income, traditional mortgages may be inaccessible. Here's a breakdown of the mortgage options based on immigrant status:

FHA Loans

These loans are supported by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). They offer down payments as low as 3.5 percent and are available to borrowers with credit scores starting at 580, provided they are obtained from FHA-approved lenders.

For approval, both permanent and nonpermanent Chilean immigrant borrowers should present a valid green card or visa, Social Security number, and at least two years of proven income.

Veterans Administration (VA) Loans

While nonpermanent Chilean residents can't access loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs because they can't enlist in the military, permanent residents with green cards are eligible.

Those who serve can benefit from VA home loan offerings, which allow home purchases with no down payment and flexible qualification standards.

Conventional Loans

Standards for homebuyer programs with a 3% down payment are set by government-sponsored bodies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Both permanent and nonpermanent residents from Chile can access conventional loans if they possess a credit score of 620 or above.

Non-QM Loans

For Chileans and other foreign nationals who may not have legal U.S. residency, non-qualified mortgage (QM) programs from alternative lenders can be an option. These loans cater to borrowers who don't fit strict regulatory criteria for repayment capacity.

Eligibility might include those without a Social Security number or a way to confirm U.S. income. However, such borrowers should be prepared for higher down payments, increased interest rates, and possible early repayment fees.

To find the best mortgage solution tailored to individual needs, it's essential for Chileans in Florida to consult with an experienced real estate professional and thoroughly examine available options.

Documents Required for Mortgage Approval for Chileans in Florida

For Chileans looking to secure a mortgage in Florida, the necessary documentation varies based on residency status. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

Chileans Living Outside Florida

Chileans residing outside of Florida must present the following documents, typically sourced from Chile:

  • Tax Documents - This includes Income Tax, Benefit Return, Notice of Assessment, and recent Bank Statements.

  • Investment Income - Documentation from the last two years showcasing investment income is needed.

  • Salaried Employees - They should provide income slips from the past two years and paystubs from the last 30 days.

  • Self-employed Individuals - Documentation from the last two years of business returns is necessary, especially for entities where ownership is 25% or more. This should encompass all pages and schedules.

  • Retirees - The most recent retirement award letters from Chile should be furnished.

  • Proof of Citizenship and Identity - A copy of a Chilean passport or a U.S. visa is required, along with a Chilean Tax Identification Number (RUT).

Chileans Residing in Florida

Chileans who are permanent or temporary residents in Florida and are working in the state need to submit U.S. documents:

  • Tax Documents - Form 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

  • Investment Income - This includes Form 1040 Schedule B (Interest and Ordinary Dividends) and Schedule D (Capital Gains and Losses).

  • Salaried Employees - They should submit the W2 Wage and Tax Statement.

  • Self-employed Individuals - Documents such as the 1040 Schedule C (Net Profit or Loss from Business) and the 1065 K-1 (Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc.) are necessary.

  • Retired Individuals - A Social Security or Awards Pension letter is required.

  • Proof of Citizenship and Identity - A copy of a Chilean passport, U.S. Green Card, or U.S. visa should be presented, along with a Social Security Number.

Common Requirements for All Chileans

Regardless of residency status, the following documents are obligatory for all Chileans:

  • Proof of Assets - The latest two months' statements for each held account should be provided.

  • Insurance Documents - Copies of property tax notifications and homeowners' insurance premiums are essential, especially for those who have previously owned properties in Florida.

Steps to Secure a Mortgage in Florida as a Foreign National

Acquiring property in a foreign country can present challenges, as it involves navigating through various stages and regulations to avoid costly errors.

Here's a concise overview of key considerations to ensure well-informed decisions and maximize your purchase in Florida.

  • Step 1 - Select Your Preferred Location in Florida.

  • Step 2 - Engage a real estate professional experienced in assisting foreign clients, particularly one holding a CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) designation.

  • Step 3 - Understand the Process of Collaborating with a Real Estate Agent in Florida.

  • Step 4 - Familiarize Yourself with Tax Implications Across Borders.

  • Step 5 - Commence Your Property Search by Enlisting a Real Estate Agent in Florida.

  • Step 6 - Place an Offer on the Property of Your Choice and Complete the Purchase of Your Florida Dream Home.

  • Step 7 - Conduct a Comprehensive Property Inspection.

  • Step 8 - Establish a Purchase Agreement with the Seller.

  • Step 9 - Complete a Title Report.

  • Step 10 - Explore Home Financing Options through the U.S. Mortgage Lending System.

Congratulations! You are now poised to take ownership of your new residence in Florida.

Where to Find a Mortgage for Chileans in Florida

Looking for a mortgage in Florida from Chile? There are several places you can check.


MakeFloridaYourHome helps people from Chile buy homes in the U.S.

What they offer:

  • Easy ways to buy homes in Florida.

  • Help getting loans even if you don't have U.S. credit history.

  • Links to top loan providers and home sellers to make buying simpler.

Their agents in the U.S. know a lot about helping people from other countries buy homes. They make it fast and easy.

And the best part? You don't have to pay them!


Your bank in Chile might not give loans for homes in other countries.

But, some big banks might. There are big banks that help people from different countries buy homes. Some you might look into are:

  • Standard Chartered
  • HSBC

Using a Mortgage Broker

Mortgage brokers help find the right loan for you. They might charge a fee, but they can find good loan deals.

There are brokers that know about loans for people from Chile wanting homes in Florida. Searching online can help you find them.

So, if you're from Chile and want a home in Florida, look at these options. Find what works best for you!

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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