How much money can I borrow when getting a mortgage in the Netherlands?

There’s only one question you ask yourself when you make the decision to buy a house in the Netherlands, and it’s simple: how high can my Dutch mortgage be? 

Now, you might think “simple! It depends on how much I earn.”

Unfortunately, the answer to the question is more complicated because there are stacks of things that influence how much a bank is willing to lend you. Luckily, we’ve got the answers right here!

We teamed up with Expat Mortgage Platform, the experts on all there is to know about getting a mortgage as an international in the Netherlands! 

What determines how high my mortgage can be in the Netherlands? 

To begin, it’s important to note that how high your Dutch mortgage can be is determined by a number of factors and, in turn, how these different factors combine. So what could affect how much a bank is willing to loan you? Good question! 

Whether or not you are an international

As an international, there are some extra hurdles to jump when it comes to getting a mortgage in the Netherlands, like:

Some banks will not loan money to you

In the Netherlands, lending to an international is still seen as a bit of a risk by Dutch banks. For some, that risk is simply too high, meaning they will not grant you a loan for your mortgage.

But never fear, thankfully, many of the large Dutch banks still grant mortgages to international house hunters.

READ MORE | Can you get a mortgage in the Netherlands as an international? With college debt? Or as a freelancer?

As an international in the Netherlands, there are a number of things that may affect your Dutch mortgage. Image: fokkebok/Depositphotos

How long you have been in the Netherlands

If you’re hoping to buy a home in the Netherlands without having lived here first for a while, you may struggle. Some mortgage providers will not offer you a mortgage unless you have been living in the country for at least six months. 

What type of residence permit you have

If you are an international who comes from outside the EU, the above conditions apply to you but it is also important that you have a residence permit to stay longterm in the Netherlands — meaning that this is necessary if you want to apply for a mortgage. 

Your work contract and income

This one may seem obvious. Of course, the amount you can borrow will be determined by your income. But did you know that in the Netherlands, the type of work contract you have can play a large role in determining how high your mortgage will be? 

How does a temporary (tijdelijk) contract affect my Dutch mortgage calculation?

Let’s say you’ve recently moved to the Netherlands and have started working here. When you are first employed in the Netherlands, your employer will typically offer you a temporary (tijdelijk) contract

The type of work contract you have will also determine how high your Dutch mortgage can be. Image: Ono Kosuki/Pexels

This means that you and your employer have agreed that you will work for them for a set period of time (this can be anywhere between six months and three years.) 

If you want to apply for a mortgage, you may receive a lower mortgage calculation due to the fact that your source of income is not as stable as someone with a permanent contract — but this doesn’t mean getting a mortgage is impossible! To fix it you can:

  • Ask your employer to sign a letter of intent. This essentially claims that if your performance and the company remain the same, they intend on making you permanent once your temporary contract is up. 
  • If your employer will not sign a letter of intent, the bank may also look at the last three years of your income to determine your borrowing power. 

Warning: A letter of intent is not a legally binding document, just a show of good faith.

I am a ZZP’er, how will this affect my Dutch mortgage calculation?  

It’s also still possible to get a mortgage when you are a ZZP’er (a.k.a, a freelancer.) While you do not have an employer to sign a letter of intent for you, you can still have the bank take a look at your last three years of income. 

  • Based on the gross profit of your company, (i.e your profit including tax), the bank will decide whether or not to grant you a mortgage. 
  • Haven’t been in business for three years? It’s not easy, but you still have a chance of getting a mortgage. The bank just has to have a lot of faith in your profits! 

How does having a permanent (vast) contract affect my mortgage calculation?

If you have a permanent contract, then congratulations! You don’t have to worry about being held back by your contract. When a bank sees that you have a vast contract, they will determine your income as stable — that’s a big thumbs up when it comes to applying for a mortgage. 

Whether or not you have any debt

However, even if you enjoy the stability of a permanent contract, another important factor in determining your potential mortgage is whether or not you have any debt. 

Do you have debt? This will affect your Dutch mortgage. Image: Barriolo82/Depositphotos

Just how harshly this will influence your mortgage calculation, depends on the type of debt that you have.

Student debt

Look, we hate to bring it up but we need to talk about it. The good news is that if you have student debt, you don’t need to worry about having your home-owning dreams smashed to pieces. In fact, of all the debts you could have, student debt has the lowest impact on your mortgage calculation.

If you have student debt and want to buy a house in the Netherlands, either 0.65% of your original student debt (before 2015) or 0.35% of your student debt (after 2015) will be deducted by your monthly borrowing potential.  

For example: Let’s say you have €20,000 in student debt. When calculating your monthly mortgage, the bank will deduct €70 from your monthly borrowing power. 

Consumer debt

When you have consumer debt, 2% of that debt will be removed from your monthly mortgage potential. This means that having consumer debt has a larger impact on your potential mortgage calculation than having student debt. 

For example: if you have €20,000 in consumer debt, when calculating your monthly mortgage payment potential, €200 will be removed from the borrowing power.

If your parents are willing to lend you money

Fun fact: in the Netherlands, your parents can chip in to help you get a mortgage — and they can do it tax-free. This is of course, only up to a certain point. As of January 2021, your parents can gift you as much as €105,302 towards a house without worrying about paying taxes on it. 

Whether or not they are willing to do actually be this generous, is up to your family — but it’s nice to know. 😉

Curious as to how much you may be able to borrow and put towards your mortgage? You can check out Expat Mortgage Platform’s mortgage calculator tool — or even better, speak to one of their mortgage experts!

Ready to crunch those numbers and find yourself a home? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Feature Image: Mandritoiu/Depositphotos

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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