How Does an Expat Open a Bank Account to Pay Their Mortgage?
So, you have been approved for a home loan with Odin Mortgage for your dream home back in Oz. What else do you need to sort out before the big move Downunder?
Your new lender will soon ask you for your bank details to set up a mortgage repayment schedule. A bank account from your overseas country is not appropriate.
You need to open an Australian bank account to ensure your mortgage payments are on time! Missing your first home loan installment is not a great start to your new life in Australia. It will also leave a negative mark on your credit history.
How would you open an Australian bank account as an expat? Here is everything you need to know to open a bank account as an expat.
Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.
When Should I Open a Bank Account in Australia?
Open a bank account in Australia before you arrive in the country. This is one of the first steps you should take when you are planning your move Downunder!
Opening a bank account in advance of your move will allow other aspects of your relocation much easier! You can apply for a bank account up to 12 months before you arrive in Oz, and the process is fast and easy.
If you wait until you arrive in Australia before you open a bank account, you may not be able to use ATMs for a while. You may have to enter the bank to withdraw cash, sticking to the rigid opening times of the local banks.
What if you need money on a weekend, or in the event of an emergency one evening? In your desperation, you may choose to use your bank card from your home country in the ATM and face significant currency conversion fees.
Opening a bank account today, wherever you are in the world, will eliminate this problem. You will also have your Australian bank account details ready to pass on to your new employer when necessary!
How Can I Open a Bank Account in Australia as an Expat?
Open an Australian bank account online today! It will only take a few minutes to set up. You will need to open a transaction account which is an everyday account.
Your Australian salary will be paid into this account and you will use the transaction account to pay for regular expenses.
If you wait until you arrive Downunder, you can walk into a local branch and set up the account. However, preparation is key, so open a bank account in advance!
Ensure that you have all necessary documents ready when you have your online appointment. But, what documents will you need?
What Documents Will I Need to Open an Australian Bank Account as an Expat?
The primary document you will need to open an Australian bank account is sufficient ID.
In a bid to defeat fraud, the Australian government introduced the 100-point system to prove your ID.
100 Point System
All new bank accounts in Australia require the use of the 100-point system.
Each type of document to prove your identity is scored with a number of points. Your collection of documents must reach 100 points for your ID to be confirmed.
Here are the different categories of documents required to meet the 100-point system:
Secondary (with name and photograph)
Secondary (with name and address)
Secondary (with signature, address, or D.O.B)
The documents you choose from the categories above must total 100 points.
In addition to proving your ID, you may also need to show evidence of the following documents:
Documents Needed to Open an Expat Bank Account
Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.
What Types of Account Could I Open as an Expat?
The main bank account you will need to open as an Expat in Australia is a transaction account, or checking account. This account is used every day. You can receive your salary in this account and pay for everyday expenses.
There are several types of additional bank accounts that you could also consider opening, however.
If you want to save money in a different account, you will need a savings account. Some savings accounts will pay interest, depending on the terms and conditions.
Term Deposit Accounts
Are you aiming to save over the long term, such as for a home loan deposit? A savings account that prevents regular withdrawals may be a good idea, paying you a higher interest rate.
You are provided with a fixed interest rate across the term deposit duration. However, you can only withdraw money from the account when the term is over.
You will receive interest added to your account at this stage.
Credit Card Account
You could also apply for a credit card account where you buy something and pay for it later. A credit card account is great for emergencies in case you need some extra help financially!
There are some good credit card accounts around with low interest, or even 0% interest on purchases.
However, it is easy to fall into a debt trap using credit cards. You may begin buying things that you would not normally pay for due to the extra money. Interest may pile up and start to affect your ability to pay, and your credit score.
Additionally, remember that credit limits negatively impact your borrowing power if you decide to apply for a home loan. Even if you have not used your credit card, the credit limit will negatively impact your borrowing power.
Check your borrowing power today, using Odin Mortgage’s Borrowing Power Calculator! Find out how a credit card limit will affect your ability to obtain a substantial mortgage amount.
You may be able to apply for a multi-currency account, allowing you to send and receive money in another currency.
This type of account is great for Expats who still have interests in another country.
Do Expats Need to Pay Bank Fees?
Some banks will require bank fees to be paid, not just by Expats but by customers in general.
You may need to pay monthly fees to use a bank account. Or, there may be fees for ATM withdrawals or using overdraft facilities.
Which Bank Is Best For Expats?
The biggest Australian banks are typically perfect choices for Expats.
Big Four Australian Banks
The biggest four banks Downunder are:
Other Banking Options
Additional options for you to explore in Australia include:
Ultimately, the best bank for you as an Expat will be determined by your location and your personal situation. What are you looking for in a bank?
All banks can offer Expats a bank account. Although, if you are looking for additional features such as a multi-currency account, look to the top 4 big Aussie banks.
What Should an Expat Look For In a Bank?
The main aspect for an Expat to look for in a bank is zero keeping fees. When moving to Oz, you need to keep your initial costs low until you find your feet. Adding a banking fee just to open a bank account will increase your expenses before you arrive in Australia.
In addition to keeping fees, check out whether the bank charges application fees or fees to withdraw cash. What about overdraft charges? Does the bank charge an annual fee? Can you complete international banking, or link your overseas bank account?
Make sure that you are fully informed before taking a leap and making a decision.
You should also look for a bank account that requires zero deposit to open. Some bank accounts will require regular activity for the account to remain open.
As an Expat who has not arrived in Australia yet, where do you stand with that requirement? Talk to the bank so they understand your situation.
Are There Any Online Banks Available For Expats?
The big Australian banks offer online banking, enabling you to check your account remotely and pay bills from your account.
Contact the Expat Experts at Odin Mortgage
If you are contemplating a move Downunder, request a call from Odin Mortgage today to purchase a home in Australia. We could also help you to save time and money by refinancing an existing home!
Our broker service is completely free for you to use as our fees are recovered from lenders.
Review our latest FAQs at Odin Mortgage to understand who we are and what a mortgage broker can do for you!
We will provide a comparison of home loan interest rates to find you a great deal!
Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a non-resident open a bank account in Australia?
Yes, you can easily open a bank account in Australia, easily and simply during an online appointment. Make sure that all of the required documentation is ready for the appointment to commence.
You will need to provide a range of information such as details of your visa, your employment, and the dates you will leave your current country and arrive in Australia.
You must meet the 100 point score for ID, providing ID documentation that totals 100 points.
If I move back overseas, what should I do with my Australian bank account?
You will need to apply for a new bank account from foreign banks in your new country and leave your Australian bank account. For example, if moving to the UK, you will need a UK bank account.
However, owning several Australian bank accounts may have tax implications for you. It is advisable to maintain one transaction account in Australia.
Which is the best bank to use as an Expat in Australia?
Commonwealth Bank is a good bank for Expats to choose from. This is because the Commonwealth Bank is present across the US and the UK, in addition to other countries.
Can I claim family tax benefit in Australia as an Expat?
If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, you may be eligible to claim family tax benefit. But, can you claim family tax benefit if you have overseas income? You must declare ALL income whilst your application is assessed for eligibility.
Is buying property in Australia a good investment?
Investing in property in Australia is a great idea due to the stability and consistent growth witnessed in the Aussie market.