Loans for foreign residents in Taiwan

I am applying for a loan now as much as a test as anything else.

Yesterday I went to check abour a new securities account in First Bank where my salary is paid into. I’ve banked there for years . So I go up to the sole securities desk , say I want to open an account and the guy just says ‘bu xing’, ‘waiguoren bu xing’ (he can guess I’m a waiguoren but doesn’t know that for sure ). I said that’s not true there’s no law against foreigners owning securities. And I waved my securities book from Megabank in his face. Then he said it was ‘First Bank’s rules’. I said I didn’t believe that show me the rules. Then I went to do some other mundane stuff in the bank, he found me asked for my arc and passport and started to process my application straight away (both for Taiwan stock trading and overseas stocks trading ). It took well over two hours. I believe it takes locals about 1.5 hours. The amount of paperwork to sign was overwhelming and you have to enter all information in anew and sign it (it doesn’t matter if they have it already in their system, maybe they are not permitted to use it). After two hours of this I made friends with this guy and the teller processing my appn. It seems there’s a major cultural problem and lack of training of how to deal with diversity in the bank’s.

The staff spent a lot of time asking me personal details about my earnings, my job, my position, the bank’s are very keen to collect this kind of information. It’s their golddust. I asked why do you need this info you won’t even give me a loan. The wheels turned very slowly in their heads…

In fact some of what this guy said to me , who actually turned out to be a nice guy , could put them up for a lawsuit if I recorded him according to Taiwan legislation I’d say. The lawyers know better I guess.


My local Taiwan stock trading (securities ) and US and HK trading accounts are open for business. The only problem is the stock market is looking so frothy now. :grinning:

My personal loan application has been submitted to Cathay now, the only bank so far to even look at my application. Let’s see what happens.


What do you pay for your trades? And can you buy ETFs and equities in US dollars?

Yes I can buy in foreign currency from my Taiwan USD account. I haven’t actually bought anything yet and I am not very concerned about the fee cos I am not an active trader and I value the convenience.of everything liNied to my bank account. But I will check it to see the charges.

One bank has offered me a 2 million ntd loan over a period of seven years at just less than 3%.
It’s not as much as I would ideally want, and the interest rate slightly higher than I would like, but it is some kind of result. They do also want my wife to be guarantor on it .
Now I shouldn’t be super excited about this given I’m in a high earning bracket with excellent credit history and decent savings, but it is nice to be semi treated like a customer finally.


Wife being guarantor kills it for me. The bank views her as a valued customer…
Although getting the money is a good thing


Actually I think it’s the sales person really wants the commission as he is very eager to push it. The other banks are all half arsed. Yeah without the wife guaranteeing it I wouldn’t get it . By the way she doesn’t even have a job right now it’s about the local ID. But they checked all my financials very thoroughly . The wife then got a call from another sales at the same bank saying they could offer a 1% loan but to her, not me, something crazy like that. I guess there is some big fee involved somewhere with that one.


Do you need to call in to buy or sell stocks on the US market? or can you use an APP?
Cathay bank told me I need to phone in to buy or sell stocks that are not listed on Taiwan’s stock exchange.

I haven’t tried to do US stock trading or any trading yet because of the virus. They did give me a broker for US trading. The Taiwan stock is purchased through an app. It seems like I can’t purchase US stocks through the app although I can view them. Bit dumb and expensive.

Not sure about US, but my wife needs to call in to trade on the HK exchange.

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Could you share the bank’s name? I’m getting the same treatment from each of my banks, despite a decade of regular activity with them both. Many thanks.

Cathay 國泰 gave me a loan offer, which I really appreciated but didn’t take due to the timing and interest rate being just a little higher than I wanted right now, because I would only want to draw down the loan next year.

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Any cosigner needed?

Yes my wife although the nature of the cosigning wasn’t clear , there’s no collateral and she has no income, it’s just to get a Taiwan ID on it I guess.

2M @1% sounds nice!

My wife doesn’t even have any income. It sounds like complete bullshit but that’s what they were saying. I think the lowest rate is approx 2% which is still super low ! They offered me 2.99% 2 million ntd unsecured loan but guaranteed by Taiwanese (wife ). I didn’t draw it down partly because the amount is a bit lower than what I want plus I cannot actually use it yet…

2% is perfectly acceptable IF we would have access to it too. It’s crazy how they don’t even ask Taiwanese people if they have jobs or how much they earn. I know a Taiwanese guy who borrowed 500k during the world cup for betting no questions asked. The dude didn’t even have a job and already had a house loan.

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Mega has that on offer, a 1 year 500000 NT$ government backed loan at 1%.

Did he win?

That’s the govt backed one for business owners for covid crisis I believe. Limited to 50 wan. Better than nothing . Individuals can apply 10 wan at rate 1.86‰.
Why higher rate…Don’t know !.

I guess the answer from banks will be go screw yourself foreigner business owner!

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