South Korean banks have eased conditions for its key loan product for foreign customers by including those with the H-2 visa, also known as the “Work and Visit Visa” as eligible borrowers. Previously, only foreigners with an E-9 Non-professional Employment Visa were able to apply for the loan. Recently, South Korean banks have started to acknowledge that foreigners could diversify their revenue sources following stricter screening. Some banks have already offered savings accounts to foreigners. South Korea currently has about two million foreign residents. While the total value of loans extended to foreigners by Korean banks is unknown, data by the Financial Supervisory Service showed that the outstanding value of mortgages extended by the top five lenders came to KRW1.49tr as of August last year.
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