Foreign Exchange

Case Studies

Making Mortgage payments

Buying a buy-to-let property in Bulgaria

Where in Bulgaria is the property you’ve bought?

I’ve bought a buy-to-let property in the capital Sophia, which is growing faster than any other former eastern European capital. I looked at the traditional coastal regions but thought rental opportunities could be too seasonal. Rental yields in the capital are year-round. Obviously the low property prices were also a major attraction.

What advice would you give to those buying abroad?

Never sign a contract that you do not understand (for example – if it is in a foreign language). Ensure you do not inherit a debt on the property before you purchase, which a solicitor should be able to check, i.e. If the developer has borrowed money to build the development and this amount has been allocated against each plot as additional security to the developer’s bank.     
Finally, always give yourself a cooling off period if you see a must-have property and are tempted to put down a deposit there and then.   

Why did you choose HiFX?

Because I use the service to pay my Euro mortgage, the fact that all payments are handled via direct debit was a major plus for me. Getting everything set up took a matter of minutes and I saved over €600 in the first 12 months.


Pension transfer to New Zealand

Expats Grahame and Karen Collyns explain the benefits of using HiFX for pension transfers.

Where in New Zealand do you live?

We live on the North Island in a town called Coromandel. I’m a dentist and my wife a nurse. We moved out here 9 years ago when New Zealand was desperate for medical practitioners.  

What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking of emigrating?

Think about getting quotes for moving your worldly goods at least 3 months in advance of your departure. Be mindful that the shipping process can take 2 to 3 months to places like Australasia. Check that the removals company you use are members of the British Association of Removers Overseas Group. Consider what is cost effective. For example, you may be better off selling an old sofa and buying a new one once you have migrated rather than paying to ship it. Also bear in mind whether your electrical goods will be compatible on overseas power systems. Fridges and freezers will have to work harder in warm climates so will wear out more quickly. UK Tvs cannot pick up signal in Australia and New Zealand, they can be converted at a cost, but it may be cheaper to buy a new one.
Also when booking your one way ticket tell the airline that you are migrating – many of them will increase your free baggage allowance.

When transferring your pension what options did you consider?

I saw an advert for your Regular Payments Service in the Easyjet inflight magazine during one of my trips back to the UK. Previously all my money transfers were through my bank in the UK.  

Why did you choose HiFX?

The fact that all payments are handled via direct debit was a major plus for us. Calling my bank in the UK from NZ every month when the time zones are so different was a real pain. We have three pensions (two private and one State) so the fact that we could roll the three into one monthly payment was also attractive. 


Salary transfers to France

A consultant working in Paris transfers her salary with HiFX

Where in Paris do you live?

I’m currently in a company apartment in the Bastille district of Paris, working on secondment for a management consultancy.   

When transferring your salary what options did you consider?

I came across HiFX on the internet. I never even realised currency specialists like HiFX existed. 

Why did you choose HiFX?

After 6 months I realised that my bank was charging me around £30 a month to transfer my salary into my Credit Lyonnais bank account. On two occasions I couldn’t pay my rent because my salary money arrived 2 days late. I also chose HiFX because of your zero charges guarantee. Initially I was nervous about using a company other than my bank, especially as I’d never heard of you. Since then I seem to see your name everywhere!