If you are looking for a mortgage for your French property purchase then you will need to either borrow against an existing asset in your home country (usually an existing property) or take out a mortgage on the French property – either in your home country or in France. Generally it is taken that you will borrow either in the currency of your income or the country of the property purchase.
There are many financial institutions offering loans in France but it is mainly the major French banks (BNP Paribas, Credit Lyonnais, CIC and Société Générale) that provide long term finance such as mortgages. Some international banks such as HSBC and Barclays offer international mortgages. There are also French “Mutual” Banks like Crédit Agricole and Crédit Mutuel, and also La Poste (Post Office in France) – all of whom may offer competitive rates.
Interest rates in France are historically lower than those of some other countries, notably the UK, although they are, of course, subject to fluctuation.
Mortgages can be obtained for up 80% of the property purchase price, more for new builds under certain circumstances such as the loan is not a significant percentage of your income (currently 35%) and you will need to be resident in France. There are fixed rate and variable rate mortgages, interest only and capital – there are lot of choices and it might be worth asking an agent with experience to investigate what the best mortgage rate is according to your needs (though you will have to pay for their advice).
If you take out a French mortgage and your income is in a non-French currency, you will need to open a French bank account to facilitate payments.