It is possible to get a personal loan even if you are not a U.S. citizen, although each lender has different eligibility requirements.
For that matter, more recent arrivals to the country and the credit history of non-U.S. citizens may make some lenders see them as high-risk borrowers. Due to the extended repayment terms of personal loans, some lenders fear non-U.S. citizens will leave the country before repaying the loan in full. And, because U.S. non-citizens cannot build credit immediately, their credit scores may be low or nonexistent.
On the other hand, a green card holder will have an easier time securing a personal loan because they have proof of long-term residency and possess a Social Security number.
The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is also accepted by some lenders, in addition to the Social Security number. Some lenders also take visas and permanent residency, so if you plan to stay in the country for a long time, you may be able to get a loan with a visa.
The rules, of course, must be strict: financial institutions are taking the risk, and as such, they want to protect their investments. But on the other hand, non-U.S. citizens often just need a little assistance to get on steady financial ground, pay for school, or start a business.
Let’s look at essential factors non-U.S. citizens should bear in mind when considering a personal loan.
Preparing For The Process
If you’re a non-U.S. citizen applying for a personal loan, you’ll likely be scrutinized more closely than U.S. citizens since many lenders might consider you a higher risk. You may be asked questions similar to those you must answer when applying for a job.
Before filling out an application, here are some things to have handy:
- An employment authorization form.
- A copy of your green card or visa.
- Minimum two-to-six-year credit history in the U.S. and a FICO score.
Prepare a credit package, which includes additional information that may help your case. For example, foreign credit reporting agencies can provide information about your credit history if you have one outside the U.S.
Make sure you’ve made on-time payments for at least three accounts for the past two years. Payments for rent, utilities, insurance, and tuition can all be included in this category. A cosigner with good credit and a U.S. citizen will also improve your chances.
In addition to the information listed above, you will need the following information to complete the application:
- An identification card or driver’s license.
- Utility bills, leases, or other documentation with your address can be used as proof of address.
- Verification of income: W-2’s, pay stubs, bank statements, or tax returns.
- Information about the individual: contact information and Social Security number.
- Information about the loan: the amount, term, and purpose.
- Employer contact information, employment status.
- Information about education: highest level of education, area of study, grade point average.
Lenders that Provide Loans to Non-U.S. Citizens
Let’s take a look at five prominent lenders that may provide loans to non-U.S. citizens under certain conditions.
Those with fair credit can apply for personal loans through LendingClub. A personal loan for debt consolidation and repayment may be a good choice.
Capital Good Fund
The Capital Good Fund provides loans to low-income borrowers with bad credit or no credit history. For example, they offer loans to cover immigration-related expenses.
Oportun enables low-income borrowers with no credit history or limited credit history to receive personal loans, including co-signed loans. In addition, other countries’ ITIN and I.D. cards are accepted by Oportun.
Upgrade offers loans to bad credit borrowers. Those who sign up for Upgrade can monitor their credit scores and learn how to build good credit for free.
With Universal Credit, credit-score-challenged borrowers may qualify more easily.
Here are some more options for non-U.S. citizens:
- American Express
- Best Egg
- Freedom Plus
- Lending Club
- Happy Money
- Rocket Loans
Non-U.S. Citizen Alternatives
Other financing options are available if you do not qualify for a personal loan. These options operate outside the scope of profit-driven commercial and financial lending and, as such, are often a better option for non-U.S. citizens.
Stilt Inc loans
Stilt Personal Loans specializes in serving immigrants and underserved communities. You don’t need your Social Security number to apply, and other qualifying criteria beyond your credit score are considered. In addition to serving non-citizens, Stilt offers visa services for F-1, H-1B, O-1, J-1, L-1, TN, L-1, and G-1 holders. Refugees, asylum seekers, and DACA recipients will also be considered, and pre-qualification is available to borrowers.
Communal Lending Circles
Members of a lending circle pool their resources whenever a member has a financial need. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can apply with Mission Asset Fund and find a local lending circle of six to twelve people. Your immediate community may already have lending circles, so contact your neighbors and harness the power of a united community!
Credit Union Loans
Credit unions may also offer loans to non-citizens. The loan is referred to as an immigration loan, a dreamer loan, or a citizenship loan because it covers the costs associated with applying, filing, and renewing the citizenship application. In addition to ITIN loans, many credit unions offer loans without a Social Security number. Before you can apply, you must be a member of the credit union.
Communities at large
A nonprofit organization may be able to assist you with an emergency expense, such as a car repair or medical bill. Research community-based nonprofit organizations that can help you achieve your goals.
Non-U.S. citizens are among the most industrious and driven segments of our U.S. community. As such, they should have access to the financial assistance that enables them to build their dreams and support their families.