Can Non-U.S. Citizens Get a Personal Loan?

Jan 30, 2023




Non-United States citizens are more likely to be denied a personal loan. Noncitizens have limited access to affordable financing because of many lenders’ strict eligibility criteria for applicants. Qualifying can be difficult for everyone.

Some lenders may offer personal loans to noncitizens based on their immigration details and documentation.

Can a non-U.S. citizen get a loan?

Yes. A non-U.S. citizen can obtain a personal loan. However, eligibility requirements vary from lender to lender and are generally more complex than citizens.

Noncitizens may be considered high-risk borrowers by lenders based on two factors. The length of their stay and the possibility of a lack of credit.

Lenders are worried that personal loans will be repaid over a long period, sometimes up to seven years. Noncitizens may also require time to build credit and could have low or no credit scores.

Permanent residents (also known as green card holders) will have the most trouble applying for a personal loan. They can often show long-term residency and provide Social Security numbers which aid lenders in credit assessment.

Lenders might also accept an Individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN, in place of a Social Security Number. However, it is less common.

Some lenders will accept valid visas in addition to permanent residency. It may be helpful to have a ticket that shows you will be in the country for a more extended period than the loan term.

Applying for a personal loan for a noncitizen

It is easy to apply for a personal loan online. These are the main requirements for using a personal loan.

  • Must be 18 years old or older.
  • Provide proof of identity using a government-issued ID.
  • Provide proof of income and employment. Create a U.S.-based email address.
  • Contact details such as a phone number or email address.

Nearly all credit applications require an ITIN or SSN to pull your credit report. Although some lenders will lend to borrowers with poor credit (629 FICO score or less), most lenders prefer to see good credit (690 FICO score or higher) and two to 3 years of credit history.

What nonresidents need to do to be eligible for a personal loan

Nonresidents can get a personal loan even though it isn’t as simple as filling out an application. However, they have every chance of getting one if they do their research and prepare well. Creating a credit package and gathering the necessary documents will take some time.

Credit Qualifications

You will often need to add information or documentation to your credit profile. However, this can be difficult for nonresidents. Only a two-year credit history and a valid score are required for some lenders.

To be eligible for a personal loan, you’ll need to convert your credit from another country into acceptable credit. These are some steps you should follow:

  • Collect two years’ worth of at least three accounts you have made regular and on-time payments, such as a utility bill or life insurance policy.
  • Get a report on your credit activity from a credit reporting agency within your country.
  • Get non-traditional credit references from institutions or companies to which you have made regular payments for at least one calendar year. This includes college tuition, health insurance, and student loans.

Required Paperwork

It is more likely that you will get a loan if you plan to stay in the U.S.A for at least three years. There are also great chances of getting your visa renewed.

You must be able to show proof of how long you intend to stay in the U.S. if you are attending college. You must prove that you work for an e-verified company if you are employed.

You will need the following documents to apply for a loan:

  • Valid visa for E1, E2, or H2A.
  • Employment authorization form I-765 or I-766, or 1-797A

Working with a Specialist

If you find a lender specializing in nonresident lending, your chances of success are significantly increased. They often have the structures, processes, and understanding required to assist nonresidents in obtaining a loan.

Stilt is a San Francisco-based Fintech company that focuses exclusively on foreign national borrowers who have limited credit histories or none at all.

Stilt does not have a minimum income requirement. However, you must have a full-time job within the next six months or if there is an offer to start one. Stilt will consider your credit history, work experience, education, and savings rate.

Borrowers who have demonstrated good financial habits and a high credit rating can be eligible for rates as low as 10%. This rate is relatively standard for personal loans that are not resident.

Why most lending institutions won’t lend to non-U.S. citizens

The majority of visa holders only stay in the country for a short time. Once they leave, U.S. law doesn’t apply to them. Lenders consider all non-U.S. citizens to be high-risk, regardless of whether they are a citizen or not.

Although some lenders may consider a complete profile to determine eligibility, others require at least six years of credit history. Most banks won’t issue personal loans to non-U.S. citizens unless a cosigner is.

Personal loans for noncitizens

These lenders accept applications from permanent residents, visa holders, and other immigrants. To prove your current immigration status, you may need to submit documentation such as a copy of your green card or visa.

SoFi

SoFi offers personal loans at zero fees to borrowers with excellent credit. SoFi allows borrowers to add a cosigner to their loan applications.

Minimum credit score: 680.

Available Loans: $5,000-$100,000.

Terms: Available for two to seven years.

Eligibility requirements: The applicants must be permanent U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents. This includes DACA recipients and asylum seekers. E-2, E-3, and H-1B are all eligible.

Marcus

Marcus offers personal loans at zero fees for borrowers with good credit. Marcus will accept ITINs even if you do not have a Social Security Number.

Minimum credit score: 660.

Loan amounts: $3,500-$40,000

Terms: Available for three to six years (includes nine options total).

Eligibility requirements for applicants: Applicants must reside permanently in the United States.

LendingClub

LendingClub provides personal loans to borrowers with good credit. This may be a good option if you are looking for a personal loan to consolidate or pay off existing debt.

Minimum credit score: 600.

Loan amounts: $1,000-$40,000

Terms Available: Three to Five Years.

Eligibility requirements for applicants: Must be permanent U.S. citizens or holders of a visa.

Upgrade

Upgrade will accept borrowers with poor credit. Upgrade customers can sign-up for credit score monitoring and credit building tips.

Minimum credit score: 560.

Loan amounts: $1,000-$50,000

Terms: Available for two to seven years.

Eligibility requirements for applicants: Must be either permanent residents of the United States or holders of a visa.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit can be used as an alternative to Upgrade. However, borrowers with lower credit scores might have better chances of qualifying for Universal Credit.

Minimum credit score: 560.

Loan amounts: $1,000-$50,000

Terms Available: Three to Five Years.

Eligibility requirements for applicants: Must be either permanent residents of the United States or holders of a visa.

Oportun

Oportun offers personal loans to low- or moderate-income borrowers with co-signed loans and limited credit histories. Oportun will accept ID cards and ITINs issued in other countries.

Minimum credit score: None.

Loan amounts: $300-$10,000

Terms Available: 12 to 51 Months

Eligibility requirements

Capital Good Fund

Capital Good Fund is available to borrowers with low income, no credit history, or poor credit. There are many types of loans available, including one that can be used to pay for immigration-related expenses.

Minimum credit score: None.

Loan amounts: $300-$50,000

Terms Available: 15 months to seven Years

The eligibility requirements for applicants are to provide an SSN/ITIN and a form ID.

Alternatives for traditional personal loans to noncitizens

There are many financing options available if you don’t meet the criteria for a personal loan. Avoid short-term, high-cost loans like payday loans. They can trap you into a cycle of debt. Instead, consider other, more affordable options.

Stilt loans: Stilt provides personal loans to immigrant and underserved populations. Stilt doesn’t require a Social Security number for the application. The company will assess your credit score. Stilt accepts noncitizens and those who have F-1, O-1, or J-1 visas. Stilt will also accept DACA recipients, refugees, and asylum seekers. Pre-qualification is possible for Borrowers.

Lending circles: These groups or communities pool their resources to offer no-interest loans to the process members when they have a financial need. You may already have lending circles in your area, but you don’t know where to begin? Mission Asset Fund matches you with six to twelve local lending groups. The loan amounts can range from $300 up to $2,400.

Local credit unions may offer particular loans for noncitizens. These loans can cover application, filing, renewal fees, and other costs. They may also be known as citizenship loans, dreamer loans, or immigration loans. Credit unions often offer ITIN loans. These loans can be applied for with an ITIN and not an SSN. Before applying, you will need to be a member.

Non-profit organizations may be able to help you with an emergency, such as a car repair or a medical bill. To learn more, visit NerdWallet’s database of payday loan alternatives, which includes a list of local resources.