Editor's choice: Carvana
- Most credit types welcome
- 45-day preapproval
- Seven-day guarantee
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Fewer lenders offer them, and you may need to meet additional eligibility requirements.
In general, you borrow money needed to purchase a car from a bank, credit union or online lender and enter into a contract to make monthly repayments over a set number of years. The loan is backed by the car you’re purchasing, which means the lender can repossess your car should you default.
As a nonresident, however, you may be subject to additional eligibility criteria and stricter terms. Keep these factors in mind when looking for a car loan:
As with all car loans, eligibility criteria vary by lender and may include minimum income and credit requirements. However, not all lenders are willing to work with nonresidents. And those that do may require you to hold a certain visa to qualify. Additionally, lenders may have different requirements regarding how long you’ve been in the US, how long you intend to stay and your employment status.
Car loans for nonresidents are considered a high-risk endeavor for lenders. Aside from meeting the eligibility requirements, here are some tips to improve your chances of approval:
Many lenders allow applications for car loans to be completed online, making it a simple and easy process. On the other hand, since there are more stringent requirements for nonresidents, an online application isn’t always the best idea. If you’re working to build your credit in the US and want to apply online, call and ask the lender if they’re willing to lend to nonresidents before submitting an application. Your score drops a bit each time a lender checks your credit, so you’re better off not applying to lenders you don’t have a chance with.
Lenders do have a certain amount of leeway when it comes to deciding whether to extend credit to nonresidents. For this reason, an in-person appointment can give you the opportunity to state your case and show that you’re a good candidate — something that’s not possible with an online application. Do the groundwork first to work out which lender could be the best choice based on your circumstances. Then, make an appointment to speak with a car loan officer at your chosen bank or credit union.
Getting a car loan as a nonresident can be difficult, but it is possible. Take the time to call banks, credit unions and online lenders before applying to make sure they’re willing to work with you. And increase your chances of approval by saving up for a down payment or applying with a cosigner.
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