As someone in the US on a visa, some lenders might require you to apply with a permanent resident or citizen as a coapplicant. However, a few lenders like Stilt and Boro specialize in loans for people that are nonresidents.
|SoFi||E-2, E-3, H-1B, J-1, L-1, or O-1 visas.||All visas must have at least two years left, unless you’ve applied for renewal or for permanent resident status. Permanent residents must also have at least two years left on their visa.|
- At least 18 years old
- Good to excellent credit
- Valid bank account
- Must not live in Mississippi
|7.99% to 23.43%|
|LendingClub||Valid, long-term visa||None stated|
- At least 18 years old
- Verifiable bank account
|8.05% to 36%|
|LendingPoint||No specific visa requirements||None|
- At least 18 years old
- Valid SSN
- Minimum annual income of $20,000
- Verifiable personal bank account
- Live in a state where LendingPoint operates
- US federal, state or local government-issued photo ID
|7.99% to 35.99%|
|Kora||A5, C8, F1 / OPT, G, H1B, J1, L1 and O1 visa holders.||International students with an F-1 visa must meet GPA requirements.|
- Must be a student for KoraCash
- No cosigners allowed
- No credit history required
- Down payment required on car loan
- GPA of 2.0 as an undergrad or 3.0 as a graduate student
- Must be in eligible state
|15.99% to 35.99 for KoraCash6% to 16.49% for Kora Drive|
|Fiona||TN, E or O Permanent residents with a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card. DACA recipients can also apply.||None stated|
- At least 21 years old
- Proof of regular income
- Must not live in AL, DE, KY, NV or RI
|7.99% to 35.97%|
|TD Bank||No specific requirements||None stated|
- At least 18 years old
- Credit score of 680+
- Live in a state where TD Bank offers loans
- Valid SSN
- Proof of employment
|5.99% to 19.99%|
|Stilt||F-1, OPT, H-1B, O-1, L-1, TN, J-1 visas. DACA recipients can also qualify.||None stated|
- Valid US bank account
- Live in AZ, IL, FL, TX, PA, CA, MI, WA, GA, NY, NJ, WI or UT
|7.99% to 15.99%|
How do loans for noncitizens work?
For lawful permanent and nonpermanent residents, applying for a loan is nearly the same process as for US citizens.
The application and approval process depends on the lender and type of loan you choose. Generally, as a nonresident, you need to submit documents proving you’re in the US legally and might have to apply with a cosigner to add security to the loan if your credit history is lacking.
Loans as a nonresident don’t have higher costs or fees — though interest rates may vary. Most lenders don’t have higher interest rates for immigrants or noncitizens, but others can increase rates by 0.5% to 1%. But interest rates on mortgages for nonresidents are often higher than the average US interest rates as well.
Typical loan requirements for immigrants or non-US citizens
There are lenders that offer loans without SSN, but you need some identification and likely a visa. Expect to see these requirements when you’re applying for a loan as a US nonresident:
- SSN or ITIN. A Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Most lenders like LendingPoint require one of these numbers to apply, which you should have after completing a visa application.
- An eligible visa. Lenders like Fiona (formally Earnest) are willing to work with nonresidents on specific visas, such as the TN, E or O. SoFi allows borrowers with E-2, E-3, H-1B, J-1, L-1, or O-1 visas. A few lenders specifically offer financing for noncitizens on work or student visas, including DACA recipients.
- Income to repay. Whether you’re a resident or not, you need enough income to comfortably repay the loan. Proof of income is usually fulfilled by pay stubs, tax returns and supporting bank statements.
- Meet age requirements. Most states’ require you to be 18 years old. However, a few such as Nebraska and Delaware have their adult age set at 19, and Mississippi’s is 21.
- Active bank account. Most lenders require you to have an active, valid bank account with a positive balance.
- Decent credit score. Credit score requirements vary, but generally, you need a credit score above 600 for many types of loans. Some lenders are more lenient, though, and may allow scores as low as 300.
- A cosigner. If you don’t have a consistent credit history, a lender may require a cosigner.
What is a cosigner?
A cosigner is someone that signs onto the loan with you. The cosigner offers more security on the loan because they promise to repay the loan if you become unable, therefore increasing your chances of approval. They don’t help you with installment payments each month, though — they’re the backup payer. For a cosigner to actually help approval chances, they need a good credit score, proof of income, and likely be a US citizen or have lived in the US for at least two years.
Loans with ITIN
An individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) is typically required for a loan if you don’t have an SSN. It’s a tax processing number for noncitizens, aliens and their family members who can’t get a SSN.
You’re eligible for an ITIN number as soon as you start paying taxes. You can get an ITIN by filling out a W-7 application, and you’ll have to include documents supporting your resident status and your identification.
If you need help, look for an IRS Acceptance Agent near you — an entity like a college or bank that the IRS has authorized to assist with your application. You can find an acceptance agent in or outside the US on the IRS website.
How to check your credit score with an ITIN
Most US citizens use their SSN to check their credit score — and having an SSN is required to get copies of your credit reports with AnnualCreditReport.com.
To check your credit reports and credit score with your ITIN, you can reach out to each credit bureau directly. The three major credit bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each bureau once every 12 months, and reviewing your own credit reports and score do not harm your credit score.
Nontraditonal credit references
As an immigrant or noncitizen, it may be possible to get a nontraditional credit check. This could help you get a loan without a credit history.
Depending on the lender you choose, you may need sufficient credit references, and to increase your approval odds, it helps if your credit accounts are free of late payments, collection accounts, bankruptcies or foreclosures.
Nontraditional credit references can include:
- Your rental history.
- A history of payments for utility bills like gas, electric, water or cable TV.
- Non-payroll-deducted medical, life, auto or renters insurance.
- School tuition.
Try to have at least three nontraditional credit references — they can really help if each show 12 months of on-time payments.
Are there borrowing restrictions for nonresidents or immigrants?
Even when you find a lender that works with nonresidents, you may face some restrictions:
- If you don’t have a consistent credit history, you may be required to apply with a cosigner.
- If you’re a nonresident who will be in the US for a limited time, approval for a loan may be hard.
- If you’re a foreign national, you may have difficulty getting a mortgage because lenders are unprotected if you default.
- If you have diplomatic immunity, it means that you aren’t subject to US laws — so you aren’t legally liable to pay back the loan. That’s a risk most lenders aren’t willing to take.
Personal loans for nonresidents
When applying for a personal loan in the US, you’ll quickly realize that they aren’t designed for nonresidents. But there’s good news: You’re still eligible to apply for some personal loans, including car loans. Just be prepared for plenty of paperwork.
A personal loan for nonresidents is similar to a personal loan for residents: If approved, you can use the money you receive to cover almost any expense. You pay back the principal amount — the money you borrowed — plus interest over the term.
For a temporary resident, like someone on a work visa, you may need to meet extra criteria in order to qualify. Most lenders will need the details of your visa before you’re approved to ensure that the terms of the personal loan don’t exceed the amount of time left on your visa. You may also need to meet higher minimum income criteria.
Applying for a personal loan as an immigrant or non-US resident
The paperwork required to fill out your application depends on the type of loan you’re applying for and the lender you’re applying with. In general, loans are only granted to people who plan to continue working in the US for at least three years or through the duration of the loan.
Expect to need:
- Copies of your passport.
- A valid visa — E1, E2, H1B, H2 A, H2B, H3, L1, G series or 0-1.
- Employment authorization Form I-766 or I-765 to prove that you are eligible to work in the US.
- Form I-797A with an attached I-94 or any other documentation that can prove you’re authorized to work in the US.
- Form I-20, otherwise known as a certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant student status which you should receive from your school.
3 other types of loans for nonresidents
As a nonresident, you can apply for four main types of loans: personal loans, student loans, mortgages or business loans.
|Unsecured personal loan||An unsecured personal loan isn’t backed by any collateral and can be used for almost any purpose. And while your interest rate will likely be fixed over the life of your loan, you may have to pay a higher interest rate than with a secured personal loan.||Up to $100,000|
|Secured personal loan||A secured personal loan requires you to provide an asset as a guarantee — like your car or home. It protects the lender by allowing it to repossess and sell your asset to recoup its losses if you default on the loan. Because of this, it generally has lower interest rates than other types of personal loans.||Up to $100,000|
|Payday loan||With repayment terms of two to four weeks, payday loans are typically for smaller sums of money. However, because they’re meant for borrowers with bad credit or a limited credit history, interest rates can be quite high — sometimes more than 300%.||Up to $1,000|
|Installment loan||With a set number of payments over a scheduled period of time, installment loans can last for a few months or more. An installment loan is usually as expensive as a payday loan, but you’ll have more time to pay it back. Best of all, some lenders even report your on-time payments so you can build your credit.||Up to $5,000|
|Cryptocurrency loan||A type of secured personal loan, these loans use cryptocurrency as collateral. They have fewer requirements than your typical loan — other than already owning cryptocurrency. But there are several risks — like going into default if the value of your cryptocurrency drops significantly.||Up to 50% of the value of your cryptocurrency holdings.|
|Inheritance funding||This type of financing offers an advance on an inheritance that’s tied up in the legal process. This typically has fewer requirements than most loans. But it can complicate the inheritance process — and you could pay up to 40% of your inheritance’s value in fees.||Varies|
Student loans for nonresidents and international students
Whether it’s MIT, UCLA or Harvard, the opportunity to study in the US can open many doors. But if you can’t afford the cost of attending college in the US, an international student loan may be able to help.
As an international student, you likely haven’t built up a credit history in the US. Lenders don’t require you to have excellent credit, but you might be required to have a US cosigner.
If you don’t have a cosigner, you still have some options. Some lenders like Mpower and Prodigy specialize in student loans for international students. Rather than looking at your credit score and current income, these lenders consider your academic record and how much you might earn in the future.
Mortgages for permanent and nonpermanent US residents
The maximum loan amount available for a nonresident is $10,000,000 for a mortgage on one property.
Financing a home loan or mortgage as a nonresident is difficult, but not impossible. The ease of application usually depends on your residency status.
Generally, you can apply for a home loan if you are a permanent resident with a valid green card (Form I-551), or a nonpermanent resident with a valid work visa. If you’re neither of those, you may run into trouble finding a lender willing to finance a mortgage.
What do I need to apply for a mortgage as a nonresident?
Lenders typically ask to see the following documents from noncitizen applicants:
- A valid work visa — E1, E2, H1B, H2A, H2B, H3, L1 or G1–G4 visas.
- A valid SSN.
- Employment authorization documentation.
- Proof of employment history and income.
- A multiyear credit history.
Business loans with an ITIN
If you’re on the hunt for a business loan without a SSN, then you may be able to use your ITIN.
You can also apply with Small Business Administration (SBA) providers with an ITIN. In fact, there’s a specific SBA program for immigrants that don’t have a SSN yet.
You can also use your ITIN to apply for an employer identification number (EIN), which is a number used to identify businesses for tax purposes.
Typical requirements for a business loan can include:
- Be a US resident or permanent resident.
- Be age of majority in your state.
- $50,000 to $100,000+ in annual income.
- 500+ credit score, depending on the lender.
- In business for 3 to 24 months, depending on the lender.
- No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last few years.