Stilt personal loans review November 2018 |

Stilt personal loans for nonresidents review

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No green card? You could still qualify for a personal loan.

Nonresidents working in the US can have a difficult time getting a personal loan. Stilt is one of the few personal loan providers that doesn’t require you to have a green card to borrow. Instead, all you’ll need is a valid work or student visa. But you’ll still have to meet some basic eligibility criteria to qualify.
Product NameStilt Personal Loans
Min Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan Amount$25,000
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Maximum Loan Term2 years
RequirementsBe employed, have a US bank account, live in a state where Stilt operates, hold one of the following visas: F-1 and OPT, H-1B, H4, O-1, L-1, TN, J-1, DACA or be a US citizen.


  • Excellent customer service
  • No credit score required
  • No prepayment fees
  • Be employed
  • Have a US bank account
  • Live in a state where Stilt operates
  • Hold one of the following visas: F-1 and OPT, H-1B, H4, O-1, L-1, TN, J-1, DACA or US citizens

What makes Stilt personal loans unique?

Stilt personal loans are designed with nonresident workers and new immigrants in mind. You don’t need a green card or a Social Security number to apply. Instead, it relies on aspects of your personal financial history other than your credit rating when underwriting your loan. Rates are capped at 15.99%, which is relatively low when compared to other lenders that offer loans with APRs as high as 36%.

What does Stilt offer?

Stilt, a San Francisco-based fintech company, provides a variety of unsecured loans and other services to nonresidents legally working in 11 US states.

  • Personal loans. Unsecured term loans can be used for just about any legitimate purpose. Many borrowers use them to refinance loans from other countries so they don’t have to worry about transferring money abroad or converting currency.
  • Student loan refinancing. Students on an F-1 visa about to graduate with a job offer can apply to refinance their student loans, even if they originated in another country.
  • Student loans. Stilt offers private loans to students on F-1 and OPT visas who are working part-time, though it isn’t advertised on its website yet. The customer service representative we spoke with told us Stilt was still working out some of its features.
  • Credit-building tool. This free service isn’t a loan, but it can help you build credit. Just sign up, register some of your monthly bills with Stilt and provide your bank account information. Stilt takes care of paying your bills by withdrawing the money from your account and reporting the payment to credit bureaus.

What are the benefits of a personal loan from Stilt?

  • No green card necessary. You don’t need to be a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify for a personal loan with Stilt.
  • No credit score required. Since you probably don’t have a US credit score as a nonresident, Stilt looks at other aspects of your financial history and behavior when determining your loan amount, rate and term.
  • No prepayment fees. You can save on interest by paying off your loan early.
  • Excellent customer service. You can reach a Stilt representative who’s willing to walk you through its products by phone, live chat or email.

What to look out for

  • Limited availability. You can only get a Stilt loan if you live in one of the 11 states it serves.
  • No cosigner option. You can’t get lower rates or improve your chances of approval by having a friend or relative with a stronger financial history cosign your loan.
  • Complicated website. While Stilt has an extensive FAQ section, not all of its information is up-to-date and comprehensive.
  • Young company. Stilt has only been up and running for about two years, so it doesn’t have much of a track record.

What does the Internet say about Stilt personal loans?

Not much, but what’s there is good. As of June 2018, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives it an A+ rating, though it’s not BBB-accredited. It has no customer reviews or complaints on its BBB page.

You’ll have more luck finding reviews on Trustpilot. So far 11 customers have left comments. It gets an 8.7 out of 10 rating with all but one customer rating it as excellent. It also gets five stars on Yelp, based on five positive reviews. Reviewers highlighted Stilt’s low rates, quick funding — in just two to three days — and easy application.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a Stilt personal loan, you must

  • Be employed
  • Have a US bank account
  • Live in one of the following states: AZ, IL, FL, TX, PA, CA, MI, WA, GA, NY, NJ, WI or UT
  • Hold one of the following visas:
    • F-1 and OPT: Student visa for full-time students that are allowed to temporarily work in the US.
    • H-1B: Specialty worker visa.
    • H-4: Visa for family members of an H-1B Visa holder
    • O-1: Individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement work visa.
    • L-1: Intracompany transferee work visa.
    • TN: NAFTA professional visa.
    • J-1: Exchange visitor visa for work- or study-exchange program participants.
    • DACA: Visa for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as a minor.

What documents do I need?

All non-US citizens or permanent residents must be prepared to provide:

  • Passport copies
  • Visa copies
  • I-20 documents (for students)

You may also be asked to provide recent bank statements and other documentation, depending on your application. If you don’t have much of a US credit history, Stilt might ask to connect to your bank account so it can access information about your past transactions. This gives its underwriting team another way to evaluate your past financial habits and could help you qualify for a larger loan amount or more competitive rates.

How does Stilt evaluate applications if it doesn’t check credit?

Since having a credit score isn’t a requirement — you need a Social Security number for that — Stilt might consider the following when determining your rates:
  • Education and work experience. Stilt looks at your work history, level of education and your GPA if you’re still in school.
  • Financial behavior. Similar to a credit check, Stilt looks at your debit and credit accounts to see how you handle your personal finances.
  • Derogatory fees. If you have any late fees, overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees regularly taken out of any of your bank accounts, it could hurt your application.
  • Defaults, collections or bankruptcies. If you’ve defaulted on a large debt, it could have a negative effect on your application.
  • Accuracy of application. Make sure to reread your application a few times before submitting it. It could hurt you if its underwriters find inaccuracies.

How do I apply?

  1. Go to Stilt’s website and fill out the required fields before clicking Get Started.
  2. If you meet Stilt’s basic eligibility requirements, a representative will contact you and invite you to apply.
  3. Once you submit your application, Stilt does a soft credit pull (if you have a Social Security number) or goes over your finances, then gets in touch for a quick verification call to make sure your information is correct.
  4. If you’re approved, Stilt will send you an offer. Carefully read your loan terms and conditions before signing. Stilt will then do a hard credit inquiry, which may affect your credit score.
  5. Your funds will be disbursed to your bank account.

How to apply step-by-step with screenshots

I got the Stilt personal loan. Now what?

It’s time to start repaying your loan. You have several repayment options, including check, bank transfer or online payments. Stilt doesn’t have an autopay option, but once you set up your bank account for online payment, making additional payments is relatively painless. You can even set up payments for a future date.

Since Stilt doesn’t have any prepayment penalties, try repaying your loan as quickly as possible to save on interest. If you notice anything wrong with your account or have any questions, contact customer service by calling 855-557-8458 or 628-400-7726, using the live chat feature on its website or by emailing

Bottom line

Stilt personal loans are one of the few options that nonresidents in the US have, and it’s great for paying for relocation if you just got a job or are managing your personal loans back home. Its interest rates are competitive, even compared to standard personal loans, and you can typically get your funds within a few days. But with a limited business history and only 11 states eligible for service, you may want to read more on borrowing options as a nonresident or check out our personal loans comparison page.

Frequently asked questions

Anna Serio

Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JsyJuly 16, 2018

    If if I get rejected with stilt when can u reapply?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloJuly 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Jsy,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      If you get rejected by Stilt, you’re going to know why — the company sends you a letter detailing why it denied you a loan. You can still reapply after a while but make sure you have resolved the reasons you were rejected before to get approved. You can always compare from our list of personal loan providers by clicking HERE so you can weigh your options.


  2. Default Gravatar
    NathanApril 1, 2018

    Working visa…C1 D…working cruise ship..can we avail loan?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaApril 1, 2018Staff

      Hi Nathan,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      If you wish to apply for a loan, you may do so even if you are on a working visa. We have a guide that helps you know more about how to get a loan as a nonresident in the United States. On that page, you will see a table that allows you to conveniently compare your options. Once you find the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your application.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  3. Default Gravatar
    SaraMarch 20, 2018

    Why do they ask for username and password for bank account? and ask for a verification code too.

    • finder Customer Care
      AnnaMarch 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Sara,

      Thanks for your comment! Stilt might ask you for information that allows it connect to your bank account if you’re not a US citizen and have limited credit history. It uses this information to access read-only bank statements to get a better idea of your financial behavior. Allowing it to connect with your bank could potentially help you qualify for a larger loan and more competitive rates if you don’t have a strong credit history.

      This shouldn’t involve sharing your username and password, however, and it doesn’t give Stilt permission to withdraw funds from your account or make any other changes.

      If you think you’ve been asked for your login credentials, reach out to Stilt’s customer service line for clarification. If you’re still not comfortable with sharing the information Stilt requires, you might want to check out our personal loans guide for general information on loans, or our nonresidents loan guide for information on getting a loan without a green card.



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