How to Get a Loan As an Immigrant – Business Insider
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Without a Social Security number and a credit history, immigrants often find it difficult to access traditional financial products. Lenders may avoid lending to immigrants because they’re uncertain about an applicant’s employment status and ability to make payments.
Nearly one in five consumers lack any credit history with major ratings agencies, says Maddy Woodle, Communications Manager with San Francisco-based Mission Asset Fund, a nonprofit financial and advocacy organization for low income communities. This makes it nearly impossible to access affordable bank loans, she says.
While this may seem bleak for immigrants looking to borrow money, there are options. Some lenders and products are available to help non-U.S. citizens take out a loan for a car, home, business or college. Here’s where to look as you begin the search for a loan.
In addition to the requirements below, eligibility varies by lender and approval depends on a number of factors, including your financial history, credit score, expenses, and monthly income.
Quick tip: Know the signs of predatory lending: extremely high interest rates, encouragement to borrow more than you need, quick approvals, and no income or credit requirements. Shop around and compare loan products, repayment terms and interest rates before you commit.
Getting organized ahead of time will help smooth out the process. Some of what you’ll need may include, but is not limited to:
While DACA recipients are excluded from federal student aid, many non-US citizens are eligible. The Department of Education fully details qualification requirements in its comprehensive FAQ.
Regardless of whether you qualify for federal student aid, non-citizens may be eligible for private loans, state financial aid, and aid directly from the college or university they plan to attend. Check with your school’s financial aid office about what resources, including grants and scholarships, are available to you.
Still, many lenders avoid offering student loans for foreign born students unless they have a Social Security number and a status which allows them to pursue lawful employment, says Renata Castro, an immigration attorney and founder of Castro Legal Group. As a result, she recommends foreign students also look into using foreign-issued lines of credit.
If you can’t get a loan, ask friends, family, or local organizations for help. You might also consider getting a credit card or a salary advance, but be careful to guard your money. Make sure you understand the interest rates and that you can repay what you borrow. If you can’t borrow what you need, you may be able to earn it through short-term work in the gig economy.
Regardless of your immigration status, if you need money, there are options available.
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