Taking out a personal loan is stressful enough for U.S. residents. But imagine for a minute that you’re only temporarily living and working in the U.S. and need a personal loan. What are you going to do? For some in the U.S., this is their reality.
Luckily, there are banks and credit unions that are open to giving personal loans to anyone regardless of residential status. But even if you’re a U.S. citizen, there are a couple catches. Here are a few things you can do to take out a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen.
1. Catch up on your credit history
Lenders look at your credit score and credit history to determine whether you’ll be a reliable borrower. You can get a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. Sometimes, even your bank might offer a free credit score or report.
It’s important to prove that you’re responsible with credit. You can do this by making regular, on-time payments on a credit card, phone bill, or even your utilities. Lenders want to know you’ll be able to pay them back on time, so show them you’re financially equipped to do so.
2. Look up lenders
You can get loans from a traditional bank, credit union, or online lenders. When applying for a loan, you’ll need to prove your residency in some capacity. U.S. citizens have driver’s licenses, birth certificates, and Social Security numbers. You might have a visa or employment authorization form.
Not all lenders are created equal. Different lenders have different requirements, but these are the visa types usually approved by lenders, according to ValuePenguin:
- G series
A green card or visa will be able to show lenders how long you’ll be in the U.S. If you’re planning on being here awhile, that’s a good sign to lenders that you’ll be able to pay back a loan. If you’re only in the U.S. for a limited time, banks have no way of holding you accountable for a loan once you leave. Take that into consideration as you browse your options for personal loan lenders.
Going through the process of getting a personal loan can be tedious. But getting a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen can be overwhelming, especially if you’re navigating unknown territory alone. Try to find someone at a bank or other lender who can help you. Do your best to navigate the personal loan realm with as much help as possible.
3. Prepare your documents
Getting your documents ready for a personal loan before applying will save you and potential lenders the hassle later on. It also shows you know what you need to get a line of credit. Here are some things you’ll need:
Some form of ID: Gather your green card, visa, driver’s license, Social Security card, or other ID.
Credit information: Get a copy of your credit report or something else that shows your credit history from the last few years.
Personal verification: Bring proof of your address (utility bill or lease document), your income, and your highest level of education obtained, plus employment verification.
While most lenders will do a credit check on their own, it’s good to have a copy of yours handy so you can review it with them if you have any questions. Also, have the personal loan amount you need, including what you plan on using it for. This tells lenders you’re going to be using their money responsibly.
4. Find a cosigner
If you have all the necessary documents but lenders are still hesitant to give you a personal loan, you might need a cosigner.
For U.S. residents, a cosigner might agree to help you if your credit isn’t up to par. When seeking a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen, you might need help securing a line of credit.
Don’t settle for just any loan
While some banks might refuse personal loans to non-U.S. citizens, not all do. Still, it’s easy to get discouraged. You might even get desperate when applying, but don’t give up.
Try to find a bank that will approve you but won’t charge outrageous fees. Vet banks and lenders before signing on. Review personal loan lenders to see other customers’ experiences. If you have the opportunity to choose a lender, this is an important step. Don’t settle for any lender, settle for the right one.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
|7.73% - 29.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|5.83% - 14.74%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|5.96% - 35.97%*||$1,000 - $50,000||Visit Upgrade|
|8.00% - 25.00%||$5,000 - $35,000|
|4.99% - 29.99%||$10,000 - $35,000||Visit FreedomPlus|
|4.99% - 16.24%2||$5,000 - $50,000||Visit Citizens|
|15.49% - 34.49%||$2,000 - $25,000||Visit LendingPoint|
|5.99% - 35.89%||$1,000 - $40,000||Visit LendingClub|
|5.49% - 18.24%||$5,000 - $75,000||Visit Earnest|
|9.95% - 35.99%||$2,000 - $35,000||Visit Avant|