How to Get a Personal Loan for a Non-US Citizen

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

person holding document

Without U.S. citizenship, you can’t run for office, vote, or secure an American passport. But could you apply for a personal loan?

If you’re a green card or visa holder and need to borrow money for the next stage of your life, here’s what you need to know about your eligibility.

Are there personal loans for non-US citizens?

There are many requirements for personal loans, such as having a certain credit score and debt-to-income ratio. But there are also criteria concerning your residency status in the U.S.

Among top personal loan companies, Earnest lends to green card holders and holders of any one of the following visa types: TN, E, O, H-1B, or F-1. SoFi also lends to those with J-1 visas, usually given to visiting scholars or cultural exchange participants.

Other reputable lenders, such as LendingPoint, require that personal loan borrowers provide a valid Social Security number (SSN). So if you’re a lawful resident but haven’t yet applied for an SSN, you’d have another hurdle to clear.

Some lenders use the term “permanent resident” to describe eligible borrowers. So at Citizens Bank and other similar lenders, you must have a green card to be eligible for a personal loan. A visa wouldn’t cut it.

Aside from your legal status in the country, also ensure you live in a state where your preferred lender does business. Earnest, for instance, doesn’t work with borrowers residing in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

How to apply for personal loans for non-US citizens

Once you’ve found a lender that works with holders of your type of visa, it’s important to know that your loan application process could vary.

If you’re a green card holder with an SSN, it’ll likely be as seamless as if you were a citizen.

At Payoff, which specializes in personal loans to consolidate credit card debt, you’d need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or state-issued ID.

It can become trickier if you have a conditional green card valid for just two years or a short-term visa.

Say you have a two-year green card and are applying for a personal loan with Earnest. In this case, you’d also need to provide Form I-797 to confirm your eligibility.

Similarly, if you hold an H-1B or F-1 visa, it would need to be valid for the life of your personal loan. So if your visa expires in 2020 but your loan term would run through 2023, you have a problem.

SoFi is one lender that provides a workaround. If your legal status expires within two years, filing for an extension with the Department of Homeland Security can keep you eligible for a personal loan.

Shop around to find the right personal loan

If you’re an eligible noncitizen seeking a personal loan, ensure you compare APRs, loan terms, and other protections from a variety of lenders.

You might be tempted to choose a lender that advertises only to immigrants. Stilt, for example, lends to visa holders who don’t have SSNs.

The benefit of borrowing from Stilt is that you don’t need a cosigner to qualify. But the downside is that Stilt offers shorter repayment terms, up to only two years. Be sure you can afford to pay off your personal loan over a short period.

Say you need a personal loan for $20,000 and can score an APR of 8.00%. Repaying it over two years with Stilt leave you with monthly payments of $905.

If you borrowed the same amount at the same rate but repaid it over five years with another lender, your monthly payments would be a more manageable $406.

Estimate your future monthly payments using our personal loan calculator. You’ll notice that if your repayment term is longer, you’ll pay more interest on your loan.

Either way, you’ll want to shop around because you might find that you’re eligible to secure a lower APR, preferable repayment term, or specific repayment protection with another lender.

Yes, personal loans for non-US citizens exist

Finding the right personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Familiarize yourself with eligibility requirements and the application process.

You might have access to a cosigner who’s a U.S. citizen and has a strong credit history, for example. In this case, you’d likely score a lower APR with a lender that accepts cosigners.

Or you might have excellent credit of your own and the green card or visa type to be eligible with a top lender.

Now that you have the basic information on getting a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen, check out these tips for getting approved.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.199% APR to 15.365% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.145% APR to 14.685% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of June 15, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.145% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.97% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply:SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.15% – 15.37%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% – 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% – 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% – 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.