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.
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!
|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|
|6.15% – 15.37%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|6.87% – 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|
|5.99% – 18.99%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|