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3 Ways Non-U.S. Citizens and Immigrants Can Get a Personal Loan

3 Ways Non-U.S. Citizens and Immigrants Can Get a Personal Loan

Unless you’re a U.S. citizen or have a green card, getting a personal loan can be tricky. If you’re an immigrant or non-U.S. citizen, you might not meet the lender’s eligibility requirements for citizenship status, residency, and financial stability. Non-U.S. citizens are often ineligible for loans from U.S.-based institutions because of their immigration status and potential risk as a borrower due to the difficulty in pursuing collection action against them if they default on their loan obligations; after all, they might move back home at any time with limited consequences for the lender should that happen.


And even if your immigration status allows you to become a permanent resident, the lender may still require that you maintain that status throughout the term of the loan – again posing difficulties for those who are planning to become naturalized citizens but haven’t yet done so (and can’t do so until they complete another residential period).


Tips for Non-U.S. Citizens and Immigrants


Before applying for a personal loan, non-U.S. citizens should take some time to understand what their options are, and what their eligibility is for different loan products. Here are some tips for making the best loan selection for your situation:

3 Ways Non-U.S. Citizens and Immigrants Can Get a Personal Loan

U.S. Citizens or Green Card Holders Only: Look to Your Bank

If your bank offers personal loans, it might be a good option for you since many banks require no credit checks or other documentation to approve a loan. You may also be able to access a larger loan amount with a bank loan compared to what you may be able to get with a non-bank lender. However, keep in mind that interest rates on bank loans tend to be higher than what you would find with a non-bank lender. Keep in mind that if you’re currently in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship or are a green card holder in the final stage of the process, you may not be able to get a loan through your bank due to your current immigration status.


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U.S. Citizens or Green Card Holders: Check Out These Options

Online lenders that are not U.S.-based can provide alternatives for non-U.S. citizens who are looking for a personal loan. Make sure to select a lender that’s licensed to operate in your state and has an A+ or better rating with the Better Business Bureau. Creditworthy cosigners. If you have a cosigner who’s a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you may be able to access a loan with a lower interest rate and better terms than what you’d receive with a non-U.S. citizen cosigner. Creditworthy co-signers. A co-signer who’s a U.S. citizen or green card holder can help you qualify for a loan with better interest rates and terms than what a non-U.S. citizen cosigner can.


3 Ways Non-U.S. Citizens and Immigrants Can Get a Personal Loan


Non-U.S. Citizens: Consider a Co-Signer With Good Credit

If you’re a non-U.S. citizen with a limited credit history and poor credit score, you might have a difficult time getting approved for a loan. One way to get around this is by finding a co-signer with good credit who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder. This person would sign on the loan with you, and you would be responsible for making timely payments on the loan as if you were the only borrower. However, if you default on the loan, the lender would have the right to pursue the co-signer for payment of the loan if the co-signer is a U.S citizen or green card holder.

3 Ways Non-U.S. Citizens and Immigrants Can Get a Personal Loan


Non-U.S. Citizens: Get a Cosigner Who’s a U.S.-Based Citizen or Resident

Another option for non-U.S. citizens is to get a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder. When choosing a cosigner, make sure that the cosigner is able to qualify for the loan independently, has good credit, and has sufficient income to qualify for the loan. Also, make sure that the loan terms clearly indicate that the cosigner is equally responsible for the debt along with you. Cosigners can provide a higher level of assurance to the lender that the loan will be repaid because they have a strong incentive to make sure the loan is repaid. In the event of a default, the lender can pursue both you and the cosigner for repayment of the debt.

Bottom line

Deciding to get a loan as a non-U.S. citizen or immigrant can be a challenge, particularly if you have a limited credit history or poor credit score. By understanding your options, you can make an informed decision about which loan product is best for your situation.

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