International Student Blog

What are the Options for a Non-U.S. Citizen to Get a Personal Loan?

What are the Options for a Non-U.S. Citizen to Get a Personal Loan?

We have previously discussed personal loans and what an international student might use them for (for information about international student loans, please follow this link). Personal loans for non-US citizens can be used for a number of reasons, and can be used to help cover for a variety of expenses. However, a question that many have regarding international personal loans is where to get them. Personal loans for non-US citizens can be secured from a variety of institutions, including banks, local credit unions, and online lenders.

Some General Guidelines 

Like international student loans, it may be more difficult for internationals to get approved for a personal loan due to their citizenship status. The interest rate(s) may be higher, and there may be a cosigner requirement.

Credit Union

Credit unions are very different from banks. They are mostly local (with some exceptions). As a result, they operate on a much smaller scale than a big chain bank. Credit unions are controlled by its members and generally operate on the basic principle of helping others. They provide their members with competitive rates and different financial services, including personal loans. Since credit unions are generally more local than national, it will vary union-by-union what they require and if they give personal loans to internationals. Please note that in order to borrow from a credit union, you will need to become a member of that credit union.


Another option for borrowing is from a bank. Unlike credit unions, who tend to strive to help their communities, banks are run more like a business and  tend to be more focused on their bottom line. There are very few major banks that will offer unsecured loans, which is important for internationals seeking personal loans. Banks tend to offer unsecured loans to those with high credit scores, which may be an issue for those seeking personal loans for non-US citizens. If you are a new member to a bank, the amount that you can borrow for a personal loan may also be restricted. If you are a member of the bank that you are trying to borrow from, then you may get certain perks, like being able to borrow a larger amount.

There are also community banks that may give personal loans for internationals. These are smaller banks that serve the community and its members. If you have been a member of a community bank for a while, and are in good standing with them, then you may be able to receive lower rates.

Online Lenders

Online lenders may be the most convenient way to find personal loans for non-US citizens. For the most part, they will quote rates and the terms of the loan during the pre-approval process, so you will have that information at your disposal rather quickly. There are plenty of online lenders to choose from, which result in heavy competition and each online lender trying to set itself apart from the rest. As a result, some may offer more flexible payments, little to no fees, and/or competitive interest rates. Also, online lender tend to be more lenient towards lending to those with little to no credit, which helps those seeking personal loans for non US citizens.

Overall, there are many options out there for international personal loans. You can go to a credit union, a bank, or an online lender to start. Each type of lender offers different and unique benefits that can suit a great number of people. We suggest looking into all three and seeing which option works best for your needs.

International Student Loan

While it may be harder for a non-U.S. citizen or H1B visa holder than a U.S. citizen to get a personal loan from a lender, there are options out there for you. If you’d like to learn more and/or search for potential personal loan options visit our main site, at Nomad Credit or email us at e and we can personally help you start your search.



John Romanucci

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