Personal Loans For Non-U.S. Citizens (H1B Visa Holders)
Many international students in the United States will work in the United States after they graduate through the Optional Practical Training program or by getting a working visa such as an H1B visa. These students and/or visa holders may need to take out a personal loan for a variety of reasons such as: home improvement, an auto or car loan, special occasions, or an unexpected expense. Typically, an international personal loan will be for 3 to 5 years in term length.
Generally, many lenders consider non-U.S. citizens to be a higher risk demographic to lend to, regardless of their visa status or financial situation. The reason for this is that for most visa holders, they will be in the United States for a limited time and once they leave the United States, it may be hard for lenders to collect upon the loans. Many lenders will require that a prospective borrower have an extensive credit history, sometimes up to six years and barring that, they will only lend to a non-U.S. citizen if there is an eligible U.S. cosigner on the loan (typically a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with good credit).
Personal Loan Options for Internationals
The good news is that there are online lenders and credit unions that may provide personal loans for internationals. They will take a comprehensive approach to the prospective borrower, but at the least you will need to have some type of credit history and documentation for the length of your stay in the U.S to get a personal loan.
Build Up Your Credit
There are some things that you can do as a non-U.S. citizen visa holder to better your chances at receiving a personal loan. To start with, having some type of credit history and a valid credit score will help. Start building your credit as early as you can to help your chances of being approved for a loan in the future. Some good tips for building your credit history are to pay off any loans, credit cards, or other lines of credit on time, consistently and fully. Keep in mind, different lenders will vary on the credit history length needed and the credit score required.
Creating a “Credit Package”
However, you may have not had enough time to build your credit history. The good news is that there may still be an option for you. You will need to create a “credit package,” which essentially is collecting documentation of your existing credit to substitute a traditional U.S. credit history and score.
To create a “credit package”, gather at the minimum two years’ worth of at least three accounts that you have been making payments on-time and fully. Additionally, it may be helpful to obtain nontraditional credit references from an institution such as your university for tuition payments or health insurance payments for at least a year. Lastly, if possible, obtain a credit report from a credit reporting agency in your home country.
Show Your Length of Stay
The next step is proving that you will be in the U.S. for a certain length of time. You will be more likely to receive a loan if you can show that you will be in the U.S. for at least three years of the loan term and that there is good potential that your visa will be renewed. If you are in school, show how long you plan to study. If you are working, make sure the company you work for is e-verified, which allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees with the government.
Lastly, make sure you have your H1B visa (or other visas) documentation and work authorization documentation available to submit to a lender when applying.
Please keep in mind that these are just general tips. Each lender will be different in what they require to get a loan. It is best to do your own thorough research before you apply.
Let Nomad Credit Help You
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 personal loan options visit our main site, at Nomad Credit or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can personally help you start your search.