Personal loans for non-U.S. citizens: What you need to know

Non-U.S. citizens are eligible for personal loans from U.S.-based banks, financial institutions, and alternative lenders — but every lender has different requirements.

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Lenders that offer loans for non-U.S. citizens typically require a valid work visa and proof of employment. (iStock)

Moving to a new country and establishing residency there can be expensive. Covering the cost of travel, housing, and setting up your life in the United States can quickly deplete your savings account or force you to go into debt.

Personal loans can be a good option to cover some of these expenses or consolidate other high-interest debts, but for noncitizens in the U.S., getting a personal loan can be difficult. 

Lenders may worry that non-U.S. citizens will leave the country without paying, leaving the lender on the hook if they don’t repay the loan. Some lenders also shy away from providing loans to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients because the laws could change at any time, and the DACA recipient could be deported, leaving the bank unable to recover its money.

Despite this hesitancy, it’s possible for noncitizens to take out a loan in the United States. Here’s what you need to know about personal loans for non-U.S. citizens. 

With Credible, you can compare personal loan rates from multiple lenders in minutes.

Can I get a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen?

Non-U.S. citizens can get personal loans. But not all financial institutions and lenders offer loans to noncitizens, and the requirements vary by lender.

Some lenders require a high credit score, while some don’t have a minimum credit score, instead looking at other factors, such as your income and education.

11 best lenders that offer personal loans to non-U.S. citizens

Not all lenders offer personal loans to non-U.S. citizens, but some do. The following 11 lenders are Credible partners.

Axos Bank

Axos Bank doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, so it’s a good option for borrowers who want to pay off their personal loans early.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Loan terms: 1 to 5 years
  • Minimum credit score: 740
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day
  • Best for: Fast loan funding

Best Egg

Best Egg personal loans are available in all states except Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 2 to 5 years
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Time to fund: As soon as 1 to 3 business days after successful verification
  • Best for: Credit card refinancing or debt consolidation

Discover 

Discover offers personal loans for a variety of uses, including auto repair, credit card refinancing and debt consolidation. 

  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Loan terms: 3 to 7 years
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day after acceptance
  • Best for: Longer repayment terms

FreedomPlus

FreedomPlus doesn’t have a minimum income requirement for personal loan applicants.

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 2 to 5 years
  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to fund: As soon as 2 business days
  • Best for: Larger loan amounts

LendingClub

LendingClub offers peer-to-peer lending, matching borrowers with investors who lend money.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan terms: 3 or 5 years
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Time to fund: Usually about 2 days
  • Best for: Borrowers with a low debt-to-income ratio

LendingPoint

With a minimum credit score requirement of 580, LendingPoint makes personal loans available to applicants with less-than-perfect credit.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $36,500
  • Loan terms: 2 to 4 years
  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day
  • Best for: Borrowers with lower credit scores

Marcus

Marcus has a higher minimum credit score but allows you to defer a monthly payment after making 12 on-time payments.

  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
  • Loan terms: 3 to 6 years
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Time to fund: As soon as 3 days
  • Best for: Borrowers who want tailored monthly payment options

PenFed

PenFed offers personal loans to applicants with good to excellent credit.

  • Loan amounts: $600 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 1 to 5 years
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Time to fund: 2 to 4 business days after verification
  • Best for: Small loan amounts

SoFi

SoFi offers large personal loans to borrowers with high credit scores.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan terms: 2 to 7 years
  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to fund: 3 business days
  • Best for: Borrowers with excellent credit

Upgrade

In addition to fast funding for its personal loans, Upgrade offers free credit monitoring.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 2 to 7 years
  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Time to fund: Within a day of clearing necessary verifications
  • Best for: Borrowers who are building credit

Upstart

Upstart is a good option for borrowers with below-average or no credit because the lender considers other factors, such as education and job history, as part of overall eligibility.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 3 to 5 years
  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Time to fund: As soon as 1 business day
  • Best for: Borrowers with a strong work or education history

Check out Credible to compare personal loan rates from various lenders and find the right one for you.

Other lenders to consider

The following two lenders are not Credible partners, so you won’t be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform. But they may also be worth considering if you’re looking for a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen.

Earnest

Earnest can match you with loan options in less than 60 seconds.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $250,000
  • Loan terms: 6 months to 12 years
  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to fund: Does not disclose
  • Best for: Longer repayment terms

Stilt

Stilt specializes in personal loans for immigrants and other underserved markets and doesn’t require applicants to have a Social Security number or credit history.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $35,000
  • Loan terms: 1 to 3 years
  • Minimum credit score: None
  • Time to fund: As soon as the next business day
  • Best for: Borrowers with no Social Security number

Methodology

Credible evaluated the best personal loan lenders based on factors such as customer experience, minimum fixed rate, maximum loan amount, funding time, loan terms, and fees. Credible’s team of experts gathered information from each lender’s website, customer service department, and via email support. Each data point was verified to make sure it was up to date.

What are the eligibility requirements for loans for non-U.S. citizens?

The exact requirements for personal loans for non-U.S. citizens vary by lender. Some common eligibility guidelines include:

  • U.S. residence
  • A U.S.-based bank account and U.S.-based phone number
  • A green card or valid work visa (E-2, E-3, H-1B, J-1, L1, or O-1)
  • Proof that you’re currently employed or have accepted a job offer
  • U.S. credit history or credit history in your home country
  • Proof of on-time payments on a mortgage, rental, or utilities in the U.S.

What will I need for my application?

You’ll need specific documents and information when applying for a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen. While the exact documentation requirements vary by lender, at a minimum, you may need to provide:

Personal information

You’ll need to provide some basic personal information to apply for a personal loan, including your name, date of birth, physical address, email, phone number, Social Security number (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), employer, and income.

You may also need to provide documentation to confirm this information, such as a utility bill to verify your address, a copy of your valid driver’s license or other government-issued identification, and copies of bank statements and tax returns.

Credit check

Lenders typically check your credit score, even if you don’t have a U.S. credit score or a Social Security number. 

Proof of income

The lender will usually ask for specific paperwork to verify the income information included on your loan application, such as a copy of your recent pay stubs.

Loans for non-U.S. citizens FAQs

If you’re getting ready to apply for a personal loan, you likely have a million questions running through your head. To help you out, here are the answers to some common questions about personal loans for non-U.S. citizens.

What types of personal loans can I apply for as a non-U.S. citizen?

Lenders offer personal loans for many different uses. For example, you may be able to get a personal loan to consolidate other debts, make home improvements, cover auto repairs or medical bills, start a business, or make a large purchase. Be sure to check that your lender offers funds for your needs before you accept the loan.

Can I get a personal loan without a Social Security number?

Yes. Lenders that work with non-U.S. citizens know that most noncitizens aren’t eligible for a Social Security number. Instead, lenders may require you to have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which is a tax-processing number assigned by the IRS to certain nonresidents and resident aliens.

Can a nonresident get a personal loan?

Personal loans are typically only available to nonresidents who plan to stay and work in the U.S. longer than their loan’s term. If you don’t plan on staying in the U.S. that long, lenders likely won’t approve your application.

Also, expect the lender to require documentation supporting your continued employment and income, such as your employment authorization form, details on your visa, and an employment contract.

How much can non-U.S. citizens borrow?

The amount you’re able to borrow depends on your unique financial situation, but Credible’s partners offer personal loans of up to $100,000 to non-U.S. citizens. If you can’t qualify for that much on your own, you may be eligible to borrow a larger amount with a cosigner who has good or excellent credit.

Do I need a cosigner?

Whether you need a cosigner depends on your unique financial circumstances and the lender’s requirements. Some lenders don’t require a cosigner, while some lenders require borrowers without a valid visa to apply with a cosigner with good to excellent credit and who’s a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Other lenders may only require a cosigner if you don’t have a good credit history or don’t earn enough income to qualify independently.

Applying with a cosigner could benefit you if it helps you qualify for lower interest rates.

If you’re ready to apply for a personal loan, visit Credible to easily compare personal loan rates.