Can I apply for a loan without an SSN?

5 minutes minutes read

Did you know that if you are not from the US you can still apply for a loan? Even if you don’t have a SSN there are still ways you can get approved for a loan. In this article we explain what a SSN is, the struggles of getting approved for a loan, how you’re actually able to do so even if you’re not a citizen. Lastly, we also mention a loan company that is a great place to look first, especially if you’re a Spanish speaker.


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A SSN (Social Security Number) is a 9-digit number that identifies American citizens and eligible residents. It is widely used, and it keeps track of different things such as years spent working and people’s income or earnings. Some refer to it as the “Taxpayer ID number.” Every taxpayer has one SSN and it is used to identify them on every document.

Most of the time you will also need a SSN for medical care and getting a passport or driver’s license. Here’s a little more information related to your SSN as well: getting loans  and credit cards.

It is important to know that having a SSN will make your life easier when it comes to getting approved for all of the above. This ID gives institutions all the required information they need in order to approve you for a loan, how much they can lend you, and at what rate. On the other hand, if you do not have a SSN, there are still some great loan options for you, particularly if you don’t have a credit history or have been struggling to get a loan.

Struggles getting approved

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If you don’t have a Social Security Number, banks or financial institutions often reject applications from immigrants because of this reason. Particularly, traditional banks require a lot of information that require some paperwork that many immigrants don’t have. This is why immigrants are typically rejected when they apply for a loan. Other major reasons why they might be getting rejected by different financial institutions are:

  1. Reliability. American citizens and residents tend to be more “reliable” for financial institutions because if they don’t repay their debt, it is easier to track them and avoid a major loss of money from their side. On the other hand, foreigners are not easy to track for financial institutions, so there is no way of recovering the money if the person that got the loan decides to not repay the debt.
  2. Credit history. Usually, if you are lacking a SSN you will most certainly be lacking credit history as well. Your credit history helps financial institutions determine how much to lend and how much they can trust the solicitor (the rate you get on your loan). Fortunately, there are some ways to build credit when you have no credit history.

Getting a loan without SSN

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Traditionally, people have thought that if you are a foreigner you will not be able to obtain a loan or any product from financial institutions. As you can see, that is not true. It is a more complicated process and it is true that obtaining  a loan is harder but not impossible. You certainly have some options to choose the best loan, but you have to take it step by step.

  • ITIN

ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is a 10-digit number that identifies a person for federal tax purposes. This ID is used when you have no SSN, which is why this is the first step: get an ITIN. You will have to submit your application to the IRS with the following information attached:

  1. Form W7
  2. Proof of Identification (your country’s ID will do)
  3. Income tax return

It will take about 4-6 weeks to get an answer from the IRS.

  • Personal loan

After you get your ITIN, you will be able to apply for personal loans with no major issues. The ITIN will give financial institutions access to all the necessary information, from your credit score to your career stability.

Keep in mind that for most of the traditional options, your lack of credit history will still be a major factor when it comes to deciding how much they lend you and at what rate. You will then be able to access different loans from different providers, from traditional institutions, to the more modern online lenders, which often require less information from your side to lend you money for different purposes. Getting approved for a loan will also help you build your credit leading you to be able to get better rates and amounts on your loans and credit cards in the future.

Upstart Loans 

As mentioned above, online lenders often require less paperwork and information overall than traditional lenders. Upstart Loans is not the exception. They are the first lending platform that provides services in both English and Spanish. With Upstart Loans you can get funded in as fast as one day with loan amounts going from $1,000 up to $50,000. If you have little or no credit credit history, this loan might be for you, since it is not required for the approval. The estimated variable APR goes from 6.45% to 35.99% and regarding fees, you will get a 0%-8% origination fee and $15 or 5% of unpaid amount for late fees. The term of the loan is set at 3 or 5 years. Upstart Loans looks at your potential beyond your credit score and works on giving you a reasonable rate for the loan you get with them.


Arturo Mendez

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