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Most commonly referred to as a work visa, an H-1B visa provides individuals a way to come to the United States from another country for the purpose of establishing or changing careers.
With an H-1B visa, individuals have several benefits available to them, including building a work history and life in the United States. However, visa holders may find it challenging to get the financing they need for some of life’s bigger expenses, especially when they first arrive.
Getting loans as a visa holder is difficult for a variety of reasons. This guide offers insight into what’s needed to qualify, where to get a personal loan for H-1B visa holders, and other considerations along the way.
On this page:
- What to Expect When Applying
- Personal Loans for H-1B Visa Holders
- How to Get a Loan as a Visa Holder
- Difficulties for H-1B Visa Holders
- Other Things to Keep in Mind
What to Expect When Applying for an International Personal Loan
Having an H-1B visa does not eliminate your options for getting a personal loan should you need one, but it does mean you face different hurdles in securing a loan.
Lenders are wary of providing longer-term personal loans without collateral to individuals who will only be in the country for a short period of time. Without an asset to back the loan, a personal loan lender may view H-1B visa holders as a higher risk because of the difficulty the bank or credit union faces in collecting on the loan in the future.
Some personal loans may be used to finance a new or used vehicle, to cover unexpected bills or major purchases, or simply as a cash cushion should a need arise in the future.
When applying for a loan, it is necessary to evaluate your current financial picture, including credit score and history in the United States, your income and employment, and the length of your visa before speaking with a lender about a personal loan.
Personal Loans for H-1B Visa Holders
The lenders below offer personal loans to H-1B visa holders:
Stilt is an online lender focused on providing financing solutions to visa holders, immigrants, and the underserved. The company offers a simple online platform that allows H-1B visa holders to check their rates without any impact on their credit score.
Borrowers do not need a cosigner to be approved. All applications are submitted online, and a decision will be made within 24 hours.
- Must be physically present in the U.S.
- Have a U.S. bank account in your name
- Have a U.S. address
- Current states: AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, MA, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI
9.95% – 35.99%
$2,000 – $35,000
24 – 60 months
Avant is another online lender that allows H-1B visa holders to apply for a personal loan through its online platform. The lender offers a quick and transparent process for individuals with minimal or bad credit scores and history.
Loans from Avant come with an administration fee which will increase the total cost of your loan. There is no prepayment fee, so you can pay off your loan early without any penalty.
- Have a Social Security number
- Have a U.S. bank account
- Have a U.S. address
- Have a minimum credit score of 580
- Have a minimum annual income of $20,000
- Not available in CO, HI, IA, PA, NV, NY, SC, VT, WV
How to Get a Loan as a Visa Holder
Knowing which lenders are able to provide personal loans to you as an H-1B visa holder is the first step in securing the right loan for your financing needs. However, there are also other steps you can take to improve your ability to get approval from lenders.
First, having a strong credit score and history within the United States is helpful; lenders want to see that you are responsible for repaying your debts. If you do not have established credit history, having a U.S. citizen as a cosigner can be helpful in getting approval for a personal loan.
It is also important to recognize that the lenders who do provide personal loans to H-1B visa holders want to feel confident you will be in the country for at least the length of the loan. If your visa is set to expire soon, consider renewing it or extending it to ensure you can show lenders you will be in the U.S. for as long as the loan remains in repayment.
Difficulties of Obtaining a Personal Loan for H-1B Visa Holders
Most individuals who live outside the USA do not have a credit score or history in the country since these details do not translate well from one country to the next.
Similarly, a work visa is meant to be a temporary status and lenders see visa holders as a higher risk than U.S. citizens. If they default on the loan, lenders may find it difficult to collect on the outstanding debt if the visa holder is back in his or her home country.
>> Read More: Can You Get a Personal Loan as a Non-U.S. Citizen?
Other Things to Keep in Mind
If you are planning to remain in the United States for longer than your visa status provides, applying for citizenship or to be a permanent resident removes many barriers to getting the financing you may need in the future.
Also, having verification of employment and income is beneficial in getting approval for a personal loan, as lenders want to see you have steady cash flow over time. These are simply extra steps you will need to take as an H1B visa holder with a low credit score or no credit report at all.
The good news is that as an H-1B visa holder, you have personal loan options. The few lenders mentioned above are often a good place to start when searching for financing solutions.
However, you can improve your chances of getting approval by establishing a financial track record in the United States, having a US citizen with good credit as a cosigner, and having verifiable income as a visa holder. Always be sure to comparison shop for the best personal loans before accepting funds and consider your ability to repay the loan over time.
If you aren’t approved, you can take a look at credit cards or – if you are a student – student loans for international students.
Stilt offers personal loans designed for H-1B visa holders. You can check your rate without any impact on your credit score on its website.
Author: Melissa Horton