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Personal Loans

Personal Loans for H-1B Visa Holders

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 to establish or change careers. But visa holders may find it challenging to get the financing they need for some of life’s bigger expenses, especially when you first arrive. 

A personal loan can help with various expenses, such as moving for a job, applying for citizenship, or covering school-related costs, and it’s not impossible to qualify for one as an H-1B visa holder. 

This guide offers insight into what’s needed to be eligible, where to get a personal loan for H-1B visa holders, and other considerations along the way.

Can you get a personal loan as an H-1B visa holder?

Image outlining the challenges of getting a personal loan as an H-1B visa holder and the potential solutions

Getting a personal loan as an H-1B visa holder isn’t out of the question. However, it comes with its own set of unique challenges and conditions. Challenges you may face in qualifying for a personal loan include:

  • Credit history obstacles: New arrivals often don’t have established U.S. credit history, making it harder to qualify for loans from traditional lenders, which often require a credit score at least in the 600s.
  • Visa duration concerns: H-1B visas only last three to six years, so lenders may hesitate to lend money when the borrower doesn’t permanently live in the country. 
  • Special loan conditions: Some specialized lenders dictate the loan be explicitly used for immigration-related expenses. This could limit your options depending on your needs.

To navigate these challenges, expect to provide the following information and documentation to qualify for a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen:

  • Income verification, such as pay stubs or an employment letter.
  • Your U.S. address—lenders will require proof of residency in the United States for approval. 
  • Visa documentation—you may need to show that your visa doesn’t expire before the loan term ends.

Armed with this information, you can seek out options—from traditional online lenders to lenders specializing in loans for non-U.S. citizens—to apply.

Ask the expert

Erin Kinkade


When choosing a personal loan lender as a visa holder, understand the fine print and repayment terms, and choose an amount that fits the budget. Then, identify the purpose for your loan and research lenders that meet those needs.

Where to find personal loans in the USA for H1-B visa holders

The following lenders offer personal loans to H-1B visa holders:


  • Rates (APR): 8.99% to 25.81% APR with auto pay and direct deposit discounts
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months

SoFi offers personal loans available to non-permanent resident aliens, including H-1B visa holders. You can access the full range of loan amounts based on your financial history and current income and debt levels. 

To be eligible, however, you must show that the total validity of your immigration status is at least two years.


  • Must be physically present in the U.S.
  • Must have a U.S. address
  • Current states: All 50 states, plus the District of Columbia
  • Minimum credit score: 670
  • Minimum income: You must be employed, have sufficient income from other sources, or have a job offer that starts within 90 days
  • Immigration status must last at least two years


  • Rates (APR): 8.49% to 35.99% APR
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months

Upgrade offers more flexible credit requirements—a minimum credit score of just 600—which can be helpful for H-1B visa holders with less established credit history. Funding times are fast, typically taking just a few days. 

While not required, Upgrade recommends setting up auto-payments with a checking account, so you may want to open a checking account before you apply.


  • Must be physically present in the U.S.
  • Current states: All 50 states, plus the District of Columbia
  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Minimum income: Requires proof of monthly income

Capital Good Fund

  • Rates (APR): 12% to 15.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,501 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: 48 months

Capital Good Fund is designed specifically to finance immigration-related expenses. The loan funds may be used to apply for a green card or citizenship, or petition family members to come to the U.S. You may also use the funds to pay immigration detention bonds.  


  • Have a U.S. bank account in your name
  • Have a U.S. address
  • Current states: RI, FL, DE, IL, or TX
  • Minimum income: Must have stable income
  • Must have a referral form from a community agency or immigration attorney showing your proof of immigration eligibility

Mission Asset Fund

  • Rates (APR): 0%
  • Loan amounts: $495 to $2,500
  • Repayment terms: Undisclosed

Mission Asset Fund is another lender that offers opportunities for H-1B visa holders to apply for citizenship. 

There are a few different loan structures, including credit building loans, business loans, and loans that cover the costs to apply for citizenship, adjustment of status or green card, or temporary protected status renewal. All loans are 0% interest.


  • Loans must be used for very specific reasons
  • Must be eligible to file with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for citizenship financing
  • Must complete financial education courses
  • Must have a checking account for autopay

How to strengthen your personal loan application as an H1-B visa holder

Knowing which lenders can 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, you can take other steps to improve your ability to get approval from lenders. 

  • Establish credit in the U.S.: Most lenders require a credit score in the U.S. unless you’re applying for immigration-specific personal loans. 
  • Add a cosigner: Having a U.S. citizen as a cosigner can help get approval for a personal loan.
  • Extend your visa: H-1B visas are initially issued for three years and can be extended by an additional three years. Maximizing your allowable time in the U.S. may help you qualify for a personal loan. 
  • Verify income: Many lenders want to see consistent income. Documentation includes W-2s or a few months of bank statements. 
  • Open a U.S. bank account: Having a bank account in the U.S. makes it easy to receive loan funds. Some lenders either require automatic payments or offer a rate discount for automatic withdrawal of funds each month. 

Reasons for denial and alternatives to consider

While there are challenges in getting approved for a personal loan as an H-1B visa holder, there are some alternative solutions to consider as well.

  • Minimal credit history: You may experience a denial if you don’t have an established credit history. In this case, try adding your rent or utility payments to your credit report. Another option is to find a U.S. citizen to serve as a cosigner on the loan.
  • Temporary residency: If you’re denied because of the amount of time left on your H-1B visa, try renewing it up to the six-year maximum. Also, focus on shorter loan terms that finish before you’re scheduled to leave the country.

Ask the expert

Erin Kinkade


If you are denied a personal loan, consider borrowing funds from a trusted friend or family member or delaying the need for funds and building up savings. If the need is urgent and there are no other options, consider applying for a credit card, but be sure to understand the payment terms.


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

Yes, you can get a personal loan without a Social Security number. Instead, you can apply with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). The IRS can obtain an ITIN for both residents and non-residents.

Can non-U.S. citizens get a personal loan?

Yes, while the options are more limited, getting a personal loan as a non-U.S. citizen is still possible. You’ll need a decent credit history in the U.S., income verification, and proof of residency. 

Should I consider a cosigner for my personal loan application?

Applying with a cosigner on your personal loan application can improve your approval odds. It also expands your pool of lenders to choose from. Just remember that any late payments or default on the loan hurts your cosigner’s credit score just as much as your own.

Can cosigners be released from personal loan applications for H1-B visa holders?

It depends on the lender. Some lenders may allow you to release the cosigner if you’ve regularly made on-time payments and can demonstrate your ability to continue paying the loan on your own. Check your loan agreement for details on timelines and if this feature is available at all.

What happens to my personal loan if my visa expires or I move out of the country?

You are still responsible for repaying the funds regardless of visa status or residency changes. While it may be difficult for a lender to enforce repayment when you’re in another country, they may outsource the collection process if the home country’s laws allow it. 

You’ll also have a poor credit history and may face additional consequences if you ever decide to return to the U.S.

Can a personal loan help me build U.S. credit history?

Yes, as long as you make on-time monthly payments, a personal loan can help you build your U.S. credit history as an H-1B visa holder. 

Adding an installment loan in addition to a credit card (or even instead of one) also helps create a diverse mix of credit on your report and is viewed more favorably than revolving credit.