Tackling the everyday tasks of life can be difficult if you don’t have access to a credit card or line of credit. A credit card can be difficult to obtain for many new immigrants to the United States.
Well over 1 people move to the United States each and every year. Immigrants tend to have a harder time getting a credit card, whether their immigration was “legal” or “illegal”. Many banks ask that customers provide a Social Security Number to be given a credit card, which many United States citizens do not have themselves.
Where to Go Next
Large banks can be a great source to get access to a credit card if you do not have proper citizenship or residency documents. Often times, these banks will accept a foreign passport or identification card as proof of identity. Other times, they may ask for an individual taxpayer identification, often written as ITIN.
Banks are more lenient about providing credit cards to undocumented immigrants as well. A majority of US banks will accept non-traditional forms of identification. The best way to find out is to walk into your local bank and ask. If you or a family members English is not complete, the bank often hires tellers that are bilingual.
If you are unable to get approved for a regular credit card, a secured credit card is your next best bet. A secured credit card asks that the user provides a deposit upfront which will act as their credit limit.
If you provide a $300 deposit, then you will get a credit limit of $300. A secured credit card is a great way to build credit since and increase your chances of qualifying for a traditional credit card in the future. Once you hit the limit on your secured credit card, you will be unable to make additional purchases until the balance has been paid off.
Without access to a line of credit, many immigrants can have a hard time starting off on the right foot. These days, credit is needed for everything related to money, including renting an apartment, getting a loan, or financing a new car purchase. Having a credit card is also a great way to create a paper trail that can even possibly help establish residency in the near future.