100 dollar bills with the word "immigrants"
By: omunoz
Read in 20 minutes

The Best Small Business Loans For Immigrants In The US – Plus Grants!

You need loans for immigrants if you’re undocumented and need to finance a business in the US.

At Camino Financial, we believe in you and your dreams; that’s why we make a daily commitment to help all small business owners, no matter where they come from.

In this article, you can learn everything about business lending alternatives for immigrant entrepreneurs.

Apply With An Immigrant-Friendly Lender


The Importance Of Small Immigrant Businesses In America

For decades, immigrants have driven the economy of the United States.

A report by the New American Economy found that, in 2017, about 3.2 million immigrants ran their own businesses. That’s one in every five entrepreneurs in the country.

Plus, according to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and the Fiscal Policy Institute, between 2000 and 2013, immigrants accounted for 48% of the growth in US business ownership.

These data suggest a considerable potential in the impact that this population can have on the country’s economy in general.

Despite these revealing numbers, loans for undocumented immigrants can be tough to access.

Can Immigrants Get Loans In The US?

Yes! There are loans for immigrants out there.

Fortunately, some organizations and companies understand the challenges of being an immigrant entrepreneur in the US and are willing to advance them capital.

Depending on the lender, non-U.S. citizens will need to provide a form of identification, Social Security Number, or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to receive capital.

In some cases, if you don’t have a credit score yet, a guarantor will also need to sign your application.

Camino Financial is an alternative lender that offers business loans for immigrants even if they only have an ITIN.

Types Of Business Loans For Immigrants In The USA

There are different small business loans and credit options lenders offer that don’t require you to have a green card.

You can use an immigrant business loan for different purposes, from covering your basic needs to financing your own business.

These are the most common business loans for immigrants:

Business Term Loans

Small business loans are financial products designed to help business owners with small companies. As such, the loan amount is usually conservative (no more than $400,000), and repayment terms tend to be no longer than 5 years.

You can spend them for practically any business use (most lenders have restrictions, though). Most owners use them to expand their businesses, hire new employees, patch a gap in cash flow, or purchase machinery, for example.

The requirements for these types of loans for immigrants are not as strict as those for other lending products, making them an excellent option for immigrants without a credit history.

Online lenders can even give you the loan in as fast as 2 days.

At Camino Financial, we can offer you the capital you need with minimal requirements.

Apply For A Business Loan!

Equipment Loans

These loans are very convenient for immigrants who need to buy equipment or machinery.

This financing alternative focuses on businesses with a high demand for equipment and tools, such as workshops, restaurants, beauty salons, etc.

The collateral needed is the piece of equipment itself. This means you will not have to offer your personal assets as collateral.

To apply for equipment loans for immigrants, you will have to submit a quote including the equipment’s price, an established credit history, and other business documents.

The useful life of the equipment determines the term of this type of capital.

SBA Business Loans

The Small Business Administration offers affordable loans to naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, lawful non-permanent citizens, asylees, and refugees. 

The agency reviews immigration paperwork, a business owner’s credit score and business history, and other required documentation.

Applicants work with a loan specialist to meet the SBA requirements based on their immigration status and eligibility for a specific SBA loan.

The loans are some of the best small business loans available for immigrants because of their very low-interest rates.

If you’re an illegal immigrant, SBA loans might not be the best option for you.

Personal Loans For Business Purposes

Undocumented individuals may also be able to access a personal loan to finance their businesses.

A personal loan is a quick and easy alternative to obtain funds to invest in your company.

First, however, you should consider whether the amount (which is usually relatively less than in other types) is enough to cover your needs.

Also, personal loan amounts are smaller than other business lending products.

At Camino Financial, we have a financial product that you can use as a personal or startup loan.

Apply For A Personal Loan!

Merchant Cash Advances

Although it is not a loan, you can receive cash with merchant cash advances. With these types of loans for immigrants, you’ll receive an advance on future sales made with credit and debit cards.

In return, you will have to pay a percentage of those sales plus a fee.

They are a quick way to get working capital in the short term. You don’t need to put up collateral or have a high credit score.

You will need a copy of your driver’s license, bank statements, and tax returns, among other documents.

Although the application and approval process is simple, cash advances are incredibly costly, and the loan amount depends on your sales.

Business Credit Cards

There are some credit cards that you can get with no SSN. Examples of business credit cards to consider include Capital One, Discover It, US Bank, and OpenSky.

The best thing about business credit cards is that you can use them practically anywhere and offer:

  • rewards/points
  • cashback on purchases
  • air miles

A business credit card helps immigrants build credit. This is a significant benefit because most immigrants have not established credit history in the US.

Plus, if you use the card responsibly by paying off the balance in full each month, most credit card companies will increase the spending limit after 6 months.

What Are The Best Lenders For Immigrants?

Online Lender

Online lenders offer a faster and more convenient option than a bank since their requirements are more flexible. As a result, they are an increasingly popular alternative.

It is possible to compare rates and request a loan from the convenience of your home and get an answer in a matter of minutes.

Also, you can receive the loan funds directly into your bank account in a few days.

At Camino Financial, the process is fast and entirely online. You don’t need a Social Security Number: your ITIN is enough.

Camino Financial is one of the new lenders willing to grant you credit only with an ITIN. This is a great opportunity for undocumented immigrants who needs business financing.

Get Approved For A Loan Today

Credit Union

These financial institutions are good options to access lending products. Credit unions assist immigrants, who usually avoid turning to banks because of their stricter requirements, including an SSN.

Besides other resources offered by credit unions, you can find business loans for immigrants.

The requirements are basic, such as submitting your rent records or bills for public services and an ITIN number.

group of racially diverse employees

How to pay taxes as an immigrant

Requirements To Apply For Small Business Loans For Immigrants

Some online lenders may require applicants to prove they are legally living in the country before they can approve their business loans for immigrants.

The most common requirements are:

  • Certain types of Visas. Some lenders lend to immigrants with valid visas, such as TN, E, J-1, H1-B, and O (not required by Camino Financial).
  • A Social Security Number (not required by Camino Financial, we accept ITIN).

Asking for a loan can be a challenge for non-U.S citizens residents without a Social Security Number.

If this is your situation, you must request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from the IRS.

Keep in mind the following: the requirements mentioned here refer only to the documents necessary to prove your identity to access business financing.

This table summarizes the main requirements for the most common types of financial assistance for immigrants.

💰Accept ITIN?No credit history accepted?Type of paymentAnnual Interest RateLoan amount
Camino Financials’ small business loanYesYesMonthly12-25%$5,000 to $400,000
Other small business loansNoNoMonthly13%-71%$5,000 to $500,000
Merchant cash advanceDepends on the lenderDepends on the lenderDaily40-150%$2,500 to $250,000
Line of creditNoNoMonthly7-25%$10,000 to $100,000
SBA loanNoNoMonthly7.5-10%$500,000 to $5.5M

Documents and requirements you need to apply for a business loan.

What Is An ITIN?

The Personal Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, is for non-US citizens who need to pay taxes but cannot receive a Social Security Number.

To request an ITIN number, you must fill out Form W7 and mail it or process it in person at an IRS taxpayer help desk.

You can also take it to an acceptance agent authorized by the Internal Revenue Service.

You must also include proof of identity during the application process, like your passport or driving license. You’ll receive your ITIN number in about six weeks.

How to get an ITIN in 5 easy steps

Do I Need A Credit Score Or Credit History To Apply For A Loan?

To approve loans, lenders verify the borrower’s credit score

In other words, those who have never applied for a loan before or don’t have a credit card because they are new immigrants in the United States don’t have a credit history yet.

An immigrant in a new country must start building a credit history from scratch. That’s why it can be difficult to access credit.

Besides, the higher the credit score, the better chances of accessing a loan and receiving more favorable terms and interest rates.

Building a credit history takes time. Follow these tips to achieve it faster:

  1. Open an account at the bank of your choice. Also, apply for a secured credit card, in other words, a card backed by the funds you deposit into the account.
  2. Automate your payments. Pay all your bills automatically through your online bank account. This will ensure you always pay your bills on time, from public services to other types of credit.
  3. Make the best use of your credit card. If you have an international credit card issued in your country of origin, you may be able to ask the bank to issue you a US credit card.
  4. Request your landlord to report your rent payments. They can inform your payments to Experian, one of the leading credit bureaus.
  5. Review your credit report whenever you have a chance and correct any mistakes you find.

More tips to strengthen your credit score

How To Apply For A Loan As A Non-US Citizen

These are the steps to follow to apply for business loans for immigrants:

  1. First, decide on a loan amount, and research multiple lenders. Check their terms and requirements and choose the one that best fits your needs.
  2. Complete an application. Depending on the lender, you might be able to complete it online. Several lenders will let you know instantly if you prequalify.
  3. The lender might require other documentation.
    1. For a business loan, you might need to share proof of company registration, licenses, and permits, last year’s tax returns (for loans over $50,000).
    2. For personal loans, you’ll need to show an identification card and provide proof of address (like utility bills) and proof of income (like pay stubs or even your employer’s contact information).
  4. The financial institution will review your information and check your personal credit history.
  5. If the lender approves your loan, they’ll send a contract your way with the loan’s terms and interest rate.
  6. Sign the loan contract and receive the money directly in your bank account.

With Camino Financial, you can receive your business financing within 2 business days!

How To Fill Out A Loan Application

When completing a loan application, you need to have important information at hand.

Most loan applications will ask you to share:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Line of work, where you work
  • What is your salary
  • If you have a bank account
  • Your ITIN or SSN
  • The desired loan amount

A personal loan application process usually requires less information and is quicker, compared to a commercial loan one.

If you’re completing a business loan application, you’ll also have to provide information on your business:

  • Your business’ name
  • Its address
  • Monthly/annual revenue

How to get ITIN loans

Get The Cash You Need

Immigrant Business Grants

An alternative to loans for immigrants is business grants. You can use this type of funding to start a business, and it’s available to individuals or groups.

They are more attractive than a loan because you do not have to pay back the money.

Non-profit organizations or state governments usually give offer these products.

But this also means there’s a lot of competition to access and that the application process can be complex.

Some of these business grants for immigrants are:

Wilson/Fish Alternative Program For Refugees

This is an assistance program of the US Department of Health and Human Services promoting employment, cash, and other help to immigrants.

These grants come through states, voluntary resettlement agencies, and non-profit resettlement organizations.

To receive assistance from this program, immigrants must prove their immigration status or submit an asylum letter.

Microenterprise Development Program For Refugees

This program, run by the Department of Health and Human Services, has the goal of helping immigrants start or expand their businesses.

In addition to providing money, this program also offers training in critical areas, such as accounting, marketing, and administration.

Rural Business Development Grants

Administered by the US Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, this program focuses on rural areas and those who do not necessarily work in agriculture.

The program offers assistance through working capital, training, and real estate, among other resources.

Only companies with less than 50 employees whose income doesn’t exceed $1 million can access this grant.

Camino Financial: The Most Trusted Lender For Undocumented Immigrants

The problem and the real difficulty for undocumented immigrants lie in the possibility of accessing business financing. The truth is that the sources of capital are more limited for them than for SSN-holders.

Moreover, many financial institutions are reluctant to lend capital to immigrants.

But, fortunately, at Camino Financial we do work with immigrants.

Applying for an ITIN loan with us is very easy: you only need to have an ITIN. In addition, you don’t need to put up collateral, have a strong credit score or have a previous credit history.

We have different loan options that can meet your financial needs.

  • The business loan amount you can get ranges between $5,000 and $400,000 to fit any of your business needs. Our repayment term ranges from 24 to 60 months.
  • And for our personal loan, you can get from $1,500 to $7,500, with 12 to 36 months loan terms.

Here are some of our benefits:

  • Minimal credit requirements.
  • We don’t charge prepayment penalties.
  • No hidden fees.
  • We only do a soft credit check (which doesn’t affect your credit).
  • With our loans for immigrants, you can graduate to another loan with better terms and interest rates after 8 on-time payments.

With advantages like these, it’s possible to achieve the American dream.

Consider a Loan From Camino Financial. We have very friendly terms.

Start growing your business with the help of a lender that understands you! We are willing to help you build your dreams, regardless of your immigration status.

We also offer financial tools and resources that can help your business grow.

Apply now!



Can I apply for a loan without an SSN?

Yes. Some lenders accept an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) in addition to an SSN. You can apply and receive an ITIN from the IRS.

Other lenders will accept an EIN (Employer Identification Number). You’ll need an ITIN to get an EIN, though.

Can you get a business loan as a non-US citizen?

Immigrants can apply for business loans as long as they meet the lender requirements and provide the needed documentation. However, keep in mind that few business lenders actually accept ITIN.

Can an illegal immigrant get a personal loan?

As long as the person meets the personal loan requirements, they should qualify. Personal loans tend to be more lenient, requirement-wise, so there might be more lenders that accept ITIN.

Where can you get a loan as a non-US citizen?

Immigrants can apply for short-term loans, business loans, business credit cards, equipment loans, merchant cash advances, and personal loans available from the SBA, credit unions, and alternative online lenders.

Before applying, applicants should compare lenders to determine which ones offer requirements they can meet.

Your best option might be a Camino Financial loan.

Do banks give loans to foreigners?

Some banks work with foreigners as long as the applicant can provide adequate documentation such as verifying residency, work history, and financial history.

Most will require a co-signer as a guarantor on the loan application and that the joint applicants have SSNs.

Can a US citizen get a loan from another country?

You can, but it’s risky because you could end up with the wrong provider, and the currency exchange rate can fluctuate.

After confirming a lender is reputable, be aware that each country has its own rules and regulations for offering loans to foreigners.


Check if you
qualify for a loan