How To Open a Bank Account Without an SSN In the US

Camino Financial09 Jan 2024
How To Open a Bank Account Without an SSN In the US
If you want to open a bank account without an SSN, you can learn how to do it here. This government document will help you with many things while you're in the U.S. But if your immigration status prevents you from getting a social security number, we will explain to you the account opening process and which financial institutions or banks don't require an ID to do it.

What Is an SSN?

The SSN or Social Security Number identifies United States citizens, including foreigners with temporary residential, and it's important to track income and some benefits.

How is SSN Used?

As we mentioned before, the government uses the Social Security Number to offer benefits, track incomes, provide public assistance, and tax purposes. And you can use it to get credit in financial institutions, open bank accounts, and have a job if you are an immigrant, among other uses.
#CaminoTips How to Begin Investing as an Immigrant

Why Is It Important to Open a Bank Account?

You need a bank account because it's not a good idea to carry around large sums of cash or keep money at home; not only do you jeopardize your safety, but it's tempting to spend business income on personal items. Not to mention how much time you'll spend sorting through your pockets or a bag to track what you spent or collected as income.

You Also Need a Separate Bank Account For Your Business

If you're a business owner, it's crucial that you also open a commercial account. By opening a bank account in your business name, you separate your personal and business expenses. Then, when you need to gather tax information at the end of the year, you already have a record of your deposits and withdrawals. Furthermore, by having a bank account, you can register your business, apply for a credit card, and start building a credit score. Having a credit history through the major credit bureaus means lenders can review your credit history to decide whether to loan you money. Additionally, most banks offer business credit and debit cards to bank account holders.

Can you Open a Bank Account Without a Social Security Number?

What If I'm Not a Citizen or Resident? The answer is not as simple as a "yes" or a "no." Banks offer financial products that benefit their customers while presenting the least amount of risk to the banking institution. The Federal Reserve System regulates the majority of banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and a board of directors. Therefore, they abide by guidelines set up by regulatory agencies and corporate policy. However, some banks don't require you to be a citizen or resident to open a bank account (so you don't need an SSN).  Further down below, you'll find a list of banks that don't require a social security number as a requirement to bank with them.
Can I open a bank account without a deposit? Yes, you definitely can. We recommend you to open an online bank account (after all, why go to a branch when you can do everything from your smartphone?).  Learn here the online banks that'll allow you to open an account with no deposit.

How to Open a Bank Account Without an SSN

Most likely, to open a bank account with no SSN, you'll need to get an ITIN. Once you have it, you can use the ID number to open a bank account. The bank will also verify your name, date of birth (take a copy of your birth certificate), and your current address. But you don't necessarily need an ITIN (although we recommend getting it). Depending on the bank, instead of an SSN or ITIN, they may accept a passport number, government-issued ID numbers, such as municipal and community identification cards, or an alien ID card.

How to Apply for an ITIN

An ITIN loan for a bank account is possible. The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a 9-digit tax processing number the IRS uses to record tax payments and process Federal tax returns. To get an ITIN, you complete a designated IRS form, submit required documents to verify your identity, and submit the application. If you have a tax return, you can submit it while you present your application. If everything is in order, you should receive your ITIN in approximately 6 weeks. ITIN recipients can comply with Federal and State regulations while earning income. It's often that people who use an ITIN don't legally qualify for an SSN. Find more in-depth step-by-step instructions on how to apply for an ITIN.

What banks do not require a Social Security number?

There are many banks that let you open an account even if you don't have an SSN:

If Not SSN, What Document Do You Need?

Banks that don't need ID to open an account will ask you for these documents:
  1. Alliant Credit Union: They may ask you for extra documentation, i.e., passport
  2. Bank of America: You can open an account with an ITIN, but it's not required.
  3. Chase: You need an ITIN and a photo ID
  4. Citibank: No SSN or ITIN required; you will need to verify your address
  5. PNC: No SSN or ITIN required
  6. Wells Fargo: No SSN required

How to Open A Bank Account Without an SSN Step-by-Step

Opening a bank account without SSN online is also possible. You can go to the website of your preferred financial institution and create a bank account.
  1. Visit the local banks or the credit unions of your choice (or go to the online bank's website)
  2. Pick the product you want (checking account, savings account, Certificate of Deposit, etc.)
  3. Provide your information (name, birthday, valid ID, and, in most cases, SSN)
  4. Agree to terms
  5. Sign and receive account terms
  6. Fund your account with the required minimum deposit (if any)
  7. Start using your account (make deposits, make payments with your debit card, or withdraw cash)
#DidYouKnow Commingling is the act when someone mixes personal and commercial expenses. It can really hurt your finances.

What Do You Need to Open a Bank Account Without an SSN?

To get a bank account without SSN or ITIN, you will need to present some documents; it's a standard requirement for banks that applicants are at least 18 years old. However, minors can be co-owners on a parent's or legal guardian's account in some situations. Most banks will require these documents:
  • A photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport. Some states issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. If you don't drive and would like a photo ID, the Department of Motor Vehicles issues Non-Driver Photo Identification cards. Check with your state to obtain their specific requirements.
  • A valid social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number
  • Proof of where you reside: Banks accept copies of utility and cable bills and signed rental agreements.
Once the bank official collects all the necessary information, they will ask you for a deposit to open a bank account.

You Don't Need an SSN to Plan for Your Future

By having a bank account, you have the freedom to apply for credit and build your credit score. Not only that, but you can also operate a business and apply for a loan. You'll find that a bank account keeps you organized, saves you time, and opens doors for future financial growth. Now that you've learned about the importance of opening a bank account, we recommend reading Can Undocumented Immigrants File Taxes In the US? At Camino Financial, we're interested in helping your business succeed. Our motto, "No Business Left Behind," attests to our commitment to helping clients get the funding they need to make their business dreams a reality. Apply For A Business Loan Today!

FAQ About Opening a Bank Account Without an SSN

Do You Need a Social Security Card to Open a Bank Account?

Mainstream banks require a Social Security Number to open an account. However, some options allow you to get it with other documents that replace the SSN.

What You Need to Open a Bank Account

You'll need the following:
  • A government-issued photo ID (driver's license, state-issued ID, or passport). Some banks may require two IDs. For example, a birth certificate, social security card, or a credit card in your name could serve as the second ID.
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Opening balance. The quantity will depend on the bank of your choice but is typically no more than $25

Where Can I Open a Bank Account Without an SSN?

The banks that allow undocumented immigrants are the following: Wells Fargo, PNC, U.S. Bank, BMO Harris, Alliant Credit Union, Bank of America, HSCB, TD Bank, among others.

Can You Open a Bank Account Online?

Yes. You can open a bank account without SSN online. It's easy, fast, and secure. Just keep in mind, not all online banks and credit unions offer this service. Learn what the best online banking options for small businesses are.

What Type of Account I Can Open

There are many financial products out there. Choosing one will depend on your particular needs and what you plan to achieve. Some of the most popular types of accounts are:
  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Certificate of Deposit (CD) account
  • Commercial accounts (for businesses)

Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account Without an SSN in the United States?

If you haven't arrived in the United States, you can start your process of opening a bank account in your home country. You can open your account online with banks like Chase and Bank of America. Alternatively, you can open a US account at an HSBC or Citibank branch in your country.

What Are the Criteria to Evaluate to Choose the Best Bank?

There are a lot of banks in the United States, which can complicate the process of opening a bank account. But choosing the best bank accounts doesn't have to be stressful. In your case, the first filter will be institutions that don't accept ITINs. After that, you will have to analyze what are the benefits of each bank. Some of the things you need to consider are:
  • The commissions and fees they charge
  • The type of accounts they offer
  • If they have extra benefits
  • How good is their customer service
Also, try to answer the following questions: Which bank offers you the best interest on their savings accounts? Which one has a branch near you? Which has the largest ATM network? Do they offer online banking?

How to Get a Loan Without Social Security Number

A business bank account will help you to get funds from different banks! You can get a loan in Camino Financial only with your ITIN number, and it's pretty easy to get one; you may apply online, and we will tell you if you pre-approve immediately!

How to Send Money Abroad Without Having a Bank Account?

If you have family outside the United States and want to wire them some money, you don't need a bank account. There are many money transfer services that you can use.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Bank Account Without an SSN?

Banks typically don't charge fees to open checking and savings accounts. However, keep in mind that a minimum deposit is usually required, so have some cash in hand when visiting your branch to open an account. The deposit can range between $25 or less and a few hundred dollars for premium accounts.

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