100 dollar bills with the word "immigrants"
By: omunoz
Read in 22 minutes

Loans for immigrants: How To Get The Best 3 Small Business Loans For Non U.S citizens

It’s uncommon to find loans for immigrants when you’re a non us citizen living in the United States and you are seeking business financing.

At Camino Financial, we believe that immigrants are the backbone of America’s economy, and we are dedicated to supporting your success.

It’s because of this that we have outlined the best business lending alternatives for immigrant business owners.

Apply for a business loan today

Table of Contents
1. Top 3 loans for undocumented immigrants
2. Can immigrants get loans in the U.S.?
3. Requirements to apply for small business loans
4. How to apply for a loan as a non-US citizen
5. Types of business loans for immigrants in the USA
6. What are the best lenders for immigrants
7. Immigrants business grants
8. The importance of small immigrant businesses in America
9. FAQs

Top 3 Loans For Undocumented Immigrants

Camino Financial

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.

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. 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:

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

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.

Learn how Camino Financial loans work here.

We also offer financial tools and resources that can help your business grow. Use the business loan calculator to estimate the cost of your loan.

Contact us today to learn more about our immigrant business loans.

Apply for a business loan today

Stilt Loans

Stilt offers loans to immigrants in the U.S. who are not eligible for traditional banking products. The company uses data and technology to assess risk and offer loans at lower rates than other lenders.

You can apply for a loan through the Stilt website or mobile app, and you will need to provide information about your employment, income, and debts to determine if you are eligible for a loan.

If they approve you, you will receive the loan in one lump sum, and you will then have up to 36 months to repay the loan, with interest rates ranging from 8% to 25%.

Stilt also offers a line of credit products, which allows approved borrowers to withdraw funds as needed. This product has a variable interest rate, and borrowers can make minimum payments each month.

Lending Club

Lending Club‘s immigrant loans help immigrants with the financing they need to start a new life in the United States.

You can use the loans for various purposes, including purchasing a home, starting a business, or paying for education. They have a simple application process and provide financing to start or expand businesses.

The company also offers personal loans to help with everyday expenses. Loan amounts vary depending on the borrower’s needs. The minimum loan size is $500, while the maximum loan size is $35,000.

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers immigrant loans to eligible small business owners who may not have access to traditional financing.

You can use these loans for various purposes, including start-up costs, working capital, and business expansion.

To qualify for an SBA immigrant loan, you must:

  • Operated the business for a minimum of 12 months before the application date or have a personal guarantee for the loan.
  • Have enough U.S.-based collateral to repay the loan in full at any time during its term.

If you want to apply, you can read the eligibility rules for immigrant loans, a section called “C. Businesses Owned by Non-U.S. Citizens,” explaining all you need to do.

Can Immigrants Get Loans In The U.S.?

Yes! There are loans for immigrants out there, even if you don’t have a valid visa.

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

Sometimes, the lender will ask you for a minimum credit score, but if you don’t have one yet, a guarantor will also need to sign your application.

Camino Financial is an alternative lender that offers immigrant loans for small businesses even if they only have an ITIN.

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 the loan.

The most common requirements are:

  • Certain types of Visas. Some lenders lend to immigrants with valid visas, such as T.N., 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 or low credit history accepted?Type of paymentAnnual Interest RateLoan amount
Camino Financials’ MicroloanYes (Only if no SSN is available)Yes (interest rates vary for these applicants)Monthly28.50-52.40%$5,000 to $30,000
Other small business loansNoNoMonthly65%-71%*$5,000 to $500,000
Merchant cash advanceIt depends on the lenderIt depends on the lenderDaily40-150%*$2,500 to $250,000
Line of creditNoNoMonthly30-45%*$10,000 to $100,000
SBA loanNoNoMonthly7.5-10%*$500,000 to $5.5M

*Loans interest rates marked with an asterisk represent values pre-Fed interest rate hikes

Requirements 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, such as your passport or driving license, during the application process. You’ll receive your ITIN number in about six weeks.

How to improve my credit score to apply for an immigrant business loan?

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 U.S. 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.

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, permits, and 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 business loan’s terms and interest rate.
  6. Sign the loan contract and receive the money directly in your bank account.

#DidYouKnow
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 must have important information. 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, (learn here about loans without a bank account)
  • Your ITIN or SSN
  • The desired loan amount

#DidYouKnow
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

Apply for a business loan today

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 Term Loans

Small business loans are financial products designed to help business owners with small companies.

The loan amount is usually conservative (no more than $400,000), and repayment terms are 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.

Equipment Loans

These loans are convenient for immigrants who need 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 must 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 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.

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

Personal Loans For Undocumented Immigrants 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 start-up 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 you can get with no SSN. Business credit cards include Capital One, Discover It, U.S. 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 U.S.

Plus, if you use the card responsibly by paying 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 banks 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.

#DidYouKnow
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.

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 loans for immigrants in the U.S.

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

How to pay taxes as an immigrant

Immigrant Business Grants

An alternative to loans is business grants for foreigners. 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 a lot of competition, and the application process can be complex.

You can use these grants for immigrants to start a business and other personal affairs:

Wilson/Fish Alternative Program For Refugees

This assistance program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services promotes employment, cash, and other help to immigrants.

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

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 U.S. 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.

 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 U.S. business ownership.

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

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

The Importance of Lending to Immigrant Small Business Owners

For many, achieving the American dream is not so easy. It can sometimes feel impossible for immigrants to access the capital they need to invest in their goals.

Why is starting a business so hard for immigrants in the U.S.? The lack of a social security number, cultural gaps, language gaps, prejudices, and injustices.

But the fighting spirit of immigrants outweighs all of these factors.

Let’s take the Latino community as an example.

According to the SBA, “There are an estimated 4.65 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S., making them the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small businesses.”

Despite the lack of access to finance, immigrants continue to be one of the pillars that sustain the United States economy.

To make matters worse, some banks do not serve people with “pending” immigration status, so stringent requirements and prejudices still prevail.

For this reason, the immigrant community traditionally resorts to using their savings or asking for money from family and friends, but this won’t be your case, continue your reading with all about minority business loans.

Apply for a business loan today

FAQs on Immigrant Loans

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 if they meet the lender requirements and provide the documentation. However, keep in mind that few business lenders accept ITIN.

Can an illegal immigrant get a personal loan?

If 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 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 U.S. 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.

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.

Immigrants 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.

Do immigrants get money from the government to start a business?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of money a prospective immigrant can receive to start a business will vary depending on the country they are coming from and their circumstances.

However, most governments generally offer some form of financial assistance or incentive to help immigrants start businesses in their new home country.

This can take the form of a grant, low-interest loan, or tax break and can be extremely helpful in helping new businesses get off the ground.

What is an immigrant loan?

An immigrant loan is a type of loan typically used to finance the purchase of a property in another country.

The interest rates on these loans are typically higher than what you would find on a standard mortgage, so it’s important to shop around before you decide on a lender.

There are many reputable immigrant loan providers, so make sure you compare quotes from several before deciding.

Check if you
qualify for a loan

LEARN MORE