Personal Finance

How Do B-Holders Work

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 7 minute read

Thousands of highly skilled foreign nationals enter the United States annually on H1-B visas. Numerous H1-B visa holders achieve enough professional achievement to qualify for legal permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship in the United States. 

It’s thanks to their spending on things like cars and homes, as well as their state and federal tax payments, that the United States has become the prosperous nation it is today.

However, that is something they cannot achieve on their own. H1-B visa holders and other skilled immigrant employees must utilize U.S. financial and credit institutions in order to fully integrate into American culture. This will inevitably lead to a credit application.

An unfortunate Catch-22 exists since many American lenders would only consider applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The personal loan providers here are among the fortunate few lenders who are more forgiving.

The Top Personal Loans for People with H-1B Visas

Work visa holders, such as those holding an H1-B, are eligible to apply for a personal loan from these lenders. The usual requirements for applying are a Social Security number, a U.S. residence, and a job offer.

Each of these loan companies excels in a certain area, such as providing large loan amounts to borrowers with high incomes or bundling the terms and conditions of many loans into one convenient package. Our top-rated financial institution provides the best possible terms to the largest number of borrowers.

Stilt is the Best Overall.

Among personal loan providers, Stilt stands out as the best for H1-B visa holders and other recent immigrants due to its exceptionally broad qualifying restrictions and flexible loan terms. 

A Stilt loan requires only the following criteria to be met:

  • Have a physical presence in the U.S. and a U.S. address
  • Have a U.S. phone number
  • Have a U.S. bank account
  • Have a valid visa for at least six months

Stilt welcomes applicants with a wide variety of visa types, not just H1-Bs, including the more common F-1, O-1, J-1, L-1, TN, L-1, G-1, and even more unusual DACA and Asylum.

Features in addition:

  • There is a broad range of loan lengths available, from 12 to 36 months.
  • The money might be used for anything from a security deposit on an apartment to helping out an ailing relative back home, among many other possible uses.
  • Take out a loan of up to $35,000.
  • When a credit score is unavailable, alternative criteria are used.

SoFi is the Best for Higher Borrowing Limits

SoFi’s loan limit of $100,000 is the highest among these lenders. However, not all borrowers will be approved for such large loans. 

The most desirable candidates have substantial resources, including high earnings, substantial assets, high credit scores, and lengthy employment histories. However, a work visa may not always be an impediment to working in the United States.

Features in addition:

  • No origination fees
  • Excellent rates and terms for well-qualified applicants
  • Loan terms from 24 to 84 months
  • Access to a range of other credit products, such as student loans — which may be open to noncitizens and non-permanent residents
  • Access to banking and investing services

Marcus from Goldman Sachs is the Best for Good Credit.

Personal loans at low-interest rates are possible with the help of Marcus by Goldman Sachs if you have a good credit history. Marcus offers a very low-interest rate range and is noted for offering preferential pricing to customers with FICO scores above 660, despite being changeable and related to existing benchmark rates.

It’s possible that Marcus will still approve your application if you don’t have a credit history. Only candidates who are U.S. residents, with a U.S. bank account and Social Security number, will be considered.

Features in addition:

  • Borrow up to $40,000
  • No fees on personal loans
  • Special loan option for home improvements
  • Carry multiple Marcus loans at once if you qualify

The Upgrade is Recommended for Credit Lines

When looking for a personal loan company that is both flexible and welcoming to immigrants, Upgrade is one of the few options. A credit line from one of four Upgrade credit cards is available to you, with each offering different terms and interest rates based on your creditworthiness and personal desire.

  • The original Upgrade Card, now with free withdrawals
  • With the Upgrade Cash Rewards Card, you may earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, forever.
  • A 1.5% cash rebate in Bitcoin on all purchases, forever with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card.
  • The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Card provides unrestricted 3% cash back on qualifying transactions (draws) made in the automotive, residential, and medical sectors.

Features in addition:

  • No origination fees
  • Follow a set payoff schedule to make your cash flow more predictable
  • Apply for credit lines between $500 and $25,000 if you qualify

Earnest is the Best Online Loan Broker.

Earnest is an online loan broker that compares offers from a wide range of personal lenders to discover the one that best meets your requirements.

Earnest doesn’t originate loans itself, but its extensive lender network allows it to provide competitive rates and terms to borrowers of all types. Earnest can also help you find alternative forms of credit, such as loans to consolidate your student loans.

Features in addition:

  • Borrow up to $100,000 if you qualify
  • Get the most competitive interest rates your borrower profile allows
  • Get loans with no origination fees if you qualify
  • Find lenders that use noncredit factors in underwriting

Choosing the Best Personal Loans for H1-B Visa Holders Using Our Methodology

When ranking the top options for personal loans for immigrants, we consider a number of important criteria. Each has something to do with the loan’s application, underwriting, and borrowing phases.

General Requirements for Eligibility

Loans for H1-B visa holders are available from each of the listed lenders, but that’s about where the similarities end. To save yourself time and effort, research the eligibility conditions of any potential lenders you’re considering applying to.

Credit Requirements

However, not all of these lenders insist on applicants having excellent FICO credit scores. Still, there are a few that have minimum credit score requirements. Even if a borrower doesn’t have to have a perfect credit history in the United States to qualify for a loan, a lender may nevertheless give them a better deal because of it.

Term of Loan

Common terms for unsecured loans span a period of two to seven years. There are more stringent lenders out there who will only go up to a five-year term. 

Some lenders focus on serving those who need money for a shorter period of time; they may provide maturities of as little as six months. Due to the lower total interest expense, shorter-term loans typically have lower interest rates.

Rates of Interest

As a result of the high level of competition in the personal loan market, you will find that the interest rate ranges offered by different lenders are rather similar. However, some loan providers have made a name for themselves at the bottom of the rate spectrum, which is great news for qualified borrowers with spotless U.S. credit records or substantial earnings.

However, there are financial institutions that focus on serving borrowers that present a higher level of risk. When paying with credit, expect to pay more.

Kinds of Loan and Acceptable Purposes

Personal loans that do not require collateral are the norm among the listed lenders. Some businesses promote their services by providing access to credit through credit cards or lines of credit.

If you’re looking for a personal loan, the majority of lenders will let you utilize the funds for anything you’d like. Some lenders are stricter than others; they use the money from your loan to settle your debts instead of giving it to you.

Loan Fees

A personal loan’s origination cost is the largest fee you’ll pay. There are certain lenders who charge origination fees of up to 8% of the loan amount from borrowers who aren’t quite as creditworthy. Loans with minimal or no origination fees should be prioritized if you have the option to compare options.

Speed of Funding

Personal loan firms are known for their prompt disbursal of funds after approving a borrower’s loan application. However, time is of the essence when cash is urgently required, and there is a tangible contrast between funding the following day and funding the following week.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Personal Loan for an H1-B Visa

Many lenders reject applications from applicants who are in the country on work visas, despite the fact that they have lived and paid taxes here for years, according to a quick head-to-head comparison between this list and our list of the best personal loan providers.

Although it’s sad, those with H1-B visas and other visitors to the United States with longer-term visas aren’t without options. This list of lenders includes a diverse group that, taken as a whole, may meet a variety of borrower demands.

You should opt for a lender that offers high borrowing limits to approved candidates if you need to borrow a sizable amount. Working with a lender that uses a nontraditional underwriting method is necessary if you don’t have a credit score. 

Furthermore, if you do have decent credit, you should work with a partner who offers well-qualified borrowers reasonable rates and conditions.

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