Homeowning is one of the key factors to gaining wealth, but it is not an easy assignment. A majority of people have to take out a loan, which they then pay off for years. The real estate market in the US is open to everybody, so you might wonder how foreign nationals can buy a property without having to cash out.
All US citizens have a social security number, and it is the primary identifier during a loan application process. What about legal residents who are not citizens? They don’t have a social security number. Read this article to learn how to get a loan without a social security number.
What is a Social Security Number and Why is it Important?
Social security numbers are citizen identification that tracks each individual citizen’s earnings and work history. It is a nine-digit number that can be assigned at birth or upon application for residents. Lenders use your social security number during the loan application process to establish your creditworthiness, as it contains information about your credit history.
Furthermore, social security numbers are needed when you are opening a bank account, applying for a personal loan, and doing other economic activities. Many foreign nationals feel trapped because they do not have an SSN, but there is a way to prove creditworthiness without it.
States that have more foreign nationals than others have developed special loans for non-US residents, so it is easy to find non-US resident mortgage loans in Florida. Moreover, Fannie Mae purchases and securitizes loans to lawful residents, enabling them to buy properties at the same terms as anyone born in the US.
Individual Tax Identification Number
Individual tax identification number or ITIN is a tax processing number available to nonresidents or their members of their families who are not eligible for a social security number. ITIN is a nine-digit number as well, and it always starts with the digit 9.
The Internal Revenue Service assigns individual tax identification numbers, and to get them, you need to prove your identity and citizenship of the country you are coming from. ITIN is what will help you get a loan without a social security number.
A tax identification number does not authorize work in the US; it only helps you process the tax payments and returns in accordance with US tax laws. Your tax-paying history will be necessary to the lender who should decide to give you a loan. Traditional banks might not be the right source for you if you have an ITIN card, so try talking to private lenders or maybe seek help from a mortgage broker.
Fannie Mae’s Eligibility Guidelines
Fannie Mae, a government enterprise, guarantees loans to lawful non-citizens who are in the country permanently or non-permanently. They encourage lenders to work with non-citizens but provide guidelines for borrowers’ eligibility.
A borrower should have a social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number to be considered legally present in the US. Furthermore, in order to be eligible for a loan, a borrower must prove the continuity of income requirements. Fannie Mae’s guidelines allow the lenders to retain discretion and deal with each borrower according to their own unique circumstances.
Non-US Resident Mortgages?
Remember that not every lender will provide the possibility to apply for a loan without a social security number. Still, some offer it to three types of borrowers: foreign citizens, Americans living abroad, and American residents who are not citizens of the US. All you need is an ITIN.
Both FHA and conventional loans are available to non-US residents, and if you live outside the US, you might wonder how to find a lender. Some suggest that it is better to apply for a loan through an international lender with franchisees in the States than to find a local US bank. A good idea might be to work with international banks that operate in America and establish a relationship that you can use to prove your creditworthiness.
You would have to prove your creditworthiness for government-issued loans, but you might not need a credit score to do so, only proof of income and tax payments. However, it might be easier to find a private lender since they are usually more willing to work with people who don’t have a social security number.
How to Apply?
So, now that the misconception that there is no way to get a loan without a social security number is broken, let’s find out how to apply for a mortgage using an ITIN number. After acquiring the ITIN number, you need to pay your taxes regularly.
ITIN number can get you all sorts of loans, from a credit card to a home mortgage. A lender will look at your credit score, personal loan history, debt to income ratio, and career history to determine how high a risk you are.
After a credit check, a lender will contact you with acceptance or rejection and offer you the loan options – including the rates and the longevity. The rates might be a bit higher for non-US residents, but it is not a general rule.
Reasons to Buy a Home
There are a few reasons to consider homeowning, especially for immigrants who are trying to establish their American life. The first is equity – building it and saving it is easy when you buy a house. Renting can be convenient, but it is not in any way an investment.
By buying a property, you can build up to $300,000 in a few years. Additionally, rent can change but your mortgage payment is usually fixed. Note that the prices in a real estate market are rising even during the recession, and surveys show that Americans consider real estate to be one of the best ways to invest.
Another reason to buy a house is stability and freedom, it is easy to fit in and become a member of a community when you live in one neighborhood for a longer period of time. That, along with the tax benefits, should convince you to consider getting an ITIN number and saving for a down payment. Once you decide on buying a property, find a trustworthy lender who will deal with your unique situation with respect.