I T I N
ITIN Loans Explained
Having a Social Security number is the easiest way to do the following:
Open checking and savings accounts
Apply for loans
Build your credit
But, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE to start building credit or accessing financial products without a Social Security number — if you’re willing to do some research.
In fact, there’s another national I.D. number, the ITIN, made specifically for people who don’t qualify for a Social Security number.
Does this sound like you? How do you even know if you qualify for an SSN? Keep reading, and we’ll explain what an ITIN is and how you can use it to help you get a loan and lock up other financial services.
What is an ITIN?
ITIN stands for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
The Individual Revenue Service (IRS) started the ITIN program in 1996, issuing these SSN alternatives to foreign-born persons regardless of their immigration status.
Why do I need an ITIN number?
You’re required by law to pay taxes the minute you start working and earning money in the United States.
Having an ITIN helps you file your taxes. This tax-processing number can also help you provide proof of residency, which will come in handy if you apply to become a U.S. citizen.
Who is not eligible for a social security number?
ITINs and SSNs are very different national I.D. numbers.
Social Security numbers are issued to U.S. citizens and noncitizen residents approved to work in the United States.
Undocumented immigrants, including nonresident aliens visiting and conducting business in the United States, don’t meet SSN requirements.
That means you would then need an ITIN to continue working in the United States, filing your taxes, opening a checking or savings account, and more.
The IRS website provides the following categories of people who MUST apply for an ITIN:
You do not have an SSN and are not eligible to get one
You are a nonresident alien required to file a U.S. tax return
You are a U.S. resident alien who is filing a U.S. tax return
You are a dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien
You are dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
You are a nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit
You are a nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception
How to apply for an ITIN
You can submit your application for an ITIN, also known as Form W-7, whenever you file your federal income tax return.
Keep in mind, you must also include certified copies of your identity and foreign status.
Apply for an ITIN using one of the following three options:
Mail your W-7, tax return, and proof of identity and foreign status to the IRS
Apply in person using a Certifying Acceptance Agent
Make an appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center
How to get a loan with an ITIN
You have the ability to start building credit in the United States regardless of your immigration status.
Your ITIN serves as your form of identification when you want to buy a new car, pay for school, start a business, etc, in order to support your family or yourself.
Remember when we told you that having an SSN is the easiest but not the only way to get approved for a loan?
Here comes the uphill battle: finding a lender that will approve you for a loan if you’re an ITIN holder.
Do credit unions accept ITIN?
Good news. Santa Ana Federal Credit Union is an ITIN-approved lender!
The even better news is that once you become a Member, you immediately qualify for low-interest rates on the following:
You’re required to open a savings account to establish your Membership.
SAFCU then provides opportunities for you to do the following with your money:
Open checking accounts
Invest and grow your money
Establish your credit and qualify for more loans
Getting approved for a loan is not limited to SSN holders. But, having an ITIN doesn’t guarantee that you will be approved for a loan, either. However, lenders are more willing to approve you for the money you want when you don’t come across as a “risky” borrower.
You have to do your part by establishing and improving your credit score and also searching for lenders (we’re hoping you become a Member at Santa Ana Federal Credit Union) that will accept your ITIN.