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CharlesSu
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎08-19-2013
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Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

Hey guys,

 

My friend just arrived at the states. She is an international student and doesn't have SSN yet. Do you know any credit cards that she could apply? THANKS A LOT!!!! 

 

By the way, I heard citi used to allow interntional students to apply citi Forward. Does citi still do that? 

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JeffM
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎09-19-2013
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Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

She can get a SSN if she has a job on campus. It's pretty straight forward

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New Contributor
hacsx2
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎12-02-2013
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Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

I believe you can not get a credit card if you don't have SSN.  When I first got here the first thing I did was find any job on campus.  That way the job will allow you to apply for SSN.  I would suggest doing that as soon as she can.

 

I did have a credit card when I first got here with UNFCU bank.  But that is a special case.  My mom bank with them and the bank is geared toward non US so I was able to get a student credit card with them.

 

So get SSN fast and tell your friend how important credit files are.  Make sure she knows.

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CSP $5000; BOA Rewards: $5000; Citi Platinum: $2600; UNFCU $500; BCP $6000; Wells Fargo reward $10k; Line of credit $10k ; Discover IT $7500; BML$1000; Citi TYP $5000; Chase Freedom $4000
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amdm2013
Posts: 262
Registered: ‎10-06-2013
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Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

I'm not a student, but I got my first credit card without an SSN through a secured card with BofA. A year later they unsecured the card and appproved me with four additional cards. Once you establish some credit history, AmEx and CapOne will process applications without SSN. This is from my personal experience. Hope this helps!
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enharu
Posts: 6,984
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
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Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

[ Edited ]

There are several ways to do this.

 

1. secured cards. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi are able to accept credit apps for secured cards without a SSN. The card CL has to be fully secured, which means the CL you get is based on your deposit. You will need to submit the apps in person at a branch. 

 

2. unsecured cards. Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo and Citi can issue your friend an unsecured card (usually around 500-1500 CL) if she has or establishes a banking relationship with them. She will need to leave about 5-10k daily average balance in the checkings / savings account. Once that requirement is met, she can talk to a banker / manager about applying for an unsecured card via special considerations route. The card type is usually pre-determined based on her deposit amount, meaning she cannot choose. For Chase, it will be the Freedom most of the time. For Citi, it will be the forward card. For WF, it can be either the cashback or rewards card. For bank of America it will be the standard Bank Americard Cash Rewards, though I think she can choose a couple others as well, such as the college series card. The apps will need to be done in person. Remember though: There's usually no sign-up promos, including 0% interest periods, for cards that are applied through this route.

 

This requirement is pretty easy to meet for most international students. Just have her parents wire over 1 year worth of tuition + expenses, and that's easily 20-150k. The calculations are based on daily average balance, which means you can essentially have 120k in the bank account for 1 month, and 0 for the remaining 11 months, and still have a 10k average balance. Her parents will eventually wire her money again for next year's expenses, so the daily balance will go up again, and hopefully by then she will have a SSN as well.

 

3. Get a SSN. Just apply for any on campus job, get the letter, apply for SSN, and quit the job once she gets her SSN. 

 

4. Check out credit unions. They're usually more personable and negotiable. They might be able to work something out for her.

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mnavas
Posts: 408
Registered: ‎02-04-2013
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Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

[ Edited ]

CharlesSu wrote:

Hey guys,

 

My friend just arrived at the states. She is an international student and doesn't have SSN yet. Do you know any credit cards that she could apply? THANKS A LOT!!!! 

 

By the way, I heard citi used to allow interntional students to apply citi Forward. Does citi still do that? 


The lack of SSN isn't the problem. Many banks (Chase, Bank of America, AMEX, Discover, Cap 1, CITI) would give a credit card to your friend but before she can get one she needs some credit history and income. 

 

If she had a way for someone to add her as an AU on some credit accounts (2 preferably) with a couple of months of perfect credit history and wait for the reporting part then she could easily get approved for a Discover card or an AMEX charge card

 

Another way is to open some secured cards like Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Cap 1 and start from there and in about 6 months she'd be able to apply and get approved for some unsecured CCs

Super Contributor
enharu
Posts: 6,984
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
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Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

@mnavas, without a SSN, adding her as AU is pointless. She isn't going to be able to apply for new cards even if she sticks it out with a secured card, unless she gets a SSN eventually and updates her card(s) with her SSN. She can't even be added as an AU on Amex products as well. The only purpose of adding her as an AU would be to let her use the cards, since there's no SSN for the credit companies to report the history on.

There's simply no way to establish any fico score or overall credit history without a SSN. Only score she will have is the internal score with the bank that she opened her secured / unsecured card with, and even then it's highly unlikely they will approve her for any additional products until she gets a SSN.
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Anam
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎09-12-2013
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Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN


enharu wrote:
@mnavas, without a SSN, adding her as AU is pointless. She isn't going to be able to apply for new cards even if she sticks it out with a secured card, unless she gets a SSN eventually and updates her card(s) with her SSN. She can't even be added as an AU on Amex products as well. The only purpose of adding her as an AU would be to let her use the cards, since there's no SSN for the credit companies to report the history on.

There's simply no way to establish any fico score or overall credit history without a SSN. Only score she will have is the internal score with the bank that she opened her secured / unsecured card with, and even then it's highly unlikely they will approve her for any additional products until she gets a SSN.

SSN is not required to have a credit file. Some of the same credit bureaus exist in other countries where using the SSN equivalent for such purposes is either not required or not legal. They have other ways of tracking you (like Name, Address, Birth Date). And the banks do see your FICO score. But if you don't have an SSN you won't be able to look up the FICO score yourself.

 

I have added authorised users to my AMEX card without knowing their SSNs. You just need to call AMEX.

Same goes for BoA. Chase and Discover don't require SSNs for AUs at all so that can be done online.

 

My mother also applied for her first AMEX and Citi card without a social security number (only history she had was when I added her as an AU to some of my cards). Approved for both. AMEX (BCP) gave her 5200 for her CL. Pretty high limit for someone with no credit history...

 

I still get credit offers at one of my old addresses because there is apparently a secondary credit file there with the shorter version of my first name.
Almost tempted to start a second credit history there :smileytongue:. Twice the bonuses haha.

Frequent Contributor
mnavas
Posts: 408
Registered: ‎02-04-2013
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Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

Exactly, contrary what Enharu believes, you do build credit history without SSN and CRAs only need two pieces of info to generate a CR for you (Name and address). Of course the person you're adding as an AU needs to live at the same address as the account owner because when you add an AU, most banks won't let you add a different address for the AU (theres some exceptions like Cap 1)

 

Also, you can go further with a secured card: for example lets say you apply for Bank of America secured card and get approved, after a couple of months you'd be able to graduate the card or open an unsecured card without a SSN or ITIN (You need to apply in person so they can verify your ID) and i believe AMEX and Capital one will approve apps without SSN (they require you to mail a copy of your ID

 

Of course not all banks let you open credit account without SSN but some will let you do it with an ITIN (ex. Discover) and some a SSN is a must: US Bank, Barclays, Wells Fargo because citizenship or permanent residency are a requirement

 

 

Established Contributor
newUser0
Posts: 937
Registered: ‎12-13-2013
0

Re: Credit Cards for International Student without SSN

One of My Friend is Neither Citizen or Permanent Resident. He has US Bank, Wells Fargo and Barclays Card.

 

So You can get these cards just with SSN.


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