According to NAR (National Association of Realtor) the latest research those living in the United States as recent immigrants or those holding visas for professional, educational or other purposes are more likely to take loan in order to invest in their business. Now it’s possible for everybody, permanent or non-permanent residents with stable income to acquire various types of loans by providing the lenders with needed documentation about their employment history, credit history and proof of income. When it comes to finance and investment into one’s future, one of the key factors is knowing one’s options when it comes to taking loans, acquiring as much information as possible about them and acquiring all the documentation needed to provide the lenders with security of one’s financial status. The first step for this is to apply for a secured credit card from one of the banks of the USA. Leaving a credit trail will provide the lenders with information about your finances. A good strategy is to establish relationships with banks that have a US presence in order to build up an American credit report history. If your are Chicago resident for example, there are companies for bad credit loans in Illinois.


Most of the services available have one main requirement to them, which is the financial stability or the income of the applicant and proof of it in forms of various documents. Currently there are three major bureaus who can give credit reports ( Equifax, TransUnion and Experian). In other words the applicant must have income which is taxable in the USA. Some of the methods for financing are:

  • SBA (Small business Administration) loans, which are among the most affordable small business loan options. However, to obtain business loan for immigrants backed by the SBA, there will be a lot of paperwork. Typically, if you have legal permanent resident status or are a working visa holder you are eligible for an SBA loan.
  • Home equity loan, which is a secured loan with your house serving as collateral, which offers the bank some security in the event of the applicant not paying them back. There is also the option to take this kind of loan even with bad credit. Most banks will be more likely to approve a home equity loan if there is: at least 15 to 20 percent equity In your home (equity is the difference between the appraised value of your home and the amount that needs to be paid back).
  • Government grants. Grants such as Wilson-Fish program and Micro-enterprise development program offer refugees a good option for taking grants from organizations which are both administered by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
  • Micro loans and short term business loans. This is an option for those with lack of credit history. Short term loans or Micro loans can be an ideal stop gap measure. The downside is the amount of the loan which generally caps at around 50,000 dollars. Also a short term loan will have relatively high payments since it needs to be paid over a shorter period, which can cause cash flow issues.
  • Credit unions are another alternative (which offer extremely competitive rates and may have special lending programs for green card and visa holders)
  • Loans from friends and family. In other countries such as Japan and China its normal to receive a loan from a family member. In America, although its not common practice, it is also possible to ask a family member for a loan which will possibly help with the development of business.
  • Non-citizens can qualify for government insured mortgages, which have the advantage of requiring low down payments.


As said before the main obstacle is providing your employment history, credit history, and proof of income. For most US citizens, this is very easy because most have a credit trail in the US and a backlog of W-2 forms and tax returns that show their earning over the years. Another factor is one’s residency status. Most borrowers fall within one of the following groups: permanent residents with a green card form I-551, non permanent residents with a valid work visa E1, E2, H1B H2A H2B, H3, L1 and G1-G4, and foreign nationals whose primary residence is not in the USA. When it comes to mortgages, the mortgage industry is dominated by large, global banks, so there’s a good chance that there will be some credit activity in the past.Also some lenders may be willing to order international credit reports as a substitute, however this can be expensive process and one that’s generally available for residents of Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland.

Some lenders will make borrowers go through more hoops than others to get a loan, so it is probably best to consider the ones that frequently work with non US citizens. If you are currently living in Chicago in order to get more information about this it is advisable to contact Chicago immigration lawyer about all possible options and various advises.