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Apply for a credit card without a social security number

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The best way to build a good credit history is to use credit cards wisely.

But if you’re an international student or a new immigrant, getting a credit card can be a challenge. This is because many card issuers require a Social Security Number (SSN) as part of the credit card application process. If you do not have an SSN, you will not be able to claim these cards.

SSNs are issued by the Social Security Administration to people born in the United States. They are also issued to people who are allowed to work in the country, and newcomers to the US can apply for them after they are allowed to work in the country.

So what if you don’t have an SSN? You still have options. Keep reading to learn how to get a credit card without an SSN and how to choose a card that will help you earn credit quickly.

Apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Some credit card issuers allow applicants to provide an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security number. The IRS issues an ITIN to nonresident and resident aliens (and qualifying spouses and dependents) who cannot obtain an SSN but must pay US taxes.

If you are an international student studying in the US, you can also apply for an ITIN if you are not eligible for an SSN. And if you are in the country on an F-1 visa (for traditional academic students) or an M-1 visa (for professional students), you may also be eligible.

To obtain an ITIN, you must first complete the IRS Form W-7, also known as the IRS Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. You will need to provide documents proving your status as a foreigner or alien and true identity. You can send this information by mail or in person to the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Select a credit card issuer that does not require a social security number

Some credit card issuers do not require applicants to provide social security numbers, and some do. Here’s what you need to know:

  • American Express will accept applications from people with a TIN or passport.
  • Bank of America will accept applications from people with TINs or passports, but only if you apply through a Bank of America branch.
  • Capital One admits applicants who have an ITIN instead of an SSN.
  • Chase allows applicants to use ITIN instead of SSN.
  • Citi requires applicants to provide an SSN.
  • Credit One Bank requires applicants to provide an SSN.
  • Discover requires applicants to provide an SSN.
  • Wells Fargo allows applicants to apply with an ITIN instead of an SSN.

It is worth noting that among these major credit card issuers, American Express has a program designed to help newcomers to the United States get credit. Nova Credit’s American Express Passport allows them to use the credit history they have built up in their home countries when applying for Amex Personal Credit Cards, which can be a viable option for those who already have good credit.

Choose a card that will help you get a loan quickly

If you’re hoping to apply for a credit card to get a loan in the United States, choose one that will help you get it quickly. In many cases, this means applying for a secured credit card.

Protected cards allow you to open a modest line of credit in exchange for a small refundable security deposit – and if you use your card responsibly, you’ll start building a positive credit history that could allow you to upgrade to standard credit. card with a higher credit line.

Want to build a credit history without applying for a secured credit card? No problem. Cards such as the Visa® Petal® 2 Cashback Credit Card with No Fees are designed to help creditworthy applicants start building a credit history without the need for collateral. Also, you don’t need an SSN to qualify. Petal accepts applications from U.S. permanent residents, and they can provide either an SSN or an ITIN.

“Petal was created to help people access a high-quality credit card even if they don’t have a credit score,” says Jason Gross, CEO and co-founder of Petal. “This includes those who have not yet earned credit in the United States but who are otherwise creditworthy.”

Like many of today’s best credit cards, the Petal 2 card offers cash back. All cardholders are immediately eligible for 1% cashback on qualifying purchases, and after making 12 timely monthly payments, your cashback bonus can increase to 1.5% on each eligible purchase. Since your payment history makes up 35 percent of your FICO credit score, creating a record of timely payments is one of the best things you can do to build credit quickly.

bottom line

While some credit cards require an SSN, you can still get one if you don’t have one. Many loan issuers allow applicants to provide an ITIN instead of an SSN. If you are new to the country and looking to build a positive credit history, knowing how to get a credit card without an SSN can be a positive first step on your journey.

Editorial disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective judgment of our contributors and is not based on advertising. It was not provided or ordered by credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to our partners’ products.

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