Understanding the process of how to get a credit card is pretty complicated. But the process becomes even more complicated when you are an international student in the US. Getting a credit card for international students is not impossible when you know the right steps.
Most credit card companies will verify your credit history whether you are an international student or not. Moreover, you are usually not eligible to obtain a credit card before you age 21. But if you can prove your ability to repay debts or have an adult consigner, you stand the chance of getting one.
Tips for International Students to Obtain a Credit Card in the US
You will have to submit various documents if you are applying for a US credit card as an international student. But apart from that, you will also have to prove yourself credit-worthy. Some tips that can make it easy for international students to get a credit card are as follows:
1. Open a bank account in the US:
The first step is to open a bank account in the United States. You will need to show the bank your student visa, passport, and I-20 form. Having a bank account will make it easier for you to get a credit card and help you manage your finances while living in the US.
2. Build your credit history:
If you don’t have a credit history, it will be difficult to get approved for a credit card. One way to build your credit history is by getting a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, you will have to deposit money into the account which will then be used as collateral if you default on your payments. Another way to build your credit is by becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account. This means that the primary cardholder agrees to let you use their credit card and is responsible for making sure that the bill gets paid on time.
3. Check your credit score:
Your credit score is one of the most important factors that will be considered when you apply for a credit card in the US. Make sure to check your credit score before applying for a credit card so you have an idea of where you stand. If your credit score is not good, you can work on improving it by paying your bills on time and keeping your balances low.
4. Compare different offers:
There are many different types of credit cards available, so make sure to compare various offers before choosing one. Consider things like the interest rate, annual fee, and rewards program before deciding.
5. Build credit with different tools:
Once you create your bank account, you should focus on maintaining positive account activity. Several tools are available to report your account activity to credit bureaus. Paying rent or utility bills using the account can improve your credit score.
6. Apply for a part-time job:
Some student visas permit you to work in the US. Securing a part-time job will make you eligible for an SSN. It will also become evidence of your income proof as an international student in the US. You can use this income proof to apply for a credit card in the US.
Can You Get a Credit Card Without SSN?
Most credit card applications will require you to submit your SSN. However, some will let you apply for a credit card without SSN. Follow these to become a credit card holder without SSN:
- Request an ITIN: If you don’t have SSN, some credit card companies will require you to provide your ITIN. You can get your ITIN from the Internal Revenue Service.
- Turn into an authorized user: Ask your acquaintance if they are willing to make you an authorized user on their card. It will help you gain access to credit. However, the primary cardholder should be aware that they will be responsible for all your debts.
- Opt for a bank-issued credit card: Sometimes, it’s easier for you to get a credit card issued by the bank where you have an account. A well-developed financial relationship increases the chances of approval.
Credit Cards Available for International Students
International students in the US can get different types of credit cards. Some of the popular ones are as follows:
Student credit cards
If you’re a student attending college or university in the US, you may be able to get a student credit card. These cards often have low credit limits and high-interest rates, but they can help you build your credit history.
Secured credit cards
A secured credit card requires a security deposit, usually equal to your credit limit. This deposit acts as collateral in case you default on your payments. Secured cards can help you build or rebuild your credit, but they typically have higher fees than unsecured cards. These cards may also have lower credit limits.
A prepaid card is not a credit card but can be used like one. You load money onto the card in advance, and then you can use it to make purchases or withdrawals. Prepaid cards typically don’t help you build credit, but they can be a good alternative if you can’t get a traditional credit card.
International students can get credit cards in the US even when they don’t have an SSN. Alternative forms of identification like ITINs, visas, and passports.
Zolve provides an operational U.S. account and a high-limit credit card that can be applied for from your home country. You won’t have to pay an application fee, and approvals are easy. The entire process is online, so you can get started right away. With this card, you’ll have access to the money you need to make your dreams a reality. We hope that this blog post has been helpful for you in understanding the complete process of applying for a student credit card in the US.