Transplanted Locally or from Abroad? How to Go About Asking for Personal Loans in the US

Many companies such as Avant, Best Egg, Lending Club, Prosper, SoFi and Upgrade are fueling the shift to a bankless world by handing out loans without relying too much on a person’s credit score. However, it seems So-Fi has the lower APR at 5.74 percent to 16.99 percent with loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

Co-founder Dan Macklin was once quoted as saying by that FICO credit scores are no longer a good way of screening loan applicants. Sofi takes a detailed look at your payment history, income versus your expenses, cash flow, and your career stability.  However, it still looks into your credit report to ensure applicant has a good track record of paying bills.

Founded in 2011, SoFi is one of the power players in the student loan refinancing industry. It usually refinances college loans to undergraduates, graduate students and those who’ve finished college. The company has since expanded its offerings to include mortgages and personal loans. It can be an option for those in need of financing, especially those who may need to weather the high cost of living in northern California.

Among the lending companies, Lend Edu recommends SoFi for high wage earners with solid credit, which should be common if your talent works in one of the top tech companies in Silicon Valley. A Sofi Personal Loan can be used for anything, even for renting a corporate apartment in San Jose, where foreign recruits in the tech field may be exploring for jobs.

One can pay off high-interest credit card debt, replace big-ticket home appliances, pay off medical bills, finance a home remodeling project, or even take a vacation.

The only thing one can’t do with a SoFi personal loan is pay for college. SoFi’s core business is student loan refinancing; as a result, it doesn’t allow anyone to use personal loan funds for educational purposes.

The loan application process is said to be quick and simple. In two minutes or less, it can find out if someone is pre-qualified and what the projected interest rate might be. During the pre-qualification process, SoFi reportedly does a soft credit pull that doesn’t affect credit score.


A talent who wants to know if they qualify, should look into SoFi’s eligibility criteria:

  • One must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder (J-1, H-1B, E-2, O-1, or TN)
  • A permanent resident or visa holder with at least two years remaining before his or her status expires
  • At least be 18 years old
  • Be a resident of any state other than Mississippi  
  • Be employed, have sufficient income from other sources, or have received an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days.

If your talent doesn’t qualify under these terms because they are coming from abroad, there are some options for them. They would need to demonstrate that they will be staying in the U.S. for at least three years of the loan term with potential for having their visa renewed.

If they are attending a college in the U.S., they need to be able to show how long they plan to remain in the United States. If they are working, they need to be e-verified. When they apply for a loan, they will need to bring a valid visa – either E1, E2, H1B, H2A, H2B, L1, G series or 0-1 or employment authorization form I-765, I-766 or 1-797A.

They can get these loans from online lenders such as LendingClub, Prosper, LoanDepot, and Avant. Other lenders, such as Stilt, specialize in personal loans to nonresidents.

Stilt is a San Francisco-based fintech firm that focuses on foreign national borrowers with limited or non-existent credit histories. It offers no minimum income requirement, but one needs to have a full-time job or verifiable offer for starting one within the next 6 months.

In addition to a credit score, Stilt considers a potential credit behavior based on such factors as educational background, work experience and savings rate. Borrowers with demonstrative good financial behavior and a high credit score can qualify for a rate as low as 10 percent.

For a foreign national looking to get a loan, it’s important to be prepared by compiling a credit profile and gathering documents, so one can have better chances of obtaining a loan. The worst case would mean finding a U.S. citizen willing to cosign a loan.

But if your talents are qualified to get a SoFi loan, it’s good to know repayment terms can be anywhere from two to seven years. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000. One of the biggest benefits of borrowing from SoFi is its lack of fees. None of SoFi’s loans have any kind of origination, application, or prepayment fees; all one pays is the interest. SoFi doesn’t even charge late fees. These no-fee loan terms set SoFi apart.