App version: 0.1.0

Can You Get a Personal Loan Without an SSN?

Can You Get a Personal Loan Without a SSN?
Austin Kilham
Austin KilhamUpdated March 14, 2023
Share this article:
Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you want to take out a personal loan, but you don’t have a Social Security number (SSN), you may still be able to qualify. While a Social Security number is typically one of the requirements for a personal loan, there is a way to get a loan without an SSN. It may be more challenging, but it is possible.Here’s what you need to know about getting loans without an SSN. 

What Is a Social Security Number?

A Social Security number is a nine-digit number used to identify you and issued by the Social Security Administration. You need it for employment, as well as for government services and programs such as Social Security benefits.SSNs were developed as a way of keeping track of the work records of citizens and eligible U.S. residents to help determine the size of their Social Security benefits. The SSN has now become common for many other purposes. For instance, you need it to file your income tax returns and usually to get a driver’s license. Many banks and other financial institutions require you to have a Social Security number to open an account. And lenders may ask for an SSN when you apply for credit or a loan. 

Why Do Lenders Require a Social Security Number?

Lenders use your SSN to check your credit score from the three major credit reporting bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Your credit and your credit score help lenders determine how responsible you’ve been with your debt in the past. A higher score usually indicates that a person has a history of managing multiple debts and paying their bills on time. Lenders may worry that individuals with lower scores are at higher risk of defaulting on a loan

Can You Get Personal Loans Without an SSN?

It is generally possible to get personal loans without a Social Security number. One alternative some lenders accept is the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).An ITIN is a number issued by the IRS for tax processing purposes. These numbers are for individuals who aren’t eligible for an SSN so that they can comply with tax law and to make it easier for the government to process their tax returns. ITINs may be given to resident and non-resident aliens.

Can You Use an ITIN for a Personal Loan?

Borrowers who do not have an SSN may find lenders who are willing to accept an ITIN instead. Check with any lenders you’re considering working with. To apply for an ITIN, you will need to fill out IRS form W7. Include proof of identification and your tax return. You can file your application with the IRS in person or by mail. 

Typical Personal Loan Requirements

In addition to an SSN or ITIN, lenders have other personal loan requirements when you apply. For instance, they will look at your credit history and credit score. In general, borrowers with higher credit scores may be offered lower interest rates on loans. If your credit score is poor, there are subprime personal loans you may want to look into. In addition, it might be easier for you to qualify for secured personal loans rather than for loans that aren’t secured. You can shop around with different lenders to see what personal loan terms they might offer you. A lender will also usually ask for information about your employment and income. They want to know you have a steady cash flow to cover your loan payments. You may need to provide pay stubs, tax returns, or bank statements. If you don’t have a verifiable income, there are no-income-verification loans you may be eligible for. These loans might require you to put down collateral. Lenders also typically look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which compares your monthly debts to your gross monthly income. Generally, the lower your DTI, the better.  Finally, if you aren’t a U.S. resident, a lender may require you to have a visa and provide a copy of it when you apply for a loan. Check with the lender to see which type of visa holders are eligible. 

Can a Cosigner With an SSN Help an Application?

Applying for a personal loan with a cosigner who has a Social Security number could increase your chances of getting approved. In fact, if you don’t have an SSN, or you’re not a permanent resident, some lenders might even require you to have a cosigner. That cosigner may need to be a U.S. resident if you are not.A cosigner is a person who agrees to take responsibility for the loan payments if the borrower fails to pay. Choosing a cosigner with a strong credit history may help you qualify for a loan without an SSN.  Just be aware that if you miss payments on the loan, it can have a negative impact on your cosigner’s credit. 

The Takeaway

If you’re in need of a personal loan and you don’t have a Social Security number, you may still be able to get a loan, though your options may be more limited. Using an ITIN number, or choosing a creditworthy cosigner for the loan, could boost your chances.  As you’re exploring personal loan options, Lantern can help make the process easier for you. In our online marketplace, you can compare loan rates and terms from multiple lenders all at once and in one place. This can help you find the best loan for your needs, even if you don’t have an SSN.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a loan without a Social Security number?
Can I get a personal loan with an ITIN?
Do I need to provide an SSN for loan pre-approval?
Photo credit: iStock/matdesign24

About the Author

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles. He focuses on personal finance, retirement, business, and health care with an eye toward helping others understand complex topics.
Share this article: