I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.See all posts Frank Gogol
Auto Loans for H1B Visa Holders
Are you an immigrant living and working in the U.S.? Do you perhaps have an H1B visa and would like to buy a car? Do you know the different ways to buy a car? And what can you do if you don’t have enough money to buy a car in cash?
Why don’t you consider auto loans for H1B visa holders? It could be your best option. This is what you need to know about car loans for H1B visa holders.
Can H1B Visa Holders Get Auto Loans in the U.S.?
You probably already understand some of the difficulties immigrants have to deal with in the U.S. Life as a visa holder can be quite tricky, especially when it comes to financial services. So can an H1B visa holder buy a car with an auto loan?
Yes, there are auto loans for H1B visa holders. Your toughest task would probably be to find a lender willing to help finance your purchase. But it is definitely possible. Start searching for lenders willing to provide you with credit in the form of car loans.
Car Options for H1B Visa Holders
Do you know how to buy a car in the U.S.? There are actually a few ways in which you can get a car. Here are some of the more well known (proven) methods to get a car.
Buying is the simplest way to get a car. Whether second hand or brand spanking new, simply offer to purchase the car and pay up. It obviously requires lots of money to purchase a car and it would be a smart financial move to buy a car in cash. But most people just don’t have enough money.
If you are an immigrant and you have the correct visa you can, however, buy cars with auto loans for H1B visa holders. It will require specific monthly installments as determined by the loan agreement, but at least you’ll be the registered owner of the vehicle.
So you can opt to buy a car with cash or by using an auto loan.
People sometimes struggle to get access to credit. Maybe you have a high debt-to-income ratio. Or your credit score may be low. Or maybe you don’t have a credit score at all. There is still a way you can possibly own a car someday.
You can make use of a lease-to-own program to get a car. A lease-to-own program requires monthly payments and grants you the right to use the vehicle as long as you keep your payments up to date. The vehicle remains the property of the company that supplies the program for the duration of the lease. You’ll have to speak to the dealership who offers the lease to iron out the minor details.
Just be aware of the following when it comes to a lease.
- You might be required to make a large payment at the end of the lease if you want to own the vehicle.
- Leases are generally more expensive than auto loans.
- A leased car usually has an immobilizer device that overrides the car systems and shuts down if you don’t pay your monthly installment.
What can you do if you don’t want to own a car, but still need one for a short period of time? You can rent a car. Renting works the same as a lease in many ways, but it’s still different.
Renting is a good option if you need a car for a short period like a few days or weeks. You don’t have to go through the administrative burden of registering the vehicle under your name. Let’s be honest, you’d like to avoid the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) as far as possible. And you definitely don’t want to waste a day if you are on a business trip. Rent a car for a few days or weeks and enjoy all the comfort and benefits of having a car with none of the burdens that come with owning it.
Just remember, you could still be kept accountable for any collisions or damage to property as determined by the rental agreement. Rental agreements may also require insurance costs for the duration of the rental period. Read the terms and keep to the conditions to keep the rental fees as low as possible. Also, remember some rentals have conditions like daily travel distance limits.
3 Types of Auto Loan Lenders for H1B Visa Holders
There are many types of lenders in the U.S. and you need to find the best ones. Here are three types of lenders to help get your search efforts going. Some lenders have differing requirements. So read carefully to find the types that will suit your situation the best.
The big banks of America have been around for several years. They have established credit businesses and usually offer the lowest interest rates. But they also have the most stringent eligibility requirements. They have minimum required credit scores and sometimes require your Social Security Number as well.
Many H1B visa holders often struggle to qualify for their services. But you can always apply to see if you are eligible. Make sure you have a strong credit score when you apply for credit at big banks, though.
Credit Unions exist to serve their members. You can become part of a credit union and partake in the services on offer. They only serve specific groups of people. Some credit unions, for instance, specifically serve army veterans. Others serve specific minority groups.
But there is a downside to this. Many H1B visa holders aren’t eligible to become part of a credit union, unfortunately. What can you do then? The good news is there are more options available. You can consider the following if you are looking for auto loans for H1B visa holders.
Online lenders are not the same as conventional lenders like big banks. They don’t always have the same stringent eligibility criteria. Some online lenders don’t even require a credit score from their customers. They have alternative ways to determine a customer’s creditworthiness.
Some online lenders are also specifically geared to serve immigrants. They understand the challenges you face and adapt their services accordingly to help you. Online lenders also offer auto loans and visa holders might benefit tremendously because of it.
Before you Get Your Loan
There are a few things we need to address before you purchase a car. It’s much like not being able to become an H1B uber driver. There are some requirements that will keep you from owning a vehicle until you fulfill it. They are the following.
License for H1B Visa Holder
Yes, you need a license to drive a car. You most probably want to drive the car you buy, and for that, you need a driver’s license. People in the U.S. on an H1B visa can get a driver’s license. Follow the procedures in your home state and get your license. The lender may very well request your license before they make you an auto loan offer.
Most U.S. states require drivers to have vehicle insurance. It doesn’t only cover your expenses in the case of a collision. It must cover other drivers’ costs if you are to blame for the incident as well.
You can’t just look at your monthly H1B loan installment to determine your budget. You must also take the cost of vehicle insurance into account. This cost is required by law in many states and adds to the total monthly costs of your vehicle.
Immigrants may have it tough in the U.S. but you can breathe a sigh of relief. There are ways to own a car even if you aren’t a U.S. citizen.
Look for auto loans for H1B visa holders. It could be your best option to own a car. Remember to take the insurance cost into account and first get your driver’s license before you take it onto the road. Go apply for your H1B auto loan today!