DACA Car Loans: The Complete Guide

Updated on April 12, 2024
At a Glance: Getting car loans for DACA recipients is possible, although it may be more challenging. Lack of credit history and a social security card can be barriers, but there are lenders who offer DACA car loans. Tips for success include building credit, checking credit reports for accuracy, finding a cosigner, exploring different lenders, and carefully reviewing loan terms and conditions. Shopping around and understanding the fine print can help DACA recipients secure car loans.

Being a Dreamer has its challenges — especially since Trump took the Presidential Office. One of the challenges you’ll likely encounter as a DACA recipient is getting a car loan. Many lenders are not willing to offer loans to people who are not U.S. permanent residents, citizens, or at least on a formal visa. Especially not car loans for DACA recipients. If you are a Dreamer in need of a car (and a car loan) take a look below. We’ll explain why it might be challenging for Dreamers to get DACA car loans and we also give a few tips on how you can make the process easier.

Can DACA Recipients Get Car Loans?

The good news is car loans for DACA recipients are available. Unfortunately, it might not be as easy or as simple to get a car loan like most other people, but it is still possible. The important thing is not to stop trying after the possible first or second no. If you shop around, you will find a lender who offers car loans for DACA recipients. So can DACA recipients get car loans? Definitely yes!

Why is it Hard to Get a Car Loan on DACA?

Many DACA recipients don’t get a car loan because they don’t have a credit score. Surprisingly, it is not actually because they are a Dreamer. This is good news because you can build your credit score (as you’ll see below). Alternatively, you can choose to go for a lender who doesn’t require a credit score, like Stilt.

Another reason lenders may not give you a loan is if you don’t have a social security card. This is definitely a problem, but again a problem you can solve.

Despite the above, there are some great creative lenders out there who offer DACA car loans. All you need to do is search!

Download the DACA Car Loans Checklist

DACA recipients, get the best car loan deals with our specialized checklist. Download now for success!

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5 Tips for Getting a DACA Car Loan

1. Build Your Credit

Banks are always more favorable towards borrowers who have a good credit score. As explained above, Dreamers often don’t get car loans because they actually don’t have a credit history — not because they are Dreamers. Fortunately, you can build your credit score. This means you’ll have to wait a little longer before you apply for your loan, but if you build a good credit score you’ll get a loan easier and get a better rate.

There are many ways you can build your credit score. For a few tips, take a look here.

2. Check Your Credit Report

The history on your credit report determines your credit score. A good credit score will likely get you lower interest rates and might sway a lender to give you a DACA car loan. So, it is vital to ensure that your credit report is correct.

You can get one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Transunion). Once you get your report, go through it properly and check if there are any mistakes. If there are, make sure you dispute them and don’t stop until they are corrected.

3. Find a Cosigner

A cosigner is someone who signs your loan application with you. This person will be liable for your loan if you default on your DACA car loan payments. Lenders see cosigners as additional security, so if your cosigner has a good credit score, it might help lower the rate on your DACA car loan. If your cosigner is a U.S. permanent resident or citizen, lenders that would not ordinarily lend money to you as a Dreamer might now consider it.

4. Shop Around for Loan Options

As it might be difficult to get DACA car loans from some lenders, it will definitely be a good idea to shop around for different lenders and loan options. Traditional banks are not the only loan providers anymore. There are various online lenders and credit unions that might consider giving you a DACA car loan.

It is important to do proper research on the loan options you get offered. And even though you might be provided with credit, it might be a bad financial decision to use that type of loan to buy a car.

5. Read the Fine Print

Once you are offered a loan, ask for full disclosure of all the loan terms. This is where you read the fine print (sometimes quite literally). Different lenders offer different terms so it is important to take note of what each specific lender offers you.

You should look out for things like:

  • Origination fees
  • Early payment penalties
  • Late payment penalties
  • Other hidden costs


If you are a Dreamer wondering if DACA recipients can get car loans, the answer is yes! There are lenders out there willing to offer you a loan to buy a car. Make sure you apply the tips we provided above to make the process easier and keep on searching. You’ll find a lender willing to give you a DACA car loan in no time!

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Frank Gogol

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.

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