Getting a Personal Loan on DACA in 2024

Updated on April 9, 2024

The future for DACA holders (Dreamers) is still uncertain since Donald Trump became the President of the United States. There’s some question on whether Dreamers are eligible for loans and what the processes are to apply for loans for these non-permanent residents. As long as DACA remains, though, Dreamers can still get loans.

What Is DACA?  

DACA is short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The DACA program, established in 2012 under the Obama administration, is a relief program that gives certain undocumented youth who came into the U.S. as children (“childhood arrivals”), protection from deportation. It also has other benefits like:

  • allowing DACA holders to have a social security card
  • allowing DACA holders to have a driver’s license
  • allowing DACA holders to have a work permit

“Dreamers” is a term used to describe those who fall within the DACA category.

DACA Qualifications

In order to qualify for a DACA loan, you need to meet the eligibility criteria described below:

  • You must be below 31 years of age as of July 15, 2012
  • You must have entered into the U.S. while you were under the age of 16
  • You must not pose any threat to the public safety and national integrity of the U.S.
  • You must have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, to the present
  • You must either be in school currently or graduated from high school or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces or Coast Guard or have obtained a GED
  • You must have entered into the U.S. without going through the inspection
  • You must not be involved and convicted of any kind of criminal offense

DACA: The Latest News

During his first year as President of the U.S., Donald Trump decided to terminate DACA. This announcement was made on September 5, 2017.

On January 9, 2018, the matter was taken to court and the court ruled that Trump’s decision to end DACA was unlawful.

In April 2018, the court again ruled that DACA applications and renewals must stay open and the Trump administration was given 90 days to explain its decision to terminate the DACA program. Presently, DACA remains, but its future is uncertain.

DACA Loans: What Loans Are DACA Holders Eligible for?

Dreamers are not eligible for much due to the uncertain future of the DACA program. This means that some of the benefits Dreamers received under DACA might be in jeopardy.

Dreamers may find it hard to apply for loans. Some of the reasons lenders are hesitant to grant loans to dreamers are:

  • DACA students might be losing their financial aid to study, which means an end to their education in the U.S. and the possibility of earning money to pay back their loans.
  • The fact that DACA holders might be deported means there is a risk that loans granted will not be paid back if Dreamers have to leave the U.S.

Fortunately, there are still ways for DACA holders to get DACA student loans and other funding.

1. Private Scholarships for Latinos

Since most of the illegal immigration issues in the U.S. relate to the Latin community, there are a wide variety of scholarships throughout the U.S. to help Latinos finish school. The common requirement among these scholarships is a GPA of 3.0. There are scholarships that use factors such as the field of study and extracurricular activities as a basis to grant scholarships.

2. Private Online Lenders

Some lenders look beyond the DACA uncertainty if it is evident that you are a good applicant. Online lenders such as Stilt provide a lending platform that offers loans to DACA and other immigrants.

3. Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending gives you the option to borrow money from other people rather than getting it from formal institutions. An online platform plays matchmaker with what the lenders are willing to give and what the borrowers are willing to accept. As some lenders on these platforms are willing to look beyond a credit score and DACA status, this is definitely an option if you need a DACA loan.

4. Credit Unions

Credit unions are nonprofit organizations that consist of members representing a certain class of people. There are many credit unions throughout the U.S. that give DACA loans.

5. Banks

Getting bank loans is extremely difficult for DACA dreamers. Due to the uncertainty surrounding DACA, most banks do not want to grant loans to these non-citizens.

Are There DACA Loans?

Yes! DACA holders are considered non-permanent residents. There are many lenders like  LendingClub, SoFi, LendingPoint, Earnest, and Stilt that grant personal loans to non-resident borrowers.

Personal Loans
 for DACA Recipients!

Check Loan Options

Loans for up to $35,000. No cosigner required. No prepayment penalty.

Some institutions like Self-Help Federal Credit Union, BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust Company), and the Dane County Credit Union offer specific personal loans for DACA holders. You’ll find more information about this below.

DACA Loans: Top Personal Loans for DACA Holders

There are various loans that DACA holders might be eligible for. Lenders like Stilt, SoFi, and LendingClub provide personal loans to various forms of non-permanent residents. Other institutions like Self-Help Federal Credit Union, BB&T, and the Dane County Credit Union focus specifically on DACA holders.

1. LendingClub

LendingClub requires applicants to be 18 years or older with a verifiable bank account.

They provide loans between $1,000 and $40,000 for terms between 3 and 5 years.

2. SoFi

SoFi requires applicants to be 18 years or older with a verifiable bank account and requires a good to excellent credit score. Loan amounts vary between $5,000 and $100,000 for terms of 3, 5, or 7 years.

3. Self-Help Federal Credit Union

Self-Help Federal Credit Union provides a DACA loan with no application fees and a 0% interest rate. This is a great option to cover the cost of the DACA renewal application. You will have to become a member of the credit union, but this membership also has other benefits like access to other financial services.

Loans are provided for up to 12 months for amounts between $465 and $800.

4. Dane County Credit Union

Dane County Credit Union gives loans specifically for the DACA renewal application. Applicants don’t need to have a credit history and there is no application fee. The loan can be paid back over a period of 6 months and the maximum loan amount is equal to the DACA renewal application fee.

This credit union also requires membership to provide the loan and proof of income. If you are under 18 years old, your parents or cosigner can apply with you.

Can You Get DACA Mortgage?

Yes! As with personal loans, being a U.S. citizen is not a requirement to be eligible to apply for a mortgage—US mortgages for nonresidents exist. In other words, just having residency status can be enough. Lenders will have to determine your residency status before they grant you a loan, but if you are a non-permanent resident this won’t be a problem.

The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) provides financing for DACA holders who want to buy a home. To learn more about DACA home loans, click here

Conclusion

Just because you’re in the U.S. on DACA doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage or a loan. There are hurdles you’ll need to jump, sure, but armed with the information above, you’ll have a much easier time securing a personal loan. 

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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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