If you want to build your credit in the United States as an international investor, or as an investor who’s actually located in the United States, but simply believe that you are unable to build your credit unless you have a Social Security number. That is, in fact, a myth. You can build your credit using an alternative, and that’s the ITIN number, the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. That’s what ITIN stands for.
You can actually go through the entire process and apply for an ITIN number by yourself, and then eventually start applying for credit cards that are going to help you build that credit history in the United States regardless of whether you have a Social Security number or not.
You can actually use this information either for yourself, or maybe if you actually know about a partner who is looking to invest with you, that you know that they have money, but they just simply don’t have access to Social Security, or that they just simply want to continue to build credit in this country and that they just simply haven’t had the opportunity to do so.
Build Your Credit in USA: How to apply for an ITIN number
The IRS page shows you the explanation on how you can actually leverage the ITIN number to pay taxes and it will also provide you a link so you can actually start filling up the form.
You can apply for a new ITIN or renew an existing one if you have one already, and then you fill the option that is applicable to you, whether it’s for your spouse, whether it’s for a non-resident or even someone who is a US resident, or somebody living outside of the US but is actually looking to declare taxes and also build credit in this country.
You go ahead and fill out one of these. It asks for your first name, for your last name, the mailing address, a foreign address if there’s any, like the standard forms that you will typically fill up on a credit card. In a way, it asks you for your birth information, what country do you have your citizenship and other similar information.
On average, they’re actually putting quick and approving one of these ITIN numbers and having a copy mailed to your address.
You have a lot to choose from which state or city you want to apply in the event and that you do want to show up in-person and just apply for it itself.
Once you have gotten a copy of your ITIN number, then you can start building credit using credit cards like Capital One, Secure MasterCard from Capital One, or just simply using a BankAmericard from Bank of America. The process to apply for a credit card in Capital One is actually very easy.
You’re going to have to give a deposit of whether $49, $99, or $200 to basically use that as a way to back, whatever credit line you’re receiving.
- If you provide $200 into the deposit, then your credit line would be for $200.
- If it’s $99, then it’s only going to be for $99.
The process is very self-explanatory. You include your first name, your last name, your date of birth, and then, where it says Social Security number, instead of entering your social, what you’re going to do is just to enter the nine-digit ITIN number that you receive, and then you just going to continue to file for this information all the way down and submit your application.
You have the option of doing this online, and if you’re uncomfortable doing it online because you prefer the in-person interaction, you can physically go into a Capital One branch and just simply request for a Secured Credit Card and after that someone in the branch should be able to help you, but make sure you tell them to use your ITIN number so that way you can start building that credit history that you looking for and just use it to the very best so that you can invest in your real estate, or be able to fulfill that real estate goal that you’re looking for.
You can apply with your Foreign Passport and start to build your credit
To expand your options, you also have the opportunity to build your credit with a Bank of America with the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card. This card is a little bit different. You actually don’t need an ITIN number. You can actually apply with your foreign passport. The reason why Bank of America is giving you a Secured Credit Card without asking you for an ITIN number is because you’re already putting in a deposit for this card.
On their website you can see that the minimum that they require is actually higher. Instead of doing $49, $99, or $200, their minimum is actually $300 all the way up to a maximum of $4,900. When you’re doing it this way, of course, they have more incentive to approve your card without going through all of that extreme requirements of having a credit build-up, or at least have an ITIN number, but when you do that, let’s say, you decide to exclude your ITIN number, yes, you’re going to get approved with a credit card with Bank of America, but you’re only building credit with Bank America.
Make sure that whether you’re deciding to apply online or whether you’re deciding to just walk into a branch, that your ITIN number is included just as you will include it in your Capital One Card. Just fill it up with:
- Your first name
- Your last name
- Your residential address and keep going to the process
Those are your two options if you are investing from overseas and you want to build your credit in the US, or if you’re just simply looking to build your credit and you reside in the United States but you don’t have a Social Security number. Another way to go about this if you want to continue to build up that credit and have more sources rather than just a credit card, you do have the option to report your rent.
Build your Credit in USA: Credit Karma
On the credit karma website, you have to update a copy of your lease, then you sign up for the membership and you come into the how it works, you have the rent reporting options, and then you get to see a video where they’re actually going to walk you through the process as to how you can actually build your credit through your rent.
If that service it’s not suitable for you or maybe you want to continue to explore options, then, there’s also rentreporters.com. RentReports, they report your payments to Equifax and TransUnion.
Basically, what you can do is just check it out, how it works. Then, they also have a service available for landlords. For those landlords who actually want to help their tenants build credit as well or if you want to use the service to just simply do a more thorough background check on your tenants. This is an option that you can actually do in itself.
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