When you are new to a country, there are many things that need to be addressed. It takes time to get established, and sometimes, in order to get everything accomplished, you need a car.

We received this inquiry from a potential car buyer who was new to the United States:

"Hello, I am a new permanent resident of the United States (I do have a Green Card and Social Security card) but I don't have any credit. Am I still able to finance? How would I go about doing that? Thanks!"

Green Card, Social Security, Loan, Car

As a legally permanent resident of the United States in possession of the necessary documents (Green Card and SS Card), you are eligible to be approved for an auto loan. But, in addition to working with the right dealer, you will need to make sure you have a few things in place first.

  • Driver's License
    A car isn't any good to you if you cannot drive it. The very first thing you want to do, especially if you are a new permanent resident to the country, is get a driver's license.
  • A Job
    If you have established long-term employment, this will make it easier to purchase a car. If you are still in the process of seeking employment or have just started a job, it may limit your options on when you can actually get approved for a car loan.
  • Residence
    Do you have a stable place to live yet? In most cases, lenders will want to see that you have an established residence. However, depending on the circumstances, that may change.

Once these items are in place, you can move forward.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Credit isn't everything.
    A lack of a credit rating can be worked around. First-time buyer programs or buy here pay here dealerships can be utilized to get you the car you need.
  • Open a secured credit card.
    These cards are different from your typical credit cards, because you use your own money to open one. Each month you will replenish the amount you use, and after making consistent, on time payments, you can be switched over to an unsecured credit line. Since there are many different offers for secured credit cards out there, check all of the terms and conditions and be sure that they report all of your payments to the credit agencies. You want to start building a credit history as soon as possible.
  • Be prepared.
    You will need to prepare for the cost of owning a car, which includes more than just a monthly payment. You will need to make sure you can afford car insurance, fuel and any routine maintenance that your vehicle might need.

Get On the Road

If you are ready to get the auto financing you need, Auto Credit Express can connect you with the dealership that can help. Complete our online application today.