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Can I Get a Personal Loan from a US Bank Living Abroad?


Some people need a loan when they are living abroad. It’s a rare case, but it happens.

The problem is that it is not that easy. Banks are hesitant to give non-citizens a real shot at a loan, even for those who are extremely wealthy.

Why Is It a Challenge?

Well, for a few reasons. The first is the distance. You are far away from home, so if you wanted to, you could just avoid paying back the loan. That will affect your credit score, but the bank loses money too.

The second is political. Depending on reciprocity laws, you may have diplomatic immunity and could skip out on your bills.

What Do I Need?

The two most common loans available to those who are abroad are student loans and mortgage loans. It is hard to find loans for personal use.

To do this, you need to have a credit history that is built up with on-time payments and financial information. You also need to find lenders who are willing to do the loan. Most lenders don’t want anything that can put them at risk.

If you have a credit history or a social security number, you will be able to get a loan. Also, an up-to-date credit report is necessary in this case as well.

There also tends to be more restrictions for loans taken out abroad. For starters, interest rates are much higher, and the approved amount for the loan may be much lower than in the United States.

To review, you’ll definitely need:

  • Strong credit history
  • Identification
  • Great salary
  • Bank statements
  • Strong assets

Getting a Loan from a Bank in Your Home Country

It is possible for those who are ex-pats to get a personal loan from a US bank overseas.

That is because sometimes, the only requirement is to be a citizen of the US, not a resident, to get a loan.

However, you will need to talk to your bank to see if you qualify for this loan, and what the process entails. You should expect the underwriting process to take a much longer time.

Getting a Loan Locally

Some countries are fine with a person from the US taking out a loan, and it is possible. However, the regulations of the country, along with their relationship with the US period, does impact the financing.

If you do qualify for one, you should make sure you understand how the borrowing process works, and what you need to do to pay back the loan, and the amount necessary each month.

Never sign anything that you are given unless you have translated the page and fully understand, or if you have a native speaker or translator helping you to understand the paperwork.


For many people, a loan while abroad is a big challenge, but it is possible.

In most cases, you will need a great credit score, a reliable salary, and no bankruptcies under your name.

Remember, you are a resident of a different country and most banks will calculate this as an inherent risk. You will need to be able to prove that you are financially responsible and capable of paying off your debts with ease.

This might mean a very low debt-to-income ratio or maybe even bringing in a co-signer who does live in the United States. The bank will also be very stringent about your use of the money.

In most cases, they will not be sending you a check, but will likely wire the money directly to the payee. For example, a university or a property custodian.

In short, you are going to need all your ducks in a row and make the bank feel very comfortable about your ability to repay.