Banking for International Student

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Wondering if anyone has experience with opening bank accounts and applying for credit cards as an International Student.  Since the student will have no SSN, what other documents will the bank need - other than a passport as an ID.  Thanks in adv.

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mmyk72 said:   Wondering if anyone has experience with opening bank accounts and applying for credit cards as an International Student.  Since the student will have no SSN, what other documents will the bank need - other than a passport as an ID.  Thanks in adv.
A passport and perhaps proof of residence (e.g., utility bill) should suffice in most cases. Millions of "undocumented" people dont seem to have a problem opening bank accounts and credit cards.

ETA: CFPB Link

No reason not to get a SS card, international students can qualify to work and many do jobs on campus.

Citi.

RedWolfe01 said:   No reason not to get a SS card, international students can qualify to work and many do jobs on campus.
  
Depends on the visa...

Assuming an F1 visa, you can definitely get a SSN in order to work on campus. It will state something like "only valid with authorization from INS" (or whatever INS is now called).

The college's international student department/center often helps the incoming students set up things like that. Sometimes they have reps from banks come and set up booths on campus so students can apply that way, or they make appointments for the students at a particular bank branch that understands the situation. The student should look on the website of the intl. student center or call them to ask if they provide assistance and if they can explain what is possible and easiest to arrange in that town/city.

Thanks a lot Everyone! Really good info.

I came to the US as an international student. A looooooong looooooong time ago and things may have changed. I got from my school a college ID number since I had no SS number. It was the same format 9-digit number. I was able to use that with my school id and passport to open a bank account. But as I said this was before 9/11 and security requirements at banks are now very different.
Credit cards were offered daily at campus, although you should read the fine print; those are hardly the best cards to use.
Good luck!

Anyone with F1 can get a SSN. So no reason not to open a bank account anywhere you like.

Bank of America. You could open one there without an ssn

Look up DCU (www.dcu.org). You can use them for pretty much all consumer banking activities and in my opinion they are really good.

If you call them - they will guide you how to become a member.

They still do manual underwriting for many things. I have seen them approve multiple people for $5k limit unsecured credit card when they are new to the US based on 3 months of paystubs. I've heard that they even give unsecured CC's even to students - with a much smaller limit of course.

Certain F1 visas cannot get SSN. Opening a bank account should be easy. All they need is proof of identity. Passport and recent utility bill (address proof) should suffice. Credit Card - go for Secured Credit card like Discover. But they will require a collateral, like a refundable deposit or access to checking account. This is usually the route to go when you have bad or zero credit...to build credit history. Btw, you would also have a debit card from the bank once you open an account.



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