Credit scores are a very important part of everyday life in the U.S. Without a decent credit score, you will likely find it difficult to get a loan, a mortgage or a lease, a credit card, or even a cell phone plan. The irony is that you need these things to build a credit score. If you don’t have a Social Security number (SSN), it becomes even harder to access credit and establish a credit score. So, if you are a non-citizen or just never received an SSN, you’ve probably run into difficulties dealing with banks and credit card companies that want your SSN to pull your credit. However, even if you don’t have an SSN, you can still improve your credit worthiness. We’ll show you how to apply for a credit card without an SSN, so you can start building your credit score.
Use an ITIN to apply for a credit card without an SSN
Obviously, the best option is to apply for a Social Security card. But, if your citizenship status does not allow that, then you may be able to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN is a tax-processing ID number that the IRS can use to track your earnings and tax obligations, in lieu of an SSN. However, some banks and credit card companies will also accept an ITIN instead of an SSN. You can apply with the IRS by mail, at an IRS-authorized certified acceptance agent, or at an IRS taxpayer assistance center. If you qualify for an ITIN, you should hear from the IRS in seven weeks or less.
Check your credit report before you apply for a credit card without an SSN
In addition to your credit score, you also have a credit report. Your credit score is a number that is determined based off of your credit report. Your credit report shows a breakdown of your credit, your payment history, and how much of your credit you are using. Before you start applying for credit cards with your new ITIN, you should check your credit report. You may not think that you have one at all, especially if you don’t have an SSN. However, some companies and lenders will report to the credit bureaus, even if they don’t have an SSN on file for you. Also, you may have something on your credit report that was incorrectly reported and doesn’t belong to you. So, you should check your credit report to make sure that any information it contains is accurate. You can request it for free once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus.
Find an issuer that will let you apply for a credit card without an SSN
There’s no point in applying with an issuer that won’t allow you to apply for a credit card without an SSN. They will reject your application, which can further damage your credit score. Instead, use a bank that accepts ITINs or other forms of ID. The following credit card issuers will work with people who do not have an SSN:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- SelfScore Classic MasterCard
If you are able to get a credit card, be sure to use it responsibly. The best way to build your credit through a credit card is to pay off the full balance every month on time. If you don’t pay off the complete balance, additional interest will be added. So, if you let your balance build up, you may find yourself in credit card debt that you can’t pay off, and your credit score will get worse, not better.
What if I can’t get approved for a regular credit card?
If your credit history won’t allow you to get a traditional credit card, you may still be able to qualify for a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, you’ll deposit cash up front, and the amount that you deposit determines your credit limit. Treat your secured credit card the same as a regular credit card, and you’ll be on your way to building up a solid credit score.
What if I qualify for a Social Security card but haven’t applied for one?
If you are able to get an SSN, then you definitely should. It will be much easier to establish a credit score, and you will need an SSN for many other situations. You’ll need to apply for a Social Security card with the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, dealing with the SSA office can be a time-consuming headache. That’s why we developed a fast, simple way to get a Social Security card as quickly as possible, with zero hassle. All you have to do is fill out our short questionnaire, then we’ll do all the rest. We complete all of your paperwork and determine which additional documents and forms of ID you’ll need to provide. Then we’ll send you your complete application package and detailed instructions on how to submit it. You’ll put all of your paperwork into the secure, pre-paid, trackable envelope we provide and drop it in the mailbox. Then you just have to sit back and wait for your new Social Security card to come to you. You’ll get your card in as little as two weeks after the SSA processes your request. Don’t apply for a credit card without an SSN if you don’t have to. Click here to start your application and get your Social Security card on its way to you today.