Skip to content

Can I Get a Mortgage with an ITIN (and no Social Security Number)?

If you’re living in the United States and would love to own a home or invest in real estate, it IS possible to get a mortgage loan, even without a Social Security Number (SSN).

Anyone who works or makes money in this country is required to file federal taxes. If you don’t qualify for, or haven’t yet been issued an SSN, you’ll be issued an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) by the Internal Revenue Service. While an SSN is one of the main forms of identification for US consumers, many lenders are very happy to work with prospective buyers who hold an ITIN.

Let’s take a deeper look at the process of getting a mortgage loan with an ITIN and why you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity to become a homeowner in the United States.

Lay the Groundwork

The National Association of REALTORS® reports a rise in the dollar value of foreign buyer real estate purchases since 2021, even though the number of sales has declined slightly during the same period. 

Professionals working in the US on a special visa typically make more than the average worker and non-resident investors are often higher-net-worth individuals, which is leading to the growth in popularity of more flexible loan programs for buyers with an ITIN. 

However, there will be a few extra steps involved in qualifying for a foreign national mortgage. The main challenge will be proving your creditworthiness without a US credit score or report — but your lender will walk you through exactly what you need to do to meet the requirements.

It typically takes around 2 years to build a good US credit score, but you can also boost your creditworthiness in other ways. It helps if you are a citizen of countries that have similar credit scoring systems to the US, such as Germany, Spain, Canada, China, and the UK. International credit profiles are becoming more common as well, with more and more countries participating.

Lenders will want you to meet their risk profile and ensure you have the ability to pay back your loan. Keep in mind that the mortgage loan application process is extremely thorough for any applicant and you’ll need to provide extensive financial records. It goes without saying that applicants must be truthful; making false claims on these forms is considered fraud and is punishable by law.

You’ll also have an easier time qualifying for a mortgage loan if you have a history with an international banking institution that also operates in this country, such as

  • HSBC
  • Citibank (known as Banamex in Mexico)
  • Barclays
  • First Republic Bank
  • Bank of America/ Santander
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank

Fintech companies and cloud-native neobanks are rapidly evolving to serve the needs of our non-citizen workforce, scholars, and international investors who want to build a US credit history. Sable is an innovative online-only firm where foreign nationals not residing in the US can open an account and begin to establish a credit score right away.

Achieve Your Dreams

There are different types of ITIN mortgages, and which one is right for you depends on your unique circumstances. If you have the ability to make a substantial down payment, you should be able to qualify for a mortgage with a good interest rate with flexible credit requirements. 

Depending on your employment situation and income, some lenders may also require you to have 3 months or more of loan payments in reserve and/or purchase private mortgage insurance

Mortgage underwriters are all about mitigating risk. In the process of qualifying for a loan, you’ll need to provide additional support of your creditworthiness, such as pay stubs, statements from your employers, at least 2 years of tax returns, bank statements, and investment records. If you’ve lived in the US for some time as a renter, this payment history will also be considered to determine if you’re more likely a good candidate for a home loan. Ultimately the lender wants the confidence that their borrower is going to have to leave their newly purchased home, and it’s corresponding mortgage, behind – whether intentionally or unintentionally. The more history and footing in the U.S., the more confidence they’ll have. 

Partnering with a knowledgeable and highly experienced lender will make the entire process so much easier. They can also help steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding the best property for your needs.

It’s crucial to work with a team of local real estate professionals with experience in international transactions. They’ll offer invaluable guidance on the most desirable residential neighborhoods or which areas show the most promising opportunities for investment. 

There are no restrictions on where or what kind of property you can own as a foreign national with an ITIN. Owning property in this country also offers various tax benefits, especially for investors and international business owners. 

Sealing the Deal

Finding the perfect property and getting all the paperwork together for your ITIN mortgage will take some time. Once you sign a contract, you’ll go through the closing process, which typically takes 30 to 60 days to complete.  

During this period, you’ll work closely with your lender and real estate team to ensure that your loan application is proceeding smoothly and no additional documentation is needed. Your agent will share referrals to critical service providers such as home inspectors, attorneys, property appraisers, and construction companies.

The Bottom Line

The day you finalize the sale and become a US property owner will be very exciting for you and your loved ones, and it’s definitely an achievement worth celebrating.

There are nearly limitless opportunities here for recent immigrants, business professionals, and other foreign nationals with a good financial history and dedication to their goals. While the mortgage loan process is a bit more complex if you are not a citizen of this country, it’s still quite possible to buy residential or investment properties if you have an ITIN.

It’s vital to work with a lender who understands your individual circumstances, will explore each of your financing options, and offer expert advice throughout your journey to real estate ownership.
If you’re ready to take the first step, let’s continue the conversation — reach out today to schedule a one-on-one call.

Share:

Send Us A Message

Most Popular