Living in the United States as a non-permanent resident alien does not mean you can’t get a mortgage. There are ways you can qualify. The largest obstacle is the amount of paperwork necessary to process the loan. Once you have the right documentation, the rest of the process works like any other loan. Here we will discuss the proper paperwork to help you get started.
Proof of Continued Employment
Perhaps the largest obstacle in getting a loan as non-permanent resident aliens is continued employment. Lenders need to know beyond a reasonable doubt that you will continue to work. They usually require proof of employment for the next 3 years. The best way to do this is with a work permit that will last over the next 3 years. If you do not have a work permit, but rather a visa that your employer sponsors, it must not expire in the next 12 months. If it does, expire within the year, you must prove that you will be able to renew it.
As a non-permanent resident alien, you will only qualify for a loan for a primary residence. You will need to prove that you intend to occupy the home as your own. You can accomplish this easily if you do not have another home. If you do own another home, you will have to provide proof that you will live in the home you take the mortgage on.
Social Security Number Requirements
As a non-permanent resident, most lenders will require that you have a social security number to apply for a loan. Your social security card does not serve as your proof of employment, though. You will still have to provide your Employment Authorization Document as discussed above. Your social security number will also help you create a credit score. Without a social security number, you will not have a credit score. We discuss this in more detail below.
Credit Score Requirements
Most loan programs require you to have a credit score. If you have a social security number and a few trade lines, you have a credit score. However, not everyone that has a social security number has a credit score. If this is the case for you, a lender may be able to use other things, such as:
- Utility bills
- Insurance payments
- Tuition payments
- Cable bill
- Rent payments
Lenders need to see that you can make your payments on time. Without a credit score, they need proof of some type of payment on a regular basis. Showing these payments over a period of 12 months with timely payments can help. Generally, lenders want at least 3 accounts with a 12-month history in order to qualify.
Perhaps the hardest thing to figure out is the income documentation requirements. Generally, lenders need the following:
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
If your income is not from the US, though, it could be in another language. Because lenders look back at the last 2 years of income, it could be that your documents are in your primary language. Lenders usually hire their own translator to help figure out your documents. The lender must also convert the currency into US dollars to make sure you qualify for the loan.
The Bottom Line
Getting a loan as a non-permanent resident alien is not impossible, but it does take time. You will need to provide the right documentation to help you get through the process. Any documents you can provide in English will work the best. However, do not worry if they are not; your lender can get them translated. The key is to prove consistent income and plenty of assets to show that you are not a high risk for the loan.