Money in America

A financial guide for immigrants living in the U.S.

Moving to a new country can be equally exciting and challenging. Along with a new culture and customs, there’s also a different financial system to navigate. NerdWallet can help as you build a life in the U.S. — whether it’s opening a bank account, buying a car, paying for college or starting a business. Click on a link below for stories and tips for all phases of your financial life.


Problems With Bank Accounts Go Far Beyond Wells Fargo

How Foreign Students, Immigrant Workers Can Get a Credit Card

Getting a credit card when you’re new to the U.S. can be challenging. Building your credit is just the first step. Here’s how to get started.

Credit Cards 101

If you’re trying to understand credit cards, read on. We’ve compiled what you need to know, including definitions, types of cards and how to pick the best card for your needs.

How to Establish Credit

How to Apply for a Credit Card Without a Social Security Number

Don’t have a Social Security number? You may still be able to get a credit card using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN.

» MORE: Credit resources

Banking and Money Transfers

What is a Checking Account?

How Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Bank Accounts

The first step to keeping your money safe in the U.S. is getting a bank account. Use this guide to learn how to open an account.

Best Ways to Send Money

Need to send money back to family? We researched fees, speed and other features to find the best providers for domestic and international money transfers.

What Is a Checking Account?

Learn the basics of this common bank account — including interest and fees — and get tips on how to choose the right checking account for you.

» MORE: Banking and money transfer resources


Cómo establecer su primer presupuesto

La pregunta que surge cada mes: ¿Cómo puedo pagar las cuentas, la comida, transporte y diversiones con mis ingresos? La respuesta: crear un presupuesto.

MyAutoLoan Car Loans: 2017 Review

Maneras de escoger el mejor automóvil

Es difícil saber por dónde empezar cuando hay que escoger un auto. He aquí un proceso que es práctico pero que a la vez, le permite divertirse.

Payday Alternative Owes $6.3 Million for Misleading Borrowers

Cómo evitar la trampa de los préstamos de día de pago

Los préstamos de día de pago son una manera sumamente costosa de conseguir dinero prestado. He aquí alternativas para lidiar con gastos imprevistos.

Finding a Place to Live

What You Need to Rent an Apartment

New here or not, renting an apartment can be a challenge filled with a lot of paperwork. Use this list of documents to know what you’ll need for an application.

First-Time Homebuyer: Researching Your New Neighborhood

How Home Buyers Who Aren’t Citizens Can Get a Mortgage

Home buyers don’t have to be citizens or residents to get a mortgage in the U.S. But these buyers can find it challenging to produce the required documentation for a mortgage.

7 Tips for Getting an Apartment Without Credit

Building credit takes time. But that doesn’t mean your financial life has to suffer in the meantime. Here’s how to rent an apartment if you don’t have a credit history.

Buying a Car and Insurance

How to Buy a Used Car

A car can open access to new jobs and family activities. Buying a used one can be cheaper than buying new and could cut costs like car insurance. Here’s a guide to get started.

How to Buy Car Insurance

You’ll need car insurance to drive a car, but the process to get it can be cumbersome. Read this to learn about buying insurance.

How Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Car Insurance

Certain states issue driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status, making it easier for undocumented immigrants to get insurance.

» MORE: Car loan and auto insurance resources

Paying for College

FAFSA Tool Outage: Students It Affects Most and How to Cope

How DACA Students Can Apply to College

There’s no federal law barring undocumented students from attending college. Through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, many undocumented students can get a degree. Here’s how.

Compare International Student Loans

Some banks, credit unions and online lenders offer loans for international students, but you’ll need a co-signer. You may be able to find a private lender that doesn’t require one.

Filling Out the FAFSA: I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for federal funds, but you should talk to your college about available financial aid. Don’t submit the FAFSA until you contact your school.

Starting a Business

Best, Worst Months for Small-Business Loans

How to Start a Business

We’ve rounded up the essential steps to start a business, including creating a solid business plan, getting financing, structuring and naming your company, and more.

How to Write a Business Plan

A well-written business plan should include a mission statement, business and management structure, a marketing plan and financial projections.


Qualifying for a Small-Business Loan

Keep your documents organized and focus on meeting lender requirements to help you qualify for a loan.