The U.S. Financial System for New Immigrants
Money management in the U.S. for new immigrants
Navigating the sometimes-complex United States financial system can be daunting when you’re just starting out. We’ve gathered NerdWallet’s top resources for new immigrants who want to find housing, open a bank account, build credit and ground themselves in their new lives.
Once your basic needs are met, take a look at these topics to get a clear understanding of how they work and how you can find the best options for your financial situation.
Banking | Building Credit | Housing | Buying a Car | Paying for College | Money Transfers | Loans | Starting a Business | Resources for Undocumented Immigrants
NerdWallet's top picks
How to Apply for a Credit Card Without a Social Security Number
You can start building credit by opening a credit card. If you don’t have a Social Security number, you can get a similar identifier called an ITIN. Some credit cards don’t require an identification number at all.
How to choose and open a bank account
Banking 101: Your Guide to Getting in the System
Learn what documents you'll need to open an account, how to choose the bank or credit union that's right for you, where you can open an account and what to do if you get denied an account.
Hispanic American-owned financial institutions
How to build credit
How to rent an apartment
How to buy a home
How Home Buyers Who Aren’t Citizens Can Get a Mortgage
Learn more about what kind of documentation you might need to get a mortgage in the U.S.
7 Best Mortgage Lenders for ITIN Loans
Whether you've obtained citizenship or not, there are home loan options and these mortgage lenders that can help.
How to buy a car
First-time car buyer guide
How to pay for college
In some circumstances, noncitizens are eligible to apply for FAFSA.
How to send money back home
How to borrow money — and avoid risky loans
Best Alternatives to Payday Loans to Consider During a Crisis
Credit unions, medical bill assistance and cash advance apps can help you avoid payday loans.
How to Find Better Alternatives to Payday Loans
Use our database to find local nonprofits and organizations that can help you cover a small emergency, lower utility bills or meet your basic needs.
How to avoid predatory lenders
More resources to help you find cash when you need it
How to start a business
How to Start a Business in 13 Steps
Here’s everything you need to know about opening and operating your own business.
How to Start a Business as an Immigrant
Some additional resources for immigrant business owners.
Resources for undocumented immigrants
Find out if you're eligible for federal assistance.
Find out if you're eligible for Social Security Income.
U.S. Department of Education
Are you a college or graduate student? Here's how to get student financial aid from the U.S. government.
Catholic Charities USA
Find local help meeting basic needs like accessing health care, getting affordable housing or finding a job.
Type in "Help with [money, credit, starting a business, buying a home] near me."