For segments of the population where it might be challenging to pursue conventional loan options, an ITIN loan could be a consideration. An ITIN is an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the IRS and can be used as a form of ID for individuals.
ITIN loans are a unique kind of loan for individuals that may not have the traditional documentation needed to obtain mortgage loans. ITIN loans can be a suitable option for individuals who do not have a Social Security Number. Using their ITIN, these individuals have a path toward homeownership as they can get a mortgage loan with their ITIN.
What is an ITIN?
An ITIN can be issued to a U.S. resident alien or non-resident alien that files a tax return and is not eligible for a Social Security Number. An ITIN can also be issued to dependents and/or spouses of a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
However, a key distinction to note is that an ITIN isn’t just for resident and non-resident aliens. ITINs are issued to anyone who files a U.S. tax return and has payment responsibilities, regardless of immigration status. The difference in the case of an ITIN loan, the number acts as a form of identification that can be used if a Social Security Number is not an option.
How to get an ITIN?
Applying for an ITIN is relatively straightforward. You can get an ITIN by applying for it; luckily, the processing time for receiving an ITIN is relatively short. In addition, no Social Security Number is required to receive an ITIN.
The first step is to fill out Form W-7 (Application for IRS Individual: Taxpayer Identification Number). Additionally, you will need to provide supplemental documentation, including tax returns that confirm that you are a non-resident in the U.S. The tax return is a crucial part of the application process as that is what the identification number will be tied to, so it’s essential to use your latest filing as part of the application.
You may also need to provide additional documentation as part of the application, including identification documents such as an ID card, birth certificate, driver’s license, as well as medical and/or school records with your W-7. The more identification you can provide, the easier the application will be to process. The purpose of the form is to tie your documents with your identification, verify it against the information on your tax return and assign a number accordingly.
The processing time varies for receiving ITINs, but generally, you should have an outcome to your application within 4-6 weeks.
ITIN Loan Requirements
To obtain an ITIN loan, you will need to work with a lending institution that offers these types of mortgage loans.
ITIN loan requirements vary based on lending institutions, so always check what your mortgage provider needs before going ahead with ITIN home loans.
ITIN loans may be available for single-family residences, condos, townhomes, and multiple units in residential buildings. The lending institution’s requirements for the ITIN loan may differ as well as the total amount they are willing to lend.
But some of the core components of ITIN home loans will likely include:
- Identification: Alongside your ITIN card, lenders may ask you to provide additional documentation to verify your identity, such as a driver’s license or other identification.
- Credit score: ITIN loans may have more flexible credit score requirements compared to other types of mortgage loans, but some lending institutions may give it greater focus in the application process. If you have a lower credit score, lending institutions may still work with you to obtain the mortgage loan but may require additional information on existing debt and current payments.
- Proof of employment: ITIN home loan applications will need to show a minimum of 2 years of consistent employment history; this can also include self-employment.
- Tax returns: The ITIN home loan application will also require two years of tax returns.
- Other financial documentation: Lenders will want to see any additional financial information that can support the application and prove that you will be able to make your monthly payments, including bank statements and any other relevant assets. Savings in a U.S. bank account may also be included in the application as further proof of finances.
- Down payment: The amount needed for the down payment with ITIN mortgage loans will differ based on what lenders want to see, but it’s usually higher than other types of mortgage loans. A minimum of 20% down payment should be the expectation when applying for ITIN home loans.
Benefits of ITIN Home Loans
ITIN home loans have many benefits for those wanting to pursue homeownership. While the application process may seem daunting for getting ITINs, it makes the path toward getting a mortgage more accessible for many.
Some of the benefits of an ITIN home loan are:
- Social Security cards are not required: For many, documentation like Social Security cards can often present a significant barrier to obtaining mortgage loans. ITIN loans are an alternative if you are not eligible for a Social Security Number that provides the level of identification needed for a mortgage.
- Residency flexibility: For those seeking homeownership but do not have legal residency status in the U.S., lending institutions may work with you to obtain an ITIN home loan instead.
- Credit building: ITIN home loans are also a path toward building and improving credit scores. With each successful repayment of the ITIN home loan installment, you have an opportunity to build credit - that has a domino effect in other areas of life.
- More sustainable to pay back: For those without a Social Security Number, finding suitable loan options can be incredibly difficult. With ITIN loans, homeownership does not have to come with hard money loans and significantly higher interest rates compared to ITIN loans. You can work with your lending institution to identify and apply for an ITIN loan that works for your circumstances long-term.