Finding a Car Loan Without a Social Security Number

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Contributing Writer

Amy Fortune is a contributing writer for CarsDirect and lead writer/editor for AutoCreditExpress. She also contributes regularly to several other high-traffic blogs. Amy was born in North Carolina and grew up with an appreciation for NASCAR and everything automotive. Now based in the Motor City, she continues to be happily immersed in car culture and automotive finance.


, Contributing Writer - November 18, 2016

Typically, a car buyer will need a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to get approved for a car loan. However, some individuals have successfully financed a vehicle using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Of course, lenders that are willing to accept an ITIN instead of an SSN are rare and will probably still require you to have an established credit history.

Also, the IRS clearly states that “ITINs are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purposes.” Basically, getting an auto loan with an ITIN is an exception that goes against an established rule. So, if you are looking to find car loans without an SSN, even if you have an ITIN, there is no guarantee that you’ll find a lender that will work with you.

But if you are able to establish a credit history, it may be possible to obtain vehicle financing with an ITIN.

Getting Approved for a Car Loan with an ITIN

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a nine-digit number that is issued to foreign nationals and others who do not qualify for SSNs. This number was established to be used by certain individuals for tax reporting purposes.

As indicated earlier, tax reporting was the only purpose that an ITIN was intended to serve. However, consumers have since realized that it can also be used as a credit building tool. Because of this, being issued an ITIN can eventually lead to auto loan approval, but it won’t necessarily be easy.

  • The Secured Credit Card: The Social Security Administration prohibits credit card companies from denying an applicant credit just because they are applying with an ITIN instead of an SSN. But they can turn an applicant down if they don’t have a credit history. Secured credit cards, on the other hand, can be obtained with no credit history and a cash deposit. This means that if an individual with an ITIN opens a secured credit card account, they can start to establish a credit history.
  • The Unsecured Credit Card: If a consumer with an ITIN manages to build a solid credit history with a secured credit card, it's possible they may be able to get approved for an unsecured credit card. Once this has been achieved, this person’s credit score could continue to grow as long as they responsibly manage their spending and payments.
  • The Personal Loan: After an ITIN holder has proven their creditworthiness with a history of responsible credit card use, they may be eligible to be approved for a personal loan. Again, not all lenders will work with an individual who does not have an SSN. However, some will. Also, all three primary reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) allow for credit reports to be checked with an ITIN.
  • The Auto Loan: If an individual with an ITIN manages to establish a very good or excellent credit history (with the personal loan serving as an example of installment credit on their credit report), it may be possible for them to obtain a car loan. Of course, it is unlikely that they will receive the best rates and terms on their loan. In fact, ITIN car loans typically come with terms that are similar to those associated with bad credit car loans.

For consumers who have an ITIN instead of an SSN who need to purchase a car quickly, a buy-here-pay-here (BHPH) dealership might be willing to work with them even if they have no credit history. However, a BHPH buyer in this situation can expect very strict terms and conditions. The vehicle that they finance will probably be equipped with a GPS tracker and a “kill switch” device that can remotely disable the car if a payment is late.

Also, if you are looking to purchase a vehicle with an ITIN car loan, remember that your ITIN number expires every three years. So, you will need to keep an eye on your status and apply for a new number before your current one expires.

Finally, once you are eligible for a Green Card, you should apply for a Social Security Number. That's because, at this point, you are no longer permitted to use your ITIN for identification purposes.

Auto Loan Assistance for Difficult Circumstances

Even if you have an SSN, if you have severely damaged credit, getting approved for an auto loan may still be difficult. This is because not all lenders are willing or able to work with bad credit car buyers. Luckily, CarsDirect is connected to the right kinds of dealers.

No matter what your situation looks like, we will do everything we can to get you financed and back on the road. Our service is free and comes with no obligations, and our 1-Step Auto Loan Application only takes a minute to complete. So, go ahead and get started today.

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, Contributing Writer

Amy Fortune is a contributing writer for CarsDirect and lead writer/editor for AutoCreditExpress. She also contributes regularly to several other high-traffic blogs. Amy was born in North Carolina and grew up with an appreciation for NASCAR and everything automotive. Now based in the Motor City, she continues to be happily immersed in car culture and automotive finance.


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