New Immigrants – Concerns and Tips On Opening A U.S. Bank Account

Banks Accommodating Immigrants – Documented Or Not

Choosing a bank for most immigrants is shaped  by concerns that go beyond which bank has the best interest rate. Understanding the concerns of immigrants, many banks have made a concerted effort to offer financial services to people without Social Security numbers, many of whom are still undocumented immigrants. The so called “dreamers” in American society.

Despite the 2016 push-back on immigration rights in the United States, more banks now allow people to open checking and savings accounts and to apply for credit cards and home mortgages using just there Taxpayer Individual Taxpayer Identification Number which is issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The rationale being, if undocumented immigrants are paying taxes they should also enjoy the benefit of earning credit.

Yet many immigrants, documented or otherwise, still feel uncomfortable with traditional US banks. According to a New York survey, almost one- third of surveyed immigrants claimed they prefer check cashing or money wire agencies over banks.  The reason? Some say that while check-cashing services charge higher transaction fees, they stay open later and have employees who speak a variety of immigrant languages.

Reasons To Open A Bank Account

Personal Safety

A bank account is a safe place to store your money. Even in the unlikely event your bank is robbed, the money is insured and would be replaced. And carrying less cash means you’re not as vulnerable to thieves on the street.

Establish A Credit History

Opening A bank account  helps immigrants establish a  financial history. In most cases, a bank account is required to open a credit card, buy a home or borrow money to open up a business. This requires establishing a credit history. The same is obviously true for citizens of the US.

You Don’t Need A Social Security Number

As stated, many banks as well as credit unions, no longer require a social security number. A taxpayer Identification Number is all you need.

What Is Required To Open Up A Bank Account

Banks must verify that you are who you say you are.  To do so, banks will  usually  require two of following types of documents:

Proof of identity

Unexpired passport

Government-issued driver’s license (including foreign licenses)

Consular ID card

Birth certificate

For Your Consideration:

Latino Credit Union 

Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals

Russian Banks- Citibank 

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