Get Personal Loan in USA from Peer to Peer Lenders & Banks

Getting personal loan in USA is easy and fast provided you meet all the eligibility criteria especially income and credit score. And borrower doesn’t mandate to provide collateral. Purpose doesn’t matter when seeking a personal loan. Whether you want to buy a new car, renovate your home, refinance your credit card, consolidate your debt; getting access to loan is easy and convenient. This is because the interest rate is usually much lower compared to credit cards.

You can get personal loan in USA from:

  1. Banks
  2. Peer to Peer Lending Companies

Peer to Peer Lending Companies

These are nothing but online marketplaces for loans which connect borrowers with investors (i.e. lenders) with no banking institution in between.

Here is the list of P2PL in USA:

Prosper

Is a peer to peer lending platform and offers unsecured loan for meeting any purpose such as financing medical care, to consolidate existing debt, and others.

You can get unsecured personal loan from Prosper for amount ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. But in order to get the approval, the applicant should have good credit history with a minimum score of 640. And based on the score, interest rate will be calculated.

Lending Club

Offers finance upto $40,000 at a rate starting from 7.99%. If you qualify for the loan and it is approved, you can get money within 24 hours. You only need to fill out the online application or contact them over phone any day of the year. Their representatives are available to assist you 365 days a year. There is no fee for loan application and early closure of the loan.

Upstart

Is another P2PL in USA, offering loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 for credit card debt refinancing and debt consolidation at a rate of 7.8% – 29.99%.

Banks offering Personal Loan in USA

Lending money from bank is another option when you need personal loan in the United States. You need to simply contact them to request a quote and compare offers from several banks. Banks have advantage of lending money as they earn profit in return.

Here’s the list:

Wells Fargo

It offers you the possibility to get a loan of between $3,000 to $10,000 without prepayment or origination fee. And the interest rate charged is between 6% to 8%.

You can apply for the loan online and get it on the same day if you have a good credit score. For example, if you need to refinance your car, you can be charged a rate of 1.99%.

U.S. Bancorp

Offers line of credit and personal loans for amount ranging from $3,000 and $25,000 at an interest rate of 8.99%. But this rate can be even lower depending on the purpose of the loan. For example, if you need the money for making your home energy efficient then the rate will be lower, with an application or origination fee of about $50 with requires no collateral or annual fees.

However, online application for a personal loan at US Bancorp is applicable only to their customers who are over 120 days old. But if you are a new customer requiring finance, then you will have to personally visit one of its branch and become an account holder and then as a customer apply for the loan online.

TD Bank

It offers unsecured loans from $2,000 to $50,000 dollars at an interest rate of 10%.

Citizens Bank

This retail bank offers various financial products for consumers such as traditional savings accounts, checking accounts, personal loans and student loans and others.

For getting personal loan from Citizens Bank, you can either visit their branch offices located across the country or on their website. But applying for a personal loan on their website is most convenient, as it is time saving. You can get loan amount between $5,000 and $50,000 at fixed rates of 5.99%. You can also choose from 3 to 7 year payment plans with no prepayment or application fees.

You can apply for loan to meet any objective such as special occasions like marriage, birthday, paying off your vacation or consolidating any existing debt, especially credit card debt.

However the minimum income required to get the loan approved is $24,000. And in addition to the income, the applicant needs to have a very solid credit history.

PNC Financial Service Group

It offers you loans from $1,000 to $100,000 with an interest rate of 7.74% depending on the amount of money borrowed.

Other companies offering personal loan in USA

America First Credit Union

Offers fast approval personal loans for a special purchase, vacation, education or any emergency as long as you have a solid credit score and a low interest rate if you secure the loan with a shared savings account or a certificate account.

However you should note that, the interest rate of the credit card is higher than the interest rate of the bank loan regardless of which bank it is.

FreedomPlus

This consumer lending company, offers you the possibility of accessing a loan between $10,000 and $35,000 dollars with a repayment term of 2 to 5 years and an interest rate of 4.99%.

In addition, depending on the state you live, the rate may be vary between 0% to 5%. Loan approval is based on the evaluation of your credit score, if you have a co-signer, your income. If your retirement assets reach a minimum of $40,000 you can get a discount on the interest rate, which can be 2% or 4%. And even if half of the loan is used to pay an existing debt, you can get a discounted interest rate.

10 Reasons for Financial Problems in United States

If you have financial problems you are definitely doing something wrong with your personal finances either knowingly or unknowingly.

If you have certain income that allows you to lead a good quality of life, but you are still in debt and full of economic problems then you probably haven’t learned how to manage your money.

Economic problems are the result of bad financial decisions, ranging from not saving a portion of your income, believing that there is the perfect time to invest, making lifestyle too expensive and others.

Before knowing the causes of your financial problems, it is important that you recognize that the problem is with you; it is not the fault of the government, your parents, the business cycle or your boss.

It is your decision and action that has led you into this situation. So if you want to learn how to get out of debt and improve your economic life, you must recognize that the only person who can reverse this situation is the one reading this article.

The main reasons for financial problems

10. Not having an emergency fund

An emergency fund is your first line of defense against unexpected economic problems. And usually, these occur frequently.

Whether your car broke down, something in your apartment needs to be fixed, or a medical emergency for which you need medication.

What happens when an emergency occurs and you don’t have a way to cover it? Usually you have to take out personal loans.

If you want to start solving your financial problems, create an emergency fund with an amount equal to six months of your income.

Additionally, keep it in a place where you can dispose of it when you need it; it’s not about generating income with it, or investing your money from this disposable income in risky assets.

It’s all about having it available when you need it, so don’t think about its profitability.

9. Not having clarity about what will happen if you are not there

If you have a family, it is important to make it clear what will happen to your estate if you are not there.

A will, for example, can avoid many financial problems in your family, as they will know what they are entitled to, when and to what extent.

The worst diligence is the one you don’t do, and in the event of a lack of it, the government is in charge of making the distribution. Not an attractive idea at all.

8. Not having the right insurance

How many financial problems would you avoid if you had insurance? For many people, insurance is an unnecessary expense that impoverishes them.

Why not see it as an extension to your emergency fund?

Insurance is a kind of saving that helps and protects you from replacing and covering your most important material assets such as your house, car and even investments, to your life in the event of death or disability.

Insurance that can help you avoid financial problems includes insurance for your – car, home, life in the event of injury or death, and health.

Finally, don’t be “overprotected”. Many times, seeking good coverage ends up paying excessive amounts that are not worthwhile.

7. Marrying the wrong person

What economic problems are related to marriage? The first is to marry someone who wastes his/her money, and the second is to get divorced.

Choosing your partner is a crucial step in building wealth. And when your partner knows and applies the advice of good personal finance, it makes it much easier to reach your goals.

According to the Journal of Sociology, a divorce is a serious blow to any couple’s finances, as people who divorced saw their wealth decrease by 77%.

In short, as Napoleon Hill puts it in his book – Think and Get Rich, choosing your partner influences the level of wealth you achieve.

6. Not saving a portion of your income

To avoid economic problems, and to achieve financial prosperity you must do two things:

The first is to spend much less of the income you generate, and the second is to maintain this habit in the long run. I mean, doing it for a long time.

Why are you getting rich? Because you’re saving and investing this money. One of the keys is to start saving as soon as possible in your life, so that compound interest can improve on your finances.

How much should you save? At least 10% of your total income must be saved and over time increase this percentage.

You can invest this money in property, secure investments, a business you plan to start, or any other project that generates future income.

5. Buying a home that is too expensive

Many people dream of buying their own homes. As Thomas J. Stanley puts it, in his book Stop acting rich and start living like a real millionaire:

“If you’re not rich yet, but you want to become rich, never buy a house that requires a mortgage that’s twice your family’s annual income.”

In other words, never buy a home, with credit that will cause you to postpone the rest of your financial goals.

Many people get into debt beyond their ability to buy the home of their dreams. The problem with this is that you will end up living in debts giving you a nightmare full of financial worries.

4. Waiting for the perfect time to invest your money

Like many things in life, time ends up playing a fundamental role in the world of investments.

What are the determining factors in the return on your investments, or the money you have saved?

First is the amount invested. Second, the rate of return on your investments, that is, the profitability. And finally, the time during which they are invested.

Although the media and “experts” investors try to sell you the idea of getting rich overnight, the real factor that influences the construction of your wealth, and therefore the end of your economic problems, is the timing of your investments.

That’s why the longer you wait to find the right time to invest, the harder it will be to get the results you expect.

And the longer you wait to save and invest, the more you’re costing yourself.

3. Being over-indebted

It has been stated that “over a lifetime, the average American will pay over $600,000 in interest”

There is no other clearer way to show what debt can do to your quality of life and the financial problems it can cause you.

However, remember that there are good debts, those that allow you to generate other income and cover interest.

2. Not working to maximize your career

There are professional careers that will make you a millionaire faster than others.

It is said that the average American can earn two million dollars in his or her lifetime.

Now, if that same person works hard and increases his or her income by 8% per year, he or she could earn more than 3 million more than this figure.

While the figure may not apply to certain countries in Latin America, it does apply to finding ways to increase your income and avoid future economic problems.

So invest in your professional training, never stop learning and surround yourself with people better than you.

If you want to change jobs, never quit without another safe opportunity, and secondly, take care of your physical and mental health, as your ability to earn money depends on both.

1. Finally, spending more than you earn

It’s quite simple, financial problems occur when your spending exceeds your income.

The first step to being a millionaire and having wealth is to stop pretending to be one. Spending less than you earn is vital to financial progress.

Ask yourself what you spend your money on:

On the one hand, they can be small expenses: dining out, restaurants, clothes, cafés and other expenses that get bigger over time.

The other explanation is large expenses, such as an expensive house, cars, travel and poorly advised investments.

Most economic problems are due to how poorly they invest their money, not so much the amount they generate annually.

Simply when there are too many unnecessary expenses, there is no room to save and have financial projections.

5 Credit Score Killers Every American Should Know

Mistakes (money, health, relationships, etc.) are part of life and their effects vary depending on the scale or intensity. In this article we will talk about financial mistakes and to be very specific – mistakes that affect credit score. There are a certain financial mistakes that could sabotage your credit score and in turn your future financial life. But some mistakes do much more harm than others.

And here are the five particular mistakes, so serious, that they could be called credit score killers. To protect your creditworthiness every person living in the United States (infact, across the world where credit scoring plays an important role) need to be aware of what they are to avoid them.

1. Late payments

This is the number one enemy of credit scoring. Late payment of the monthly bills affects your credit score and frequent late payments are actually a disaster. This is because, credit rating companies put more stock into your bill payment performance than any other financial behavior.

In fact, late payments hurt your credit score more than the other culprits on this list combined. That’s important because your credit score first tells lenders if you are a credit worthy borrower or not. If you are not paying your bills on time or are missing payments completely, your credit score will be adversely affected. So it is crucial and essential to pay your bills on time and fully. Meaning, do not just pay the minimum balance due.

2. High Balance Amount

This is not as important as your payment history but it does weigh on an individual’s credit history. Foreclosure of large amounts of debt on your credit report is a definite red flag for lenders. They are very interested to know that you can manage the amount of money you want to borrow. Therefore, credit rating companies will penalize if you borrow more money than you can comfortably afford to pay.

It is definitely not a good idea to run large balances on your credit cards. That’s a sure sign for lenders that you may not be able to handle any new credit. If you want a better credit score you need to keep your debt to income in balance.

3. Lack of Credit History

You cannot get a job without having a resume describing your work experience (at least when you are applying for a position requiring relevant experience). Similarly, a credit resume is needed that will illustrate your experience with credit. That’s what credit history is, it is your credit resume. If you are an experienced borrower your credit history is important, and if you are a novice you are crucial. Of course, this leads to the proverbial dilemma of how to prove that you are credible with a limited credit history. One answer may be to pull out a secured credit card and build your credit with it.

4. Excess of new credit

Money loans come with a lot of responsibility and lenders want to see that you handle your credit carefully. If you are constantly applying and using new lines of credit, your credit score will be negatively affected. By doing this frequently, the time will come when you will no longer be given credit. You should resist most credit card offers, taking only those that are vital to your financial strategy. Try to avoid applying for and using too many store credit cards to take advantage of in-store discounts.

5. Having too little credit

To get a high credit score you need to have a mix of different types of credit: credit cards, a car loan, a mortgage loan and even a personal loan is taken into account.

How many of these credit score killers are currently at large in your financial profile? Take steps now to put them behind bars and you’ll quickly see your credit score go up.

Insurance in USA Basics: Auto, Tenant, Home, Life

There are several ways to purchase private insurance to cover incidents and emergencies. You can get information on the various types of insurance from insurers or brokers/advisors.

Keep in mind that most advisors work on commission, so their advice can be distorted. If you want good advice, contact an independent advisor. Some banks offer insurance advice with their financial advice.

Automobile Insurance

In many states in the United States, auto insurance is mandatory. Before you sign a contract, insurance companies usually make a thorough investigation that includes your driver history and claims history. If your record is bad, chances are your insurance will be more expensive.

Tenant Insurance

The landlord provides you with accommodation, but you need insurance to cover your belongings. Also, if someone is injured in your apartment, you may have to pay their hospital bills. Even if the accommodation is not yours, it is important to buy insurance.

Home Insurance

Home insurance covers you in the event of burglary, vandalism, storms and other incidents. It often reimburses damaged goods at their current value, such as furniture, appliances and money up to a certain amount. The insurance must correspond to the true cost of the insured items in your apartment. If you have valuable assets, it is recommended that you take out additional insurance.

Life Insurance

A life or “whole life” insurance policy guarantees that a fixed sum of money will be paid to the family upon the death of the insured. There is also term life insurance which do not include the sum of money as life insurances but which cover a person during a determined period which can go from one year to 10, 20 or 30 years. You can also purchase term insurance that covers you up to a certain age, often 65 or 70. Term insurance expires on a specific date.

This type of insurance is normally used to protect your loved ones from potential debts. For example, if you and your wife own a home, your wife may still have to pay the credit alone after you die. With this insurance, she will have enough money thanks to the insurance to finish paying the credit.

Health Insurance in USA: Disability, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Welfare & more

As a rule, you can be insured by your employer. Large companies and universities in particular offer very good and relatively inexpensive health insurance. However, the health insurance does not include the dentist and the ophthalmologist or optician. A dental insurance or optical plan is available for this purpose.

Protection against inability for work

It is important to take out disability insurance, which pays a certain percentage of your salary if you become unable to work. This insurance is most important because the employer is often not obliged to continue paying the salary if you are ill for a longer period of time. Short-term disability insurance is for health problems lasting several weeks, and long-term disability insurance for long-term disability. These insurances are often offered by the employer and are not expensive.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare is a federal program that pays a large part of the treatment costs for people over 65 years of age and people with disablement of all ages. It is financed primarily from the social security tax, which is deducted from salary.

Medicaid is a joint programme of the Federal Government and the individual states and pays for part of the treatment costs for people living below the poverty line.

While most Americans have health insurance or receive benefits through one of the two programs mentioned, there are also many people who are not insured and unable to take Medicaid because of low income. These people can be treated in public hospitals in emergencies, but are particularly disadvantaged in the area of prevention and early detection.

Redundancy Payment

If you have lost your job with no fault of yours, you can claim unemployment benefits. This unemployment benefit is not paid automatically, but must be applied for at the responsible state unemployment office. The conditions for entitlement, such as the amount of income and/or length of employment before loss of employment, as well as the duration and amount of unemployment benefit, depend on the provisions of the respective federal state.

In most countries, up to a certain upper limit, which can vary greatly from state to state, half of the last salary is paid for a maximum of 26 weeks.

Social Welfare

In the USA, it is assumed that a healthy person should find a job, regardless of whether or not he or she corresponds to his or her professional qualifications. The payment of welfare benefits to able-bodied person is limited to five years in life. And as a rule you cannot be unemployed for more than two consecutive years. Social assistance is only paid to those whose income is below the poverty line and who do not have enough money for food, clothing and accommodation.

Public housing and food stamps as well as health care for children are also part of state aid measures.

Private charities financed by donations also help people (and animals) in need. Many Americans give money to such organizations.

Pension Provision

The Social Security Administration (SSA), which issues the Social Security Card, keeps a record of every employee’s income and taxes in the USA.

To qualify as a subsequent beneficiary, you must have worked for at least ten years. The amount of social security benefits that you ultimately receive depends on how much you have paid into the fund by deducting from your salary, i.e. how long you have worked and how much you earned.

Although every American receives a state pension, private financial provision via 401(k) plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is advisable for everyone who wants to have more than a minimum to live on in old age.

Credit Cards in USA that Earn You Money: Cash Back & Miles

Credit score is the most important thing to have in United States and having a good score is essential to live a better life in the USA.

Let’s discuss about credit cards because they allow you to earn money, without even changing our consumption habits and without spending more than usual. Remember, credit card is the starting point in building credit score in USA.

To have a good Credit Score, it is advisable to have at least 3 credit cards and to use only 30% of the capacity of these cards. At the end of each month (or every fortnight), it’s best to balance all your credit cards so you don’t pay interest on them.

Credit Cards to Earn Cash Back

Many organizations and banks offer credit cards that earn a percentage on each transaction made. In general this percentage is between 1 and 3% but it can rise up to 6%!

For example: Bank Americard Cash Rewards card. We earn cash back throughout the year and use it at the end of the year to buy gifts. That usually gives you a nice bonus of a few hundred dollars.

This card also offers deals on certain stores (including Five Guys, Starbucks, …) that can earn up to 15 or 20% of the amount spent.

Credit Cards to Earn Miles

These cards let you first earn miles/points which can be later redeemable for FREE flights. Points can be earned by using card for buying air tickets, booking rental cars or hotels depending on the card.

One of the best credit cards to earn miles is the Chase Saphire Preferred Card and is a good way to travel cheaper. By applying for this credit card, and using it to make your purchases, you will earn between 1 and 4 miles per dollar spent. These miles can then be used with various airlines: British Airways, Delta, American Airlines,…

By spending $4,000 during the first three months of this credit card, you will earn a bonus of 50,000 points, which is equivalent to $625 in airline tickets. This is quite big. Isn’t it?

No need to have an incredible lifestyle to get there… Just use this new credit card instead of your usual card to pay for all your transactions for 3 months… And then you can use this card to pay for everything related to travel and restaurants because the points will be multiplied by two.

Other Cards to Earn Miles

Other co-branded cards that allow you to earn miles are:

  • British Airways Visa Signature® Card for individuals travelling from British Airways.
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express for Delta Airlines. This card earns a bonus of 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months and $1,000 in the first 6 months!

These cards do not carry any annual fee, foreign transaction fee, and many other benefits. However such cards require excellent/good credit score.

All About American Credit Score: Guide for Migrants

In the United States, when migrants arrive they quickly discover that the country’s system works on credit and insurance! As soon as you go shopping in a store, you are offered the store’s credit card, and you quickly realize that Americans buy everything on credit… even (and especially) gas and food! There are even often discounts if you buy on credit rather than cash.

For individuals (from other countries) who are not used to credit, this is not easy to understand. So you try to understand and get caught up in the game of wanting to build a credit score and increase it.

When arriving in the US for the first time, you have neither SSN, nor credit score. And this creates hindrance for many services for example: renting an apartment. Without credit score, organisations (real estate agencies, gas and electricity companies, shops, etc.) will not trust us and are reluctant to get deal with us.

What is a credit score?

The credit score is a score that is assigned to each person in the United States with a social security number. It is supposed to reflect its ability to repay its debts. In other words, it establishes your financial profile to know if you are a honest person (if you pay your bills and pay off your debts on time) or a bad payer.

The higher your rating, more banks will appreciate you and easier it will be to get a credit card or any type of credit (personal loan or car loan and others), and better would be the borrowing rate.

Three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian) are responsible for calculating the credit score and each has its own way of calculation. When you wish to obtain your credit score, you will be able to obtain these 3 values but the median value will be taken into account by the organizations.

How to build a good credit score?

At first it’s like snake biting its tail. Without a credit score, organizations will not trust you and without a credit card, it is impossible to have a credit Score. So you have to start slowly and take your time. This is why secured credit card in USA is the best starting point, especially for migrants.

At the beginning, it is good to ask your bank for a credit card (it is important to have one credit card per person in the family so that both can work towards their credit score). After a few months, you can apply for another credit card (from another organization or bank), then a few months later for another one.

To build a good credit score, you must

  • Pay rent and all bills on time: Ask your bank for a credit card, make payments using it, and pay it back every month before the due date. Your bank will be the first organization that can trust you and give you a credit card because they receive your salary every month.
  • You shouldn’t wait until after your credit score. You just have to live.
  • It is also advisable not to use more than 30% of your credit limit and to have at least 3 credit lines (and therefore, 3 credit cards)! Repayment of all your credit cards every month before the due date is recommended and will prevent you from paying extra “fees” (charges/interest and late payment penalties).

After a few months of good payment of your bills and proper functioning of your credit card, you will start to have a credit score and can have new credit cards, which will allow you to improve your credit score (and so on). You will know soon enough when you get there because you will receive many letters from different organizations offering you credit cards! Stores will also allow you to have their credit cards.

What is the credit score for?

As you have just seen, living in the United States, it is very important to have a good credit score. Because it allows you to obtain a credit card, a loan (home loan for example), and more generally it facilitates many transactions in everyday life.

A good credit score will allow you:

  1. To get a better interest rate
  2. Save on your car or home insurance
  3. To open an account with various service provider (electricity, gas, mobile, etc.) without having to post a deposit.

How is it calculated?

The credit score is calculated based on several parameters:

  1. 35% of the credit score is based on the regularity of payments made (rent, consumer bills, credit card refunds…)
  2. 30% of the credit score is based on your credit card usage percentage. It is therefore more advantageous to use only 30% of your credit card rather than going up to the maximum limit (which then corresponds to 100%).
  3. 15% of the credit score is determined according to the age of the credit history.
  4. 10% of the credit score is based on the type of credit you have: consumer credit, home loans, car loans, student loans, credit cards,…
  5. 10% of your credit score is based on your credit score requests (when you want to know your Credit Score, when you request a credit, when you apply for a credit card, …). All this affects your rating negatively.

So don’t try to know your credit rating frequently and request it only when needed.

How to save with the credit score?

Generally, when a store or bank offers you a credit card, you can take advantage of the situation.

  • There are credit cards for cash back, rewards, miles, and others. For each amount spent, you will earn a % in cash or miles.
  • Cash back can be recovered whenever you wish.
  • Store credit cards generally offer multiple payment facilities or coupons (Target offers 5% discount on any purchase made with their store card).
  • You even have a special credit card to pay your bills and the bank offers $30 every 3 months if you pay bills on time.
  • You can therefore choose the most advantageous solution in relation to your consumption habits.

You imagine that despite all these rewards/cashbacks related to credit cards, banks and stores must also find your account there. If only to build customer loyalty!

Where to get credit score from?

CreditKarma is the site on which you can get your credit score free and unlimited times. Simply register by entering your SSN and each week, your credit score is updated. However, this is only an estimate of your true credit score which is usually slightly different from the one announced on CreditKarma.

Good to know: You have the right to get 3 credit reports once a year on Annualcreditreport.com. It’s free and allows you to make sure there are no anomalies (bad information, identity theft,…).

USA Credit Card Basics for First Timers: Limit, Due Date, Rewards, more.

Credit card is America’s widely accepted payment method more than debit card, cash or cheque etc. So anyone already in the US or planning to migrate should have basic understanding of credit card system in the USA before applying for it.

And here’s the guide for everyone wanting to know more about this plastic money.

To make it simple, a credit card has:

  • It’s own attached account (one card for one account), which can be created on the Internet
  • A fixed credit limit (maximum amount of expenses per month)
  • A fixed repayment date per month (by which the minimum amount must be repaid).

What is the monthly spending limit?

Once your bank accepts your credit card application, they will send you your credit line or credit limit, which is the maximum amount they will lend you per month. The credit limit is the spending limit you cannot exceed per month. It can range from $500 to several thousand dollars, depending on your credit score. The higher your credit score, the higher would be the credit limit. So for the first timers, expect to have the lowest credit limit of only $500 and possibly the most basic credit card. But remember very few banks offer credit card for first timers especially when you don’t have credit history. Other option is to get Secured credit card in USA.

Be careful, the credit limit does not mean that you have target of spending it to the maximum! Experts advise you not to spend more than 50% of your credit line. If it is $500, you will not have to spend more than $250 with this credit card. Some even say that it is even better to spend only 20% of the credit line. Although there is no proof to these recommendations.

So if you ask why to follow these rules then frankly there is no answer yet! Apparently, this is because the good payers are considered as people who do not consume all that is made available to them. Basically, it is to be sure to repay at the end.

One question that will seem important to you is…

Paying on credit is good, but do you have to pay interest?

Answer is NO. If you repay your credit correctly, that is, the total amount you owe your bank every month on/before the due date, then you won’t have to pay any fees. To know your payments, you can check your account online or call the credit card company. You will have information on the minimum amount to pay, and your deadline.

However, be careful not to forget to repay before the due date! If the minimum amount is not paid, high penalties apply. And if you pay only the minimum, interest will be charged for each day of delay, and rates can be very high, depending on your credit score. The lower it is, the higher the rates will be. For some it could be 12.5% whereas for others it could be 25%.

So at first, be very careful! Forgetting will also negatively impact your credit history. Don’t forget you’re traced, it will mean you’re not a good payer! So hope you have understood, the credit card requires regular monitoring and a certain discipline.

Aspects to be taken into account in order to be reasonably indebted

There’s a saying – Don’t consume what you don’t have!

And the same applies with credit cards. In the United States, you have to get into debt to exist. And this system carries risks!

Be careful not to fall into the credit spiral! You can have multiple credit cards, so multiply the borrowing limits (credit limit). Remember, this amount of money, which you see on each of your credit card accounts, is not yours!

As mentioned above, you can only repay the minimum amount set by the bank per month. Be careful not to abuse this system! You’ll have to pay that money sooner or later, plus interest on every day, if you’re late! Moreover, you will continue to consume, so be careful not to accumulate your debts! This game can become very quickly dangerous… And more cards you have, the more dangerous this game becomes!

Remember the primary purpose of the credit card, is to build your credit history, in order to have the best credit score possible. So for reasonable use, it is advisable to use it as a deferred debit card for your domestic purchases, and to refund your credit every month, in full, a few days before the deadline. This is how you will increase your credit score! That’s what honest card users do and never have a problem. It is also possible to set up direct debits (usually online).

The advantages: the different types of rewards

We have seen the risks and dangers above, but if you use your card wisely, you can even save/earn good amount of money! Credit cards offer certain rewards in the form of points, when you have consumed correctly, which can then be converted into money. Cool, right?

5% cash back – Discover it® ­- Cashback Match™

For example, here’s one such card. User is entitled to earn cash back up to 5%. From January to March, 5% cashback at gas stations. The following month, it is for the purchase at grocery stores. To summarize, you pay through your card, and then, have the refund, called “cash back”. It’s not bad, is it?

Be careful not to confuse the cash back of the credit card with the cash back of the debit card. When you arrive at a store checkout to pay with your debit card, the card reader will ask you if you want cash back. This is if you want to withdraw cash from your account (like at a ATM) free of charge, which is by the way, very convenient!

But rewards do not only concern cash back, but also miles (loyalty points) for airlines. It all depends on the type of card and your needs. If you often fly, you will need a credit card with loyalty points, miles, etc….

But remember! If you don’t have a credit history yet, then you won’t have too many choices at first… One thing is for sure, this system reflects the consumer society well! And everything is based on this banking system! But that said, don’t buy any more than usual…

Finally – a quick summary of the US credit card basics for everyone

Once you have your credit card approved by the bank, you must know:

  1. Your credit limit, spending limit per month (do not spend more than 50% of this limit per month).
  2. The repayment due date per month (date on which you must repay the total amount, if possible).
  3. Access to your account to track your card spending, and pay off your debts online every month, before the due date.
  4. Your rewards that will guide you on when and where it makes the most sense to use your card.

For Immigrants – Open Bank Account in USA Step by Step

If would you like to immigrate to the USA or have already arrived for work, study, or to live the American dream, at some point you will need an American bank account.

Can I open an account in the USA online?

If you are already established in the USA, you can open your checking account either online or in a branch office. However, if you have only recently arrived, it is likely that your online application will be rejected. This is mainly because US banks have no way to check your creditworthiness. It is therefore easier to complete the application for opening an account by visiting the branch. You can also talk to customer support executives and get your queries answered.

What documents are required to open an bank account in USA?

The rules and regulations in banking vary from state to state. It is best to call the branch first and speak to a customer executive to make an appointment and ask which documents are required to open an account.

Normally the following documents are required:

  • Passport, identity card, or driving licence
  • Social security number
  • Proof of your American address (P.O. boxes are not accepted)
  • Immigration papers

Passport and immigration papers should not be a problem, but proof of address and social security number will be a little more complicated for a newly arrived individual. As proof of your address, the bank would normally like to see a rental agreement or a current electricity bill. If you are a student, you can also submit a copy of the confirmation of enrolment that you will receive from your university. The social security number must be applied for in advance, this can take up to 2 weeks.

Application passed! What’s the next step?

Once your application is accepted, you must make a deposit to activate your account. If you want to transfer money in Euros or Indian Rupee to an American bank account, it is worth using TransferWise. This avoids expensive bank charges and transfers at the real exchange rate.

Depending on the amount and payment method (e.g. cash deposit) you may have to prove that the money was not generated by criminal activities.

Can an American bank account be opened from native country?

Nothing better than opening American bank account before entering USA.

If American bank has a branch in your country then it could be possible. For e.g. Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and HSBC are good examples as they have presence in India. If you already have an account with one of these banks, bank executives may be able to help you open an account before entering the United States. Perhaps your house bank also has partnerships with other US banks, it’s worth asking and taking their help.

Many banks also offer an international bank account to manage US dollars. It is convenient, if you already have a dollar account before immigrating to the USA. However, these international bank accounts often come with certain requirements (e.g. minimum deposits) and/or are subject to charges.

Choosing the Right Bank

The financial industry in America is enormous. There are thousands of banks where you can open a current account. So which bank is the right one for you? The best known banks are probably the best solution, as they probably have the most experience dealing with the immigrants.

The 4 largest American banks in the USA are Chase, Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo.

Chase

The largest American bank and the sixth largest bank in the world. Chase operates over 15,000 ATMs and more than 5,000 branches in the USA. Each account is equipped with a Visa card and free online and mobile banking. Chase also offers special accounts for students and small businesses.

Bank of America

Bank of America’s regular bank account costs $12 per month, but is free for deposits of $250 or more per month. It is also free for students under 23. Bank of America issues a Visa Debit Bank Card linked with the bank account.

Citibank

Citibank’s bank account is different from others because no minimum deposits are required. Citibank also offers additional benefits, such as exclusive tickets to many concerts and range of other benefits to the account holder. Unfortunately, there are no special accounts at Citibank for students.

Wells Fargo

Regular bank accounts at Wells Fargo are not free. An account starts at $10 per month, and for a 17-24 year old student, an account costs only $5 per month. You get a Visa card and can do online and mobile banking at any time.

Fees and Expenses

Withdrawals

Withdrawing money in the USA is similar to withdrawing money in your country of origin. If you withdraw money at your bank’s counter or ATM, it is free, but if you use ATMs from other banks, you usually have to expect a fee. Some banks also offer only a limited number of free cash withdrawals per month.

Account Closure Fee

Many banks require your account to be active for at least 90 days before it can be closed. If you wish to close your account before this deadline, you will be charged a fee of approximately $25.

Fee for Foreign Bank Transfers

Costs for international bank transfers can often be high. For international transfers, banks usually charge a fee between $10 and $25, but they also charge a worst exchange rate, which ultimately results in some money being lost on an international transfer. To avoid unfair fees, you can use various money transfer services such as TransferWise, WesternUnion, XOOM. With these services, your currency is converted at the official average exchange rate for foreign transfers, and at an absolutely fair price.

List of Organizations Helping Immigrants in the U.S.

Did you know that there are many organizations that help immigrants in the U.S.?

And interestingly, it’s not just one but several organizations that can help you. This even includes individuals with grant programs seeking immigration assistance. So do you wish to know them?

Then keep reading…

USCIS

Among the organizations that help immigrants in the U.S., you should first address USCIS. This organization provides you with technical assistance, all the information you need about grant programs and you can also find help from USCIS to obtain citizenship.

You can order the free toolkit with educational materials for immigrants from USCIS.

Community Organizations

Community organizations provide citizenship classes in English and assistance during the naturalization process, as well as resources in support with USCIS.

Libraries

The Institute of Museum and Library Services provides you with information, educational materials and other resources to train you on citizenship and immigration. All these resources are available from libraries.

Employers

If you are working, your employer can help you as an eligible immigrant by promoting citizenship. Talk to your employer because there are resources available with them to advise you on citizen awareness and education.

Local Government

All local governments provide assistance to immigrants. In the municipal government you will find help on civic integration in your community with activities on outreach, education, and citizen awareness.

Museums

The Institute of Museum and Library Services provides museum support with public information, educational materials, immigrant participation opportunities, and citizenship and immigration training resources that you can receive at a museum.

Free Immigration Legal Help

Community organizations and social service providers can offer help with the naturalization process and citizenship classes. You can attend classes on weekends and in the evenings and they also offer programs with immigrant support services.

If you have problems with immigration, you can go to a licensed immigration attorney or an accredited representative of an organization that is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

You can get advice on the official USCIS Legal Aid website so you can get required legal help you and make a good decision.

Immigrant Advocacy Project

Since 1986, the Immigrant Advocacy Project (IDP) has been working to combat mass criminalization, detention and deportation through policy advocacy, impact litigation, communications and strategic training.

It also provides you with tools and resources for your immigrant advocacy and pro bono legal services.

International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee is located around the world and in 29 U.S. cities, and helps you, if your life is in conflict and works to provide you with immigration and health care services.

United We Dream

United We Dream is an organization that gives you information about customs control and problems with immigration raids.

Welcoming America

It is an organization that can help you with economic opportunities whether you are an immigrant or a refugee, thanks to its integration work with a network of over 150 communities.

HIAS

HIAS is an immigrant advocacy group led by Jewish people that aims to provide international resources for refugees and immigrants including registration searches, assistance with the citizenship process. It offers you legal protection and also assists you in finding employment and training.

ACLU

ACLU has an immigrant rights website where you can get information with case examples, videos and a blog related to immigration.

Public Law Centre

It is a law firm that provides assistance to low-income, vulnerable residents of Orange County.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network

The Catholic legal immigration network offers help with programs that target vulnerable families, victims of domestic violence or trafficking.

Organizations Helping Undocuments Immigrants in the U.S.

If you are an undocumented immigrant, you can also get help from certain organizations as listed below:

National Immigration Law Center

The National Immigration Law Center, NILC, is responsible for protecting and enhancing the rights of immigrants.

To do this, it counts and offers you lawyers who have already won lawsuits against discrimination in the workplace and also assert your rights in the event you are an immigrant in detention.

Young Center

Young Center, subject to the DACA program, Deferred Action for Children’s Arrivals is charged with helping children in the immigration process to be considered as children, providing temporary protection against the deportation of undocumented youth in the United States.

Families for freedom

Familias for Freedom (FFF) is responsible for the protection of families from deportation. This organization is made up of a group of people specialized in the situation of the undocumented.

Network of Immigration Advocates

The Immigration Advocacy Network (IAN) offers legal services to the undocumented immigrants with the support of regional partners and local groups working together.

Border Angels

Border Angels with its from San Diego extends its assistance to the entire border between Mexico and Texas. It offers you help and information about immigration, gives you bottles of water on traffic routes and also organizes community events.

Butterflies Without Borders

Butterflies without borders works together with immigrants who suffer discrimination and violence in their country of origin.

There are definitely many other organizations in the U.S. that offer help to both documented and undocumented immigrants, ranging from global human rights organizations to small groups working in the city, state or county such as Make the Road New York or Amnesty International.

They are groups that mobilize through protest to protect undocumented immigrants by lobbying politicians to change immigration policies, as they are organizations that work to protect the most vulnerable populations.