Referring to Philippe Leybaert's answer some time back, he stated not to give out your social security number to companies that request it.

I am applying for a secured credit card and many card companies do require your SSN. What should I do at this stage? Furthermore, before coming across this blog, I did a credit check, and I had to enter my SSN. My credit search was declined, due to not having any credit status in the US. Would this affect my credit rating now? I am a little hesitant to apply for a secured credit card just in case I am refused. Looking forward to anyone's advice.

  • Do you have any history in your home country with any financial institutions which also operate in the USA? I would try approaching them.
    – user16259
    Feb 25, 2018 at 13:38
  • Per user16259's comment, American Express will do international transfers for clients who move to another country. Feb 26, 2018 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


You start at the beginning when building a credit rating in the US. The best way to begin is with a secured credit card from a credit union and yes, you will need to present a Social Security card to get it. (ITIN is not good enough.) A typical secured credit card is on the order of $500. Use it for a good while, build up a good credit history and when your credit scores are over, say, 700, go for an unsecured credit card. Good luck!

  • Secured cards are up to whatever amount is in the security account, up to some limit the bank sets. I've seen $2000. May 10, 2018 at 2:55
  • If you have $2000 to spend on a secured card, that’s great, but immigrants tend to have budgets to think of.. May 14, 2018 at 20:01
  • Most actual immigration (as opposed to H1-B or J-1 visas) is family-based. If they can afford the process they probably have some cash on hand. May 15, 2018 at 3:20
  • I think this is subjective. Families do immigrate on H1-B / H4 visas but are not 'family based' immigration visas? Also, you can afford the process sometimes at the expense of things like large secured credit cards.. May 17, 2018 at 1:09

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