If you have been looking to open a US bank account but do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), you might have encountered a roadblock or two. One of which could be simply finding which banks that don’t require social security numbers to open an account.
The good news is that not all banks will require account holders to have an SSN. You can open accounts using another recognized identification card.
How To Open A Bank Account Without A Social Security Number
If you do not have a Social Security Number, you might need to follow a different procedure to open a bank account.
Some extra steps may be involved, which will allow you to make the best financial decision for yourself and any dependants.
While this procedure is not complicated, taking the time to do your homework can help you save a lot of money down the line.
Of course, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach because we all have different financial requirements and goals, so what might work for one person will not work for the next.
Take the time to understand what you want to accomplish with the bank account, as this will serve as a guide to make the right choice for you.
Either way, these are the steps that you will need to follow:
Step 1: Identify the Type of Bank Account You Want.
There are several different bank accounts (also known as deposit accounts) available. In most cases, you will require a checking account and a savings account.
Typically, a savings account will offer you APY (Annual Percentage Yield) interest rates, which earn you money on the money you have saved.
Step 2: Understand What Identification Documents You Have.
While not all banks require SSNs, they will need other forms of identification. Make a list of all of the documents you have and make sure they are up to date and readily available.
Doing this will help you narrow down the list of banks you could use.
Step 3: Make a List of Banks That Don’t Require Social Security Numbers.
Now that you know which types of bank accounts you want, you’ll need to cross-reference which banks offer the accounts you want and accept the documents you have.
This process might take some time, and a few concessions might need to be made since finding a perfect fit is not always the case.
Either way, the important thing is to balance what you want to do with what you can actually do.
Step 4: Check Fees and Account Features.
If you have managed to find more than one bank that offers the accounts you want and accepts the documentation you have, this step is essential.
If you only managed to find one bank, this step is still important as it will allow you to plan your budgets and help you understand how you can use the account.
Many bank accounts come with different fees. Some fees are easily avoidable, while others will require more work.
ATM fees, along with monthly or annual fees, are some of the most notorious fees that you might want to consider.
If you would like to have access to online banking or a credit card and a debit card, now is the time to check if the bank offers this.
Step 5: Choose one of the Banks that Don’t Require Social Security Numbers and Submit the Application.
Depending on your circumstances, the bank might allow you to open a bank account online or require you to visit a branch.
Once your account is approved, you can enjoy all of the account holder benefits that come with it.
6 Banks That Don’t Require Social Security Numbers
Several US banks don’t actually require an SSN to open an account. But this doesn’t mean that no documentation is required.
On the contrary – you may need to provide extra documentation to prove that you are who you claim to be.
We have compiled a list of mainstream banks that don’t require social security numbers for you to open an account.
Do keep in mind that banks can change the rules, and as such, it is always important to check the bank’s website or other sources of information to verify that this is still the case.
Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union is one of the best credit unions and offers quite a few membership options, including becoming a member of their partner charity, Foster Care to Success (FC2S).
To become a member of this credit union, you need to be 18 years of age, have a valid ID issued by the US government, and either an SSN or ITIN.
One thing to be aware of is that the credit union will pull a soft credit check on you. While this will not affect your credit score, should the credit bureaus return a low score, you may be denied an account.
Citibank is one of the largest banks in the U.S., and they offer the full range of financial products for both business and personal use.
Opening an account does not require a social security number. Instead, you may be able to provide an ITIN.
You will, however, need to verify your address.
Like Chase, Citi is known for offering nearly year-round welcome bonuses for opening a new account.
What’s special about Citi offers, however, is that these bonuses are tiered, starting with low requirements that are easy to meet and then increasing from there – up to thousands of dollars.
Bank of America
While Bank of America allows customers to open their accounts online, this is only valid if you have an SSN.
Should you not have this number, you will need to schedule an appointment with the bank where you will be able to present your ITIN and proof of where you live should this be required.
The bank has quite a few different accounts and fees, but there are different ways to avoid the checking account fees.
You will need to do a bit of research on their website to understand which account you want and whether it is the right bank for you.
Chase offers a wide range of accounts, many of which come with bonuses that can earn you as much as $225 plus perks.
To get the offers, you will need to complete several qualifying activities so be sure to read up before starting to count the money.
Depending on your situation, you might not need an SSN to open a new Chase account. That will depend on whether you have a green card or a visa.
Depending on your situation, you might also need to fill in a tax form which isn’t something you can do online.
In this case, you will need to visit a branch for assistance. Remember to take your papers with you.
PNC bank offers several different account options, including Virtual Wallets.
These come with no monthly fees, no opening deposit minimums, and no minimum balance requirements. You can also get as much as $300 when opening this type of account.
If you’re a US citizen or a resident alien, you will need an SSN. If you’re not, you can schedule an appointment for the bank to help you with your application.
Like many of the banks in this list, Wells Fargo offers a range of financial products and services, including checking accounts and savings accounts.
Their website also contains additional information to help you make the most out of your money.
If you don’t have an SSN, you can easily open an account online with an ITIN, making the process that much smoother.
If you do not have either of these numbers, you might need to call the bank to see that other options are available for you.
What is SSN?
SSN is an acronym that stands for Social Security Number. This special number, which is nine digits long, is given to those who are either US citizens, residents of the US (permanent residents), and temporary residents (such as international students).
Nonresidents are not eligible for an SSN but can get another form of tax id instead. We will cover this in more detail later in the article.
Social Security Numbers are issued by the Social Security Administration – a US federal government agency tasked with administering the nation’s social insurance program. SSNs were first issued in 1935.
How is SSN used?
While originally, this number was meant to help the Social Security Administration track people. Over time it has become the go-to number for both identification purposes and taxation, among other things.
Many records use the SSN as their primary identifier, including student and employee records, hospital patient records, and credit records. Several military branches also use the SSN as the primary identifier for their personnel.
Before the tax reform act of 1986, only those over the age of 14 got an SSN. Once the reform passed, parents were required to get SSNs for their children once they reach five years of age.
Before this law was passed, the government couldn’t track how many dependents a parent who is a US citizen had – which is one of the issues that this reform addressed.
SSNs can be obtained by filling in a special form called the SS-5 form. This form must be filled in and submitted to the SSA, along with evidence documents to get an SSN card, replace a lost one, or make corrections to an existing card.
Why Do Banks Require SSN?
Because SSNs are heavily used as a form of identification, many banks require them when opening an account. Even so, there is no legal requirement to have an SSN to open a bank account.
While these financial institutions might not necessarily have lower entry requirements, they are still good to keep in mind as they offer more options.
SSN is not the only form of identification out there. There are quite a few different options – some of which can even help you open a bank account.
- ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
- Passport number
- Recognized Photo ID (such as driver’s license or ID card)
Typically you will also need to present other information such as your date of birth, phone number, and address.
How to get an ITIN
ITIN numbers are issued by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). ITIN’s are given to those who may need a tax id number but do not have or are not eligible for an SSN.
To apply for an ITIN, you can download the W-7 form from the IRS website and file it with your tax return.
Alternatively, you can speak to an acceptance agent who will be able to guide you through the process.
Banks That Don’t Require Social Security Numbers FAQs
Are there banks that don’t require Social Security Numbers?
As you now know, several banks don’t require SSN to open a bank account. Some of these are Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.
These banks will, in most cases, require an ITIN to open an account instead.
Can illegal immigrants get a bank account?
If you’re a noncitizen wondering how to open a bank account without an SSN, you’ll be pleased to know that some banks allow you to open an account with an ITIN or passport.
So, as long as you have the required forms of documentation, you should be able to get a bank account even if you are a non-US resident.
Does immigration check your bank account?
Generally, immigration officers don’t have access to your bank account unless you give them access.
Do I need a SIN number to open a bank account?
No, a SIN number is not required to open a bank account. Most banks will ask for SSN or ITIN.