Credit (California Immigrants)

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814-Other Federal Agencies


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United States citizenship is not required to obtain credit, but other factors may affect credit status as follows:

  • Assets (property, savings, etc.)
  • Character (how worthy of trust)
  • Current salary and expenses
  • Credit history (how credit was managed in the past)

Immigrants applying for credit should be made aware of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act which prohibits creditors from basing their decisions to extend or deny credit on certain factors. Creditors may not consider any of the following:

  • Sex, age, race, color, religion, or national origin
  • Marital status
  • Receipt of public income or assistance or
  • Exercising rights under the credit laws (for example, disputing an invalid charge on a credit account)

Immigrants should be made aware of scams and abuses and should refuse to do business with people who do any of the following:

  • Approach you on the street, call you on the phone, or come to your home to offer you credit
  • Promise interest rates much lower than other creditors or
  • Refuse to tell you in clear language your payment schedule or finance charges

Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Sacramento Sub Office
650 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 375-5283

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

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