Recent immigrants to the United States face unique hardships and challenges when seeking all forms of loans: credit cards, auto loans and most significantly mortgages.
Research done by United States Department of Commerce’s Economics & Statistics Administration has established that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) graduates workers drive innovation and competitiveness in the United States by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries.
The US National Foundation For American Policy (NFAP) presented an article on The Importance of International Students to American Science and Engineering in their October 2017 Policy Brief. The article presented statistics based on the US National Science Foundation’s survey of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and showed an impressive observation: foreign nationals in the US account for 81 percent of the full-time graduate students in electrical engineering and petroleum engineering, 79 percent in computer science, 75 percent in industrial engineering, 69 percent in statistics, 63 percent in mechanical engineering and economics, statistics, 59 percent in civil engineering and 57 percent in chemical engineering.
Unique needs of immigrants concerning mortgages
With nearly 80 percent of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) graduates being international, we at STEM Lending set out to explore what were the major challenges faced by immigrants when attempting to fulfill their American Dream – having a home of their own.
Coincidentally, The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled Foreigners Seeking Mortgages Face Close Scrutiny. The article underscored that while the mortgage-application process can be daunting for even the most creditworthy borrower, the process is even more challenging for foreigners working in the US, who may not have adequate credit history or a permanent residency. Mortgage lenders typically seek two years of credit history of applicants, however recent immigrants often don’t have two years of residence or credit history in the U.S.
Inadequate credit history translates into unique challenges immigrants face despite having strong job prospects, stable earning potential and consequently, a strong ability to repay a mortgage. One argument that is often cited is that in the event of a job loss, an immigrant visa holder may decide to “dump everything and move back to home country”. The counter argument though, is that a job loss can in fact render a resident declaring a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, potentially eliminating their personal liabilities for mortgage loan.
How is STEM Lending addressing the needs of immigrants looking for a mortgage?
STEM Lending’s co-founder, Shantanu, is himself a first-generation immigrant entrepreneur. After earning a PhD degree in STEM field from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Shantanu embarked on his professional journey – industrial experience in science and technology jobs in US, while on a visa. Despite stable earnings from graduate school fellowship, it was challenge to obtain loan for even buying a car, let alone a mortgage.
Having first-hand experience of hardships encountered when seeking loans as immigrants, we at STEM Lending are committed to providing fair and accessible mortgages to creditworthy immigrants.
We firmly believe in evaluating mortgage application based on good faith determination of applicants’ ability to repay the mortgage: basing credit assessment on applicants’ income, assets, employment, credit behavior and their monthly expenses. We have partnered with multiple lenders to provide a diverse set of mortgage opportunities under one platform, thereby increasing the number of mortgage avenues immigrants get to explore.
Busy working professionals no longer need to visit multiple banks in person, fill out the same mortgage application form time after time, shopping and hoping to qualify for a mortgage. By streamlining the mortgage experience, we hope to help all creditworthy Millennials, inclusive of immigrants, will be able to gain access to fair credit, without hassle.
Wishing you a happy home buying experience!
– STEM Lending Team