Great financial apps for immigrants and newcomers to the United States.
Moving to a new country can be overwhelming, to say the least. The good news? There are many resources to help you with your finances as a newcomer to the United States. It’s true that there is a lot to learn, from budgeting, setting goals , opening bank accounts, and choosing a trusted money transfer service .
That’s where you can take advantage of financial and monetary applications aimed at helping immigrants. Below, we’ve listed five of them, including how you can use them to help you transition to the United States.
You may already know that building credit is important to navigating the US financial system. Good credit can open the door to things like lower interest rates on loans, a credit card, renting an apartment, and much more.
However, building credit for immigrants can be difficult, as you may not have a credit score to begin with. In other words, accessing certain financial products may be more difficult, or you’ll face higher interest rates until you can build your score, which can take months or even years.
Nova Credit is a service that can help you ease the burden. By signing up for their services, you can use your existing international credit to get credit in the United States. Currently, it is only available for certain countries of origin such as Australia, Canada and India. If your country is compatible, this can be a great way to get a head start on getting an apartment rental or a personal loan.
Nova Credit partners with US companies that accept your international credit. You register for a free account and enter your personal data to recover your international credit. Next, you select a suitable credit card and request it through the Nova platform. All of this is free because Nova partner companies pay them every time you sign up with them.
Keep in mind that you still have to build your credit in the US, which can take some time. However, Nova makes it easy for you to build credit by allowing you to apply for and open a credit card in the United States. In addition, Nova offers many free educational resources to help you learn how to build credit as an immigrant.
Launched in 2015 by Carlos Armando García, Finhabits was born from the premise that everyone, especially immigrants, should have access to conventional financial services. The app is available in English and Spanish.
Finhabits is an investment platform based on artificial intelligence. Their goal is to help new investors, starting with as little as $5 a week.
To get started, the app guides you through the fundamentals of investing and develops an investment plan based on your preferences and individual situation. You can access your accounts at any time through the Finhabits app, there are no physical branches.
The app itself has an intuitive interface, with easy-to-read charts that show how your investments are doing. You can also easily set custom goals, like saving for an emergency fund, setting aside money for a down payment on a home, or investing for retirement.
Although you pay a commission for investing your money, it is generally lower compared to other applications. At the time of this writing, the app costs $1 per month for accounts under $2,500. If you have more than that, you will be charged 0.05% per year.
If you’re having trouble paying bills or managing your money in the face of adversity, some government programs can help.
However, it can be difficult to figure out what’s out there, let alone navigating the bureaucratic processes of Medicaid, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or obtaining an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
Propel is a technology company that creates apps to help low-income families manage their finances and benefits. Right now, they are focusing on helping people budget for their SNAP benefits through their Fresh EBT app . This free app helps you instantly check your balance and clip coupons to make your SNAP money go further.
Wondering if you can qualify for the SNAP program? You can find more information on the US government website about which non-citizens are eligible to participate in the program.
MoneyLion is an innovative financial app that includes online banking services and cash back rewards along with a host of other products. It is designed for people who traditionally do not use many financial services beyond the basics.
Get started with a free MoneyLion account, which gives you a checking account that doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees. It also includes an investment account. This account gives you the opportunity to obtain cash advances of up to 250 dollars at 0% APR , although there are some requirements that you must meet.
One of the biggest benefits of being a MoneyLion member is access to their credit building loans, which are helpful if you’re looking to build credit as a newcomer. This loan, up to $1,000, does not require a credit check and instead reports regularly to all three credit bureaus, helping to build your credit with prompt payments.
Once approved, you’ll get immediate access to some or all of the money with your linked account. First, you’ll need to sign up for the Credit Builder Plus program , which costs €19.99 per month.
Treasury Free File
Although not technically an app, the IRS Free File program is an important resource to know about if you can’t afford traditional tax preparation services.
Free File is a partnership between private tax preparation software companies and the IRS so that those who qualify can file their taxes online for free.
You can access the program in January of each year . To qualify for the program, your gross income must be $72,000 or less. If you don’t have a Social Security number or don’t qualify for one, you can still use IRS Free File to file your taxes with an ITIN , or individual taxpayer identification number.