In the “Ask the Expert” portion of an article ranking best credit cards without a social security number requirement for WalletHub, Francine J. Lipman, a professor of law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law defended unauthorized immigrants access to U.S credit cards.
Most major credit card companies will approve people for a credit card without a social security number, requiring an Individual Taxpayer Identification number instead. Others will approve credit cards with just a passport and a secondary form of identification or proof of income.
These credit cards allow those without a social security number to build credit, like international students and immigrants or those who might want to apply for a credit card without disclosing their social security number.
Still, other credit card issuers will not approve those without a social security number.
Lipman wrote that people without a social security number typically have no credit but argues that because many credit card companies do not ask for social security number that those without one should build their credit.
“Credit cards are about credit, not immigration status,” wrote Lipman in a Q&A. “Many of these individuals are seeking asylum, which is a legal process that under our current immigration system is extremely time consuming, expensive, and riddled with barriers that may not be constitutional.”
She argues that immigration status is not relevant to credit matters and noted that credit card companies do not inquire about other matters outside of income and assets or other credit issues.
“Do credit card companies ask about history of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual harassment, memberships in recognized hate groups, such as the KKK, neo-Nazis, etc.?” wrote Lipman.