Illegal immigration status has run rampant in the news media. There are political pundits who argue for illegal immigrants’ expulsion from the U.S., and others who argue that they are people with families; should a parent really be separated from their child?
Whatever your stance on the issue, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: taking care of house and family requires certain amenities, including a solid homeowners insurance package, if only for peace of mind.
If your immigration status is what could be considered as illegal, you’re probably having a tough time finding benefits for you and your family. With the current crackdown on undocumented immigration, it’s probably scary to just compare homeowners insurance quotes online; could big brother be watching?
This whole introduction might already seem unimportant: could an undocumented immigrant even purchase a home on U.S. soil?
For the answer to that question, you’ll have to read on.
Buying Home Under Undocumented Status
Here is the answer to the above question: you can buy and own property in the United States even if your immigration status is marked as ‘other.’ According to SelfLender, all an undocumented immigrant needs to qualify for a home mortgage is a taxpayer identification number or ITIN.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns ITINs to all taxpayers, irrespective of the individual’s residential status. Now, you might find this information disturbing. Won’t the IRS share your immigration status information with immigration authorities? The answer to this question is no. “An illegal immigrant with a job can safely pay his or her taxes—and thus receive the vital ITIN—without fear of deportation."
Your ITIN serves as a substitute for the Social Security Number that you would have as an American citizen. If you seek to purchase a house, the ITIN will help you qualify for a home loan, but just remember, you’ll also need other forms of verification for the mortgage lender, including proof of income and a credit check. You’ll also need to be able to put down at least 20 percent of the cost of the house. As an undocumented immigrant, you may be asked to put down a higher percentage as your immigration status will be counted as a risk.
If there’s any risk that you’ll be unable to make your mortgage payments, your down payment will be higher so as to prove you are good for the cost of your home.
If you take out a mortgage, one of the conditions of the mortgage will be to get a homeowners insurance policy. A homeowners insurance policy guarantees the mortgage lender that if something were to happen to the house, such as structural damage, you would have the financial means to make repairs.
Finding a homeowners insurance package will be more difficult, as insurance companies do not generally protect undocumented immigrants. The mortgage company you take a loan with may have a relationship with an insurance company that accepts undocumented clients. Discuss this with your home mortgage lender before making any permanent decisions.
Once you’re able, compare homeowners insurance quotes with CoverHound to make sure you’re getting a good deal!