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How can a DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) student receive aid for college?

Eugene, OR |


My fiance has qualified for DACA and has plans to start college. While his family crossed over illegally when he was very young, he was given a social security card before he began elementary school that says "Not Valid for Work." We are told this is still his SSN and he will keep it for work eligibility. I know he cannot qualify for FAFSA, but can he still qualify for a private loan from a bank, perhaps with a cosigner? Are there any known DACA-friendly banks? He currently has a checking account at a credit union with no issues.

Thank you!

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Attorney answers 2


Yes, depending on the bank's policies, he can qualify for a loan, that is, there is no federal or state law of which I am aware that prohibits a bank from lending to an undocumented individual. A co-signer will surely help. He may also be eligible for private school or foundation scholarships. The credit union would be a good place to look first.



Thank you for your help. We actually have not yet found a single bank that doesn't have "Be a US citizen, permanent resident or international student with a Social Security number" as an eligibility requirement. So if there are any known specific banks that don't require this, that is what we are needing to find. Some allow undocumented students if there is a US cosigner, but obviously if he is not documented, the rest of his family isn't either.


Through his DACA approval he would receive an employment authorization card which he can use to obtain a new Social Security card which won't read "Not Valid for Work". His number will be the same, but he can get a new card. Aside from that issue, I agree with my colleague - the requirements vary by bank or by loan, but it's possible that the actual requirement is that he be "lawfully present in the United States". What "lawfully present" means is actually somewhat complicated, but in some contexts, deferred action is included. I suggest obtaining his new Social Security card once he is approved for DACA, and if the problem persists, contacting an attorney at that time. I have attached a link you may find useful. Good luck! - 312.641.0771 - The information above is general in nature and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between us. It is intended simply as background material, is current only as of its indicated date, and may not include important details and special rules that could be applicable to your case. You should consult an attorney directly before acting or refraining from action.

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