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know your money

Personal loans & Refinance

Your new job means more money, so it's important to manage it right!


  • Understand how personal loans can be used to offset some of the high costs of moving

  • Learn about different types of accounts (checking, savings, money accounts)

  • Learn more about credit cards and credit card rewards

  • Learn about companies that offer loans to immigrants, like Stilt

Are you fiscally fit? Starting a new job in a new place provides you with both challenges and opportunities. Make sure that you manage your money effectively, whether that means getting a low interest personal loan or student loan refinance, opening a new account, cashing in on credit card rewards, or investing for the future.

We're here to share with you some of the basics of cash management in the United States. And while you're at it, take advantage of some of the best welcome bonuses out there!

Personal Loans 

Starting a new job and possibly moving to a new place after you are approved for your H-1B job can be surprisingly expensive in the short-term. Your costs can add up quickly: apartment or home, car, furniture, movers, new work clothing, and a wave of new expenses that come up all at once. To manage their finances, people commonly search for the right type of financial instrument to fit their needs. ​One option that may help you to manage this influx of expenses is a personal loan, of which there are two types: unsecured and secured.

The difference between these two loan types is based on collateral, or something that is put against the loan like a home, car, or bank account. As you may imagine, a secured loan is viewed as less risky for lenders than an unsecured loan since the lender can take an asset if the loan goes into default. Many persons within the U.S. on an unsecured visa, however, do not have considerable assets within the U.S. to apply for a secured loan. So what is an unsecured loan?

Simply, an unsecured loan is one that is not backed by collateral, or a tangible asset. From the perspective of interest rates, one of the higher cost types of personal loans is credit card debt. With a credit card, you are basically approved for a certain amount of revolving debt. When it's paid back, you essentially borrow again. But credit cards tend to have high interest rates, so the cost of the loan may be very high. 

As a result, many people formally apply for unsecured personal loans to cover all kinds of things like paying off credit card debts, vehicle expenses, or even moving. In many cases, these loans are for relatively small amounts such as $10 to $50 thousand dollars. Benefits of unsecured loans can include:

  • Rapid approval (sometimes even the same day)

  • Fixed rates

  • They are not backed by collateral

Keeping in mind that all loans have risk, there are many ways to apply for a personal loan if you decide that this is a good option for you. They are often offered by credit unions, banks, peer-to-peer lending, and other financial institutions.  For certain types of loans, such as student loans, refinancing can occur when you replace an existing loan, ideally with a new one with lower interest rates.  Borrowers may want to refinance their student loans if interest rates have gone down or if their credit has improved since the last time they took out a loan.

Companies in the U.S. that offer personal loans and/or student loan refinancing


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