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Bank of America

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I know this isn't NEW news. I had heard it awhile ago, but just found the article on Snopes. What do you think?
http://www.snopes.com/politics/immig...kofamerica.asp
post #2 of 22
I only have 2 points:

1: I would rather a bank give them a card without a SSN opposed to someone thinking they have to steal a SSN to get one. (not saying everyone steals SSNs but just saying)

2: You don't need a SSN number to get a reloadable Visa card. All you need is cash to put on the card and go get one at many stores.

BOA is my bank. I don't have many choices in my small town and I won't change it because of this.
post #3 of 22
I agree that it is better than stealing SSNs but they know these people are illegals. Illegal immigrants need to be deported and becone a legal alien. I don't mind people coming to America for a better life as long as they do it legally. I think BOA should be reprimanded for knowingly issuing illegal credit to illegal aliens.

I mean I have a SSN and have no credit so I can't get a credit card and they are getting them with no SSN. That is not right.

Maybe I should check with BOA about getting a card!
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenomsmom View Post
Maybe I should check with BOA about getting a card!
According to the article, all you need to do is maintain an overdraft free checking account for 3 months.
post #5 of 22
I recently read an article in the Austrian "Die Presse" about this. Some insurance companies also offer third-party and collision insurance to people who don't have state driver's licenses because they are illegal aliens.

Anything to make a buck.
post #6 of 22
As a native-born US citizen, with a legitimate SSN, I resent the hell out of this. I worked VERY hard to heal my credit, finance a car, acquire my cards and qualify for a mortgage.
post #7 of 22
I have seen the original news article (which I will try to find) and it was actually made for people who have a temporary SSN (IE foreign workers who are there legally but have a special SSN to show enployers their status as temporary workers), it just got abused and out of control
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by katl8e View Post
As a native-born US citizen, with a legitimate SSN, I resent the hell out of this. I worked VERY hard to heal my credit, finance a car, acquire my cards and qualify for a mortgage.


When I first heard of this I decided that I simply will not give my business to BOA, and I was thinking about switching to them because of one of their advertised programs. Will it hurt them in the long run? Probably not, but if enough people are like me then it might.
post #9 of 22
Whoa Whoa Whoa...

I just need to bring up this point from the article:

Quote:
While it is not strictly true that Bank of America is offering to establish credit for "illegal aliens"...
OK so what about the immigrants with GREEN CARD status? They do not have a social security number. My sister in law is legally here from Belgium. She is not a US citizen (yet) but has had green card status for the past 10 years. She does not have a social security number.

Her biggest complaint since coming into the U.S. concerning credit cards has been "The U.S. allows an 18 year old with no previous credit history to have a credit card and yet [legal] immigrants who have credit history established in their own country cannot have a credit card because they have to establish credit here first".

It's easy to forget that not every legal immigrant automatically becomes a U.S. citizen.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Whoa Whoa Whoa...

I just need to bring up this point from the article:



OK so what about the immigrants with GREEN CARD status? They do not have a social security number. My sister in law is legally here from Belgium. She is not a US citizen (yet) but has had green card status for the past 10 years. She does not have a social security number.

Her biggest complaint since coming into the U.S. concerning credit cards has been "The U.S. allows an 18 year old with no previous credit history to have a credit card and yet [legal] immigrants who have credit history established in their own country cannot have a credit card because they have to establish credit here first".

It's easy to forget that not every legal immigrant automatically becomes a U.S. citizen.
This confuses me. Has your sister-in-law applied for a social security number? My husband lived in the U.S. as a legal alien for two years, was issued a S.S.# as soon as he found employment, and also had no trouble getting a credit card after maintaining a bank account for three months. Two of my cousins' wives are also long-term legal aliens, and didn't encounter that problem.

I'm a legal alien in Germany (and have been for the past 25 years), and I have a German S.S.#, as I work and pay taxes. My credit card was issued by Visa, and I had no trouble whatsoever "transferring" my U.S. credit history when we moved back here.
post #11 of 22
The security implications of this are astounding.. if they really allow you a credit card with no identification and no SSN, how the are they preventing fraud?
Can I just go to them, get a card under a fake name and address, and charge a bunch of stuff and then walk away? They'd never be able to find me. (And yes, I read the thing about the ITINs but same problem there, they aren't meant to be as secure as SSN and you can get one of those without an ID or anything.

And having been used as a dummy for someone in the business of credit card fraud (they were using my phone number) I can't imagine if you happened to have whatever fake name someone used. I'm not talking about illegal immigrants either, anyone can fake being an illegal immigrant.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
This confuses me. Has your sister-in-law applied for a social security number? My husband lived in the U.S. as a legal alien for two years, was issued a S.S.# as soon as he found employment, and also had no trouble getting a credit card after maintaining a bank account for three months. Two of my cousins' wives are also long-term legal aliens, and didn't encounter that problem.

I'm a legal alien in Germany (and have been for the past 25 years), and I have a German S.S.#, as I work and pay taxes. My credit card was issued by Visa, and I had no trouble whatsoever "transferring" my U.S. credit history when we moved back here.
Perhaps the laws changed between the time your husband was here and the time that she first came over She works in immigration (for 11 years) and always talk about how the laws change on [what seems] a daily basis now and before 9/11.

I'm sure by now she could get a social security #. Actually she just found out that Beglium is going to allow dual citizenship with the U.S....maybe that has something to do with it? I just remember her complaining about it after her and my brother were married.

Did your husband or cousins wives need a cosigner or were they on their own?
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
The security implications of this are astounding.. if they really allow you a credit card with no identification and no SSN, how the are they preventing fraud?
If you read towards the bottom, it talks about the need to have an IRS issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) which is accepted at both Wells Fargo and BOA for mortgages and their credit card program. If they have an IRS issued ID, that means they are working and paying taxes. Homeland Security suggests that this might perpetuate identify theft or money laundering, but at least they do require a federal ID. Which brings up the point, don't just pick on BOA, pick on Wells Fargo.

I guess I don't get why this is a big deal. I don't understand the banking industry in foreign countries but would be interested in doing this: what if I were to request a credit card from a bank in Canada? Would I be rejected because I was not a citizen? What would happen if I wanted to purchase a home in another country and applied for a loan there? Would I be rejected?

I would think that paying back loans with interest is putting money into our economy and that would be a good deal for any financial institution. What does this take away from the average U.S. citizen? That's the part I don't get.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
If you read towards the bottom, it talks about the need to have an IRS issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) which is accepted at both Wells Fargo and BOA for mortgages and their credit card program. If they have an IRS issued ID, that means they are working and paying taxes. Homeland Security suggests that this might perpetuate identify theft or money laundering, but at least they do require a federal ID.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
(And yes, I read the thing about the ITINs but same problem there, they aren't meant to be as secure as SSN and you can get one of those without an ID or anything)
Also, from the IRS website:
Quote:
Are ITINs valid for identification?
No. ITINs are not valid identification outside the tax system. Since ITINs are strictly for tax processing, IRS does not apply the same standards as agencies that provide genuine identity certification.
ITIN applicants are not required to apply in person, and IRS does not further validate the authenticity of identity documents. ITINs do not prove identity outside the tax system, and should not be offered or accepted as identification for non-tax purposes.
http://www.irs.gov/individuals/artic...,00.html#valid
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Interesting, thank you!
post #16 of 22
I used to work for B of A. We had this discussion at some of our team meetings. Here is what I was told.

1. It's legal. Sort of. (Trust me legality has never really bother a large bank in the past)

2. It helps profit. Most people that come to this country and don't have a social security card aren't able to get credit. With this method they can give them low credit lines and high interest rates and fees. The more they pay the more the company makes. Also, if the card charges off then it's not that big of a deal. The line was low to begin with.

3. For a small group that do become citizens they will remember that B of A was the first bank to give them credit and they will do more business with them in the future.

In no way am I defending what B of A is doing. I'm just simply going over what was told to me by upper management.

By the way. B of A was the only job I quit with out notice. I just walked out one night and never went back.
post #17 of 22
Gaston County here in NC recently voted to pull all their banking business from BOA as a result of this. They said the county would not do business with a bank that knowingly allowed illegals to set up accounts.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by katl8e View Post
As a native-born US citizen, with a legitimate SSN, I resent the hell out of this. I worked VERY hard to heal my credit, finance a car, acquire my cards and qualify for a mortgage.
Well said hon.

I USED to use Bank of America...please note that i no longer do. I despise what this bank is doing and will under no circumstances support them with my business. I took my business elsewhere and could not be happier.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Perhaps the laws changed between the time your husband was here and the time that she first came over She works in immigration (for 11 years) and always talk about how the laws change on [what seems] a daily basis now and before 9/11.

I'm sure by now she could get a social security #. Actually she just found out that Beglium is going to allow dual citizenship with the U.S....maybe that has something to do with it? I just remember her complaining about it after her and my brother were married.

Did your husband or cousins wives need a cosigner or were they on their own?
Good point - the laws keep changing. I've found that it's much easier to tap into credit/driving histories now, with global companies and the Internet, but that travel and immigration restrictions have been tightened to the point of being almost ridiculous.

Neither my husband nor my cousins' wives needed co-signers, and I assume that was because they had steady incomes and no overdrawn checking accounts in the U.S..
post #20 of 22
I did pick my brain more and I think perhaps she didn't have a green card when her and my brother were first married. She was still establishing perminant residency. I think I remember her saying some years back that she was able to apply for a credit card, but by then she was use to using her debit card.

The sad truth concerning BOA for me is that I'm not concerned about Credit Cards to people without social security numbers, I'm more concerned with their security flaws: Laptop Theft. We discuss this stuff during class and 90% of these jobs are from the inside...staff "losing" or stealing laptops with vital customer information. At least I'll always be employed
post #21 of 22
gosh, i hadn't heard of this until now. and i was thinking of switching...... i'll have to read more...

this is after on our state news they did a clip about maine being one of 8 states to issue driver's licenses WITHOUT a SSN OR residency requirement..... ugh.
post #22 of 22
What it boils down to is that a corporation is obligated to produce the best possible returns for its shareholders. The corporation is an amoral entity; i.e. it has no morals and ethics inherent within it. The company's actions are ethical and moral only insofar as the leadership sets and follows a code of ethics and morals for the company. So if the leadership of the company sees no ethical or moral problem with a certain course of action, and if it isn't specifically prohibited by law, then they'll undertake to do it if it will make a profit.

If people believe something a corporation does is wrong, then they can take their business away, and they can try to get laws passed. Until then, it's all about making a buck. (Ref - jcat's earlier post)
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