“What is your social security number?”
You must have heard this question a lot coming here as an International Student. You almost need it any time you are applying for something.

Opening a bank account? They’ll ask your Social Security.

Getting a Driver’s License? They’ll ask your Social Security.

Getting a cell phone plan? They’ll ask your Social Security.

Applying for a job? They’ll DEFINETELY ask your Social Security.

So what is a Social Security number and how do you get one?

A Social Security number is intended to accurately record your earnings in the United States. But in reality, it has multiple uses such as determining your credit worthiness to a loan provider, getting great car loan rates and of course, getting a job.

To obtain a social security number, you need to apply for a social security card at the Social Security Administration office.

To obtain the card, you will need a letter from your employer on an official letterhead that indicates:

(1) your job title
(2) a brief description of your job
(3) your start date
(4) your salary or wage

Bring that letter with you to your school’s International Student office so that they may provide you with further information about Social Security. You will then need to report to the main Social Security Administration office to complete the process. Locate the Social Security office that serves your area.

Here is also another link to the Social Security Administration’s official Web Site where you will find additional information on social security eligibility.

Note: You can only get a social security card for work purposes. The social security administration will not give out social security cards for any other reason.


Since you need to have a job offer in order to get a social security number, the best thing for you is to start hunting for one now. Don’t worry about what kind of job you get! Even a job that only takes two hours a week will qualify you for a social security number.

So what are the benefits of getting a social security number? It will allow you to start building your credit worthiness; good credit means that you will have access to great loan offers, for example when you apply for a credit card or a car loan.

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