Borrowing money as a foreigner

My wife and I have been here for two years. She and our two Children are Taiwan ID holders and I hold a spousal ARC. My wife does not work, and now she wants to start her own business. She cannot get one without proof of income, and for some reason my income cannot be considered for a loan for her. I have been told by several banks that I cannot get a loan because I am only a Spousal ARC holder. The reason the banks gave us was that banks cannot enforce the local banking laws on a foreigner if one defaults on a loan.

Stranger still, we just filed a joint tax return for the second time. Does anyone have any advice as to how I can get a loan from a bank using my income? Or better still, is there a way for my wife to apply using household income as proof of income? Has anyone ever been successful getting a loan from a bank in Taiwan?

Also: If someone got a loan, was the interest rate so high that it kept them from actually taking the loan?

If you have any collateral, such as a home, then you should be able to qualify for a loan.

If you have no home, you’d probably need a co-signer, just as you would in the US…or someone who will guarantee the debt will be repaid.

The days when banks will let you borrow money, with nothing but a hope on your end, are long gone.

But get someone to co-sign/guarantee, or try moving to mid-south Taiwan…where you can rent a home and run a business through there.

But using loan money, to start a business…always not a good idea.

Better to think small, and go from there…as if you have no surefire customer base to begin with, then you’re just playing with fire.

Also, if your wife has family, willing to offer their home as collateral, banks will go for that as well.

Last option, is loan sharks/private guys…but that’s just stupid, you can see them in most places, but interest rates are double digit, and if you dont’ pay, prepare to have a horde of guys on scooters/blacked out BMW’s harassing you at home/work/school.

You’re kind of missing the point. He’d already qualify, if not for the fact that he was a foreigner. I’ve been in the same position myself. I make a pretty good income but my lack of citizenship precluded me from getting even a small loan. It’s frustrating, egulotty, but you’re going to have to find a workaround. No bank will lend you money. :idunno:

Hi there,
Show the following link to your wife as I can not find the relevent info. in English on BOT website. … loan12.htm
Then pay a visit or phone to any BOT branch to see if you are qualified.

If it’s your wife who does not work at the moment but wants to get a loan, then there are a number of similar products in the market like this…just do some research! … 4&ccid=228

My wife is currently unemployed, and I was able to procure a bank loan under my own name. It can be done.

What bank did you get it from?
Is it ok to ask how much you got and at what rate?

Also, you might try smaller banks, such as Union Bank, Taichung, or other non big name banks.

They’re a bit more forgiving, and a bit more personal, and might be willing to offer something.

Did you also consider, a personal loan, at a bank in your home country?

A few friends went that route, as long as you have a good FICA score, you should be alright, if you’re an American.

Otherwise, hit up local town/county banks.

I think we got our mortgage based on my income, I’m JFV ARC. Wife worked but hadn’t any taxable income that year. My salary statement sufficed.

We had no trouble. They might be pickier these days, I don’t know. Local bank, not one of the big 'uns.


Pablito is right, though. Don’t go into debt to start a business, especially if it’s your wife’s first time. Figure out a way to start it on your pocketmoney and see if it works.

Yeah, agreed. It’s one of the ‘myths’ of starting a business put around by banks in the West that you fund your startup capital from a loan, and pretty risky if you end up with a poor business or a poor market.


First of all, what kind of business does you wife want to start?

Has she done the math, ran the numbers and it looks good, making sure to account for possible risks and deciding if there’s a market or demand for the products that she intend to offer? If not can she create a demand?

How much does she need to start off, is it possible for her to start small with what she have or maybe save up a little bit, or even selling assets (such as stocks or bonds) and then start small and see how it goes?

Last thing you want is to go into debt and your business failing on you. It’s like playing poker at Las Vegas!

DO NOT ever borrow from a loan shark, the interests makes credit card look cheap and you will be harassed, or possibly injured or murdered by gangsters if you don’t pay.

In general banks in Taiwan doesn’t just give a loan just because you want it. You actually need to prove that you are willing and able to pay it back. Even getting a credit card is a little more difficult than in the West.

The Taiwan Small and Medium Business Bank has quite a good English site. Here is a page listing their loans available to help start-ups. I have never used this bank or tried to get a loan, I was just reading up some information from my accountants, who use this bank. It just seems to have potential as a more loan-friendly bank.

I recall a class where I “gave” the students 1 million NT to start a business. The goal was to have an entrepreneur style conversation. After several different classes of this query I discovered:

  1. A breakfast shop
  2. A shoe store
  3. A clothing night market stand

As you can see, new business people really have no clue about making a profit. Borrowing money to start a business is ALWAYS a bad idea. Would you loan me money to start a business? Doubtful. If it were me, I would want some collateral, wouldn’t you? Do it without collateral or even with, the lender is going to loose his ass.
My suggestion is to start the business on your own money. Start small and prove to yourself and others that this is a good idea. After your a proven comodity, banks will be asking you to borrow money from them.