Paying for your DACA Renewal

Paying for your DACA Renewal

Are worried about paying for your DACA renewal? You’re in luck, because United we Dream has tools and information available to help you. Your DACA team at the United We Dream Network is here to help and connect you to the resources you need to make sure you are ready and have the money you need to apply.

The DACA renewal fee is $495.

Yup, that’s right same as the original DACA application, it includes the work permit and the biometrics.  Plus the additional costs if you choose to apply with a lawyer or legal service organization. That can add up! I know that’s a lot of money for my family, probably for you too. But like you, I know its worth it, and that we need to find a way.

You need to make a plan to get the money together so that you can apply on time within your ideal application zone. You don’t want to delay applying because you don’t have the money. Don’t let that happen!

You need to get together $495 by the date when you need to apply. How do you get there? You may not have to pay the whole thing out of pocket, there are different ways you can get together the money you need. Its important that know all your options.

Get to know all your options to get the money you need! To get together the whole $495 you can:

  • Save up for your DACA fees
  • Fundraise
  • Borrow money
  • Apply for a USCIS fee exemption


 Save up for DACA Fees

To get the money you need to apply, you’re going to need to start saving some money. Do you know what to do? We’re all strapped for money, and saving money can be a hard, especially when you may not have much experience.

How do you get there? Saving money doesn’t just happen, you need to make a plan!

Follow these steps and tips to create your DACA Renewal Savings Plan: Here are some saving tips.



Fundraise for your DACA fees

  • Raise money from your community! Our community is powerful and always has our back, all we have to do is ask.
  • Fundraise online: set up a account.
  • Organize a bake sale, a car wash, get creative! Here are some FUN-raising ideas.


Borrow Money for your DACA fees:

  • To get the money you need to apply for DACA you can also borrow the money you need.
  • There is a way for you to get the help you need to pay for your DACA and build your credit history at the same time. How?  You can take out a loan and borrow money to pay the fee.
  • Check out these great resources, loans, and lending circles below.
  • The Basics:
    • What is a Loan?  You can take out a loan for the fee ($495). A loan is an arrangement in which a lender such as a bank, credit union, or other financial institution lets you borrow money for a specific amount. You, as the borrower then agree to pay back the amount of money that you borrowed. You must apply for a loan. There is a set schedule for you to make the loan payments back to the lender with interest. Each loan is very different – many loans have very high interest, always be careful when taking out a loan! Below are some good options.
    • What is interest? Most times that you borrow money you must pay back your loaned amount plus the interest on the loan. The “interest” on the loan is the percent charged, or paid, for the use of money. For example, if you get a loan that has an 8% interest rate, you will need to pay back the amount you borrowed ($495 for DACA) plus 8% of this amount ($37.20), so you would have to pay back $502.20, paying back more money than you originally borrowed. Each loan is very different – many loans have very high interest, always be careful when taking out a loan!
    • “Dreamer or DACA Loans”- Many credit unions or banks offer specific “DACA loans” or “Dreamer Loans” of $495 to help DACA applicants pay for DACA fees. If you are approved, these lenders will give you a check made out to USCIS that you can include in your application packet when you mail in your DACA application. You then will pay back the credit union or bank back in parts. Below is a list of DACA loans.
    • Check out our growing list of “DACA Loans” here.
  • Finding a Loan:
    • Credit Unions:
    • If you’re looking for a loan, a credit union is a good place to start. Credit unions are like banks, but unlike traditional banks they typically often offer better interest rates on loans than traditional banks, and some are committed to helping our community.  Below is a list of credit unions that offer DACA loans.
    • Search for a credit union in your area here.

NYC DREAMer Loan FundNew York, NY. A loan fund for New York City residents, supported by donors, foundations and local credit unions.

Dreamer Loan at Self-Help Federal Credit UnionSan Francisco, CA; the Central Valley, CA; and Chicago, IL. The Self Help Federal Credit Union offers a one year loan at locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley; and Chicago, IL.

DREAMer Loan Program at Pacoima Credit UnionLos Angeles County, CA. A loan program for LA County residents who become members of the Pacoima Development Federal Credit Union.

DREAMer Deferred Action loan at Family Federal Credit UnionWilmington, CA. A loan program for California residents who become members of the Family Federal Credit Union.

Guadalupe Credit UnionNew Mexico. Guadalupe Credit Union offers small life-events loans to members who live in New Mexico.

Dreamer Loan at Cooperativa Latino Credit UnionNorth Carolina. CLCU offers loans to help Dreamers pay DACA fees.

Dreamer Loan at Innovative ChangesPortland, OR. Offers installment loans to help Dreamers pay DACA fees.

Dreamer Loan at Fitzsimons Credit UnionAurora, CO. Fitzsimons Credit Union offers a DREAMer Loan to cover the costs of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application.


DACA Lending Circles:

“Lending Circles” are a community based and unique form of social loan where a group of people come together to pool their money, and then take turns receiving the loan payment. Lending circles are zero-interest and zero-fee. Many non-profits are organizing lending circles of dreamers. Find out more about  lending circles and find one near you here.

Dreamer Lending Circles at Progress 21Seattle, WA. Progress21 organizes lending circles of Dreamers to help pay for DACA fees. They advance the funds, and dreamers pay it back monthly while building their personal credit history. Lending circles are interest free.



USCIS Fee Exemptions for DACA fees:

  • USCIS gives out fee exemptions to cover the $495 DACA fee to a very small number of people in certain specific situations. A fee exemption is when the government’s excuses you from paying the fee.
  • A DACA applicant must request a fee exemption from USCIS before applying for DACA
  • Click here for Own the Dream’s  full “Fee Exemption Guide” and for more info on how to find out if you qualify for a fee exemption and how to request one.
  • Remember: only a very small number of people are able to get a fee exemption, so don’t count on you getting one to pay for your DACA, you must save up money or borrow money as well.
  • Who qualifies? You may qualify if your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level AND:
    • You are under 18 AND homeless, in foster care, or you don’t have family support; or
    • You cannot care for yourself because you suffer from a serious chronic disability; or
    • You are at least $10,000 in debt because of medical expenses from the last year for you or someone in your immediate family.