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Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Old Apr 17th 2014, 3:13 pm
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Default Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Hi all

I read the wiki about obtaining a bank account in the US.

My wife and I are moving over on an L1 visa in 3 weeks and will have an apartment for two months before we find our own place.

We won't have any proof of address there apart from receipt of payment for the apartment.

Will it be required or would we have to wait for a bill or something?
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

you'll have your lease agreement for the apartment - that should be enough
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
you'll have your lease agreement for the apartment - that should be enough
It is just a place for 2 months though so a lease isn't involved. It is using airbnb.com
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Easiest way is to send yourself a card.

That's US postal service and good enough proof but can also be used to get a library card.

Library card is proof enough of residence for most things.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

I was able to open my first US bank account using my workplace address and some proof that I worked there (letter from my employer).

The rules are stricter now but it may be worth a try if you're running into obstacles.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by delbitter View Post
Hi all

I read the wiki about obtaining a bank account in the US.

My wife and I are moving over on an L1 visa in 3 weeks and will have an apartment for two months before we find our own place.

We won't have any proof of address there apart from receipt of payment for the apartment.

Will it be required or would we have to wait for a bill or something?
I was in a similar position when I first moved to the USA, I had a serviced apartment/corporate housing and therefore no utility bills or anything in my name - not even the lease.

I went to Bank Of America and they didn't seem too fussed about proof of address and opened an account using the apartment address. You will need your passport however.

I would get cracking on your credit score as soon as you arrive, go get your SSN and a secured credit card. Next step, log on to Credit Karma and keep an eye on things. Good luck!
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by AndFinally View Post
I was in a similar position when I first moved to the USA, I had a serviced apartment/corporate housing and therefore no utility bills or anything in my name - not even the lease.

I went to Bank Of America and they didn't seem too fussed about proof of address and opened an account using the apartment address. You will need your passport however.

I would get cracking on your credit score as soon as you arrive, go get your SSN and a secured credit card. Next step, log on to Credit Karma and keep an eye on things. Good luck!
Good tip re credit karma! I have been in the US around a year now. Here's a screen grab from my report. I have no idea how I have obtained a score of 750.

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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post
Good tip re credit karma! I have been in the US around a year now. Here's a screen grab from my report. I have no idea how I have obtained a score of 750.
My out of the box score was 729 with just one month of a secured credit card history so I was really surprised at that. My girlfriend who is a USC has a credit score of 780 so she was also surprised.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

The score is worthless.

It's the history that counts for the first couple of years.

As to the comment about getting SSN straight off. I'd give it 10 days after arrival before doing that. Plenty of threads on why.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
The score is worthless.

It's the history that counts for the first couple of years.

As to the comment about getting SSN straight off. I'd give it 10 days after arrival before doing that. Plenty of threads on why.
If the score is worthless then why do these services bother?

As for the SSN, first thing I did when I arrived on my L1 was nip down to 123 William Street and apply. I didn't have any issues and I got my card a week later.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
The score is worthless.
I'm still coming up to speed with the US credit market, but in the UK this observation is absolutely bang on. Too many people get hung up on their 'credit score', yet no such thing exists in the UK. Each lender has their own set screening algorithms.

However, the US does seem obsessed by their FICO score. I was under the impression this number actually meant something, unlike in the UK.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by AndFinally View Post
If the score is worthless then why do these services bother?
I can't speak to the American market, but in the UK they bother because people sign up and pay £10-15pcm to receive these silly scores.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by AndFinally View Post
If the score is worthless then why do these services bother?

As for the SSN, first thing I did when I arrived on my L1 was nip down to 123 William Street and apply. I didn't have any issues and I got my card a week later.
Because you have no history, who ever looks at it won't bother give any credence to the score.

It's all about the history for a few years.

It's why people recommend the AmEx global transfer because it gives you actual history.

And on the SSN front. Good for you.

It's still not good advice considering not having it 10 days isn't really going to make any difference, but not having it 6-8 weeks can be. Which is the issue that can easily happen when they go to verify you and you're not in the SAVE system yet, which can take up to 10 days to filter down to them. Means you're manually verified and that takes ages.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post

However, the US does seem obsessed by their FICO score. I was under the impression this number actually meant something, unlike in the UK.
It does. It's a quick snap shot into your worthiness.

But unless you've got a few years history, it's discounted.

It's why someone that's been here 6 months and gets a 750 score off the bat might still have a hell of a time getting a credit card or mortgage.

Bad history or score is better than no history.

Yes, it's dumb, but there you go.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Bank account question. Proof of address an issue

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
It does. It's a quick snap shot into your worthiness.

But unless you've got a few years history, it's discounted.

It's why someone that's been here 6 months and gets a 750 score off the bat might still have a hell of a time getting a credit card or mortgage.
Yep, I can attest to that. I have had to put in call to bank underwriters directly to ensure some of my credit cards were approved (though that was within the first couple of months of living in the US). Banks i've spoken to require 20% deposit as well, as I have under 2 years credit history.
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