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Building Credit

Building Credit

Old Jan 6th 2015, 3:25 pm
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Default Building Credit

Hi all

I know there are already plenty of threads on here on this topic however I have some fairly specific information.

Basically I am trying to build credit history in the US. I have been working here for about 2 months, I am renting, I have bought a car (and am making insurance payments) and have a checking account.

I have tried and been declined for a few credit cards. One of said credit cards is at BofA where my checking account is held, and on the advice given in-branch I sent off a letter to get the application reviewed and ask them to consider international history. It still got declined, but they did provide me with my credit score, which was 503, and was apparently pulled on 12/1/14.

However, if I try and pull my score from somewhere like creditkarma, it is unable to locate any record ("thin file").

So, 503 seems reasonably good for a new arrival, what of the current things I'm doing are likely to be increasing this, and is it likely to keep increasing if I do nothing? Or am I still best going and getting a secured credit card.

And why did BofA report the score, but I can't obtain it from anywhere else? I suppose my thinking is if it was 503 a month ago it may well have increased further by now.

Thanks
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

If you get a secured credit card, the Harley-Davidson Visa secured credit card has no annual fee and reports to all three credit bureaus.

Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

thanks, yeah have seen that, looks good

is there any advantage to getting a secured card with the same bank I have my checking acc with?
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

Good old AIG Inbound expat assistance got us a credit card with a lowish limit ($3K?) and a reasonable interest rate - we used it for petrol/shopping and paid off monthly but that quickly helped with credit score. A friend got a secured card with Wells Fargo which helped them - you might ask BofA about that.
6 months into our relocation here and we applied for (and got) a mortgage. The guy recommended 4 lines of credit to build up credit score. So, we had a car payment, a credit card and a mortgage. A year into our move and we've applied for a couple more credit cards to get airmiles and been accepted with good interest rates.
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

Try getting a store card like from Macy's or the like. The credit limit will be low, like $2-300 but it can get you started. I found that about 6 months after I got my Macy's card, I started getting solicitations from the dodgier end of the "repair your credit" credit card market, but a couple of months after that I got some from more reputable ones, and ended up with a Capital One card.
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

Originally Posted by yogibear14 View Post
is there any advantage to getting a secured card with the same bank I have my checking acc with?
Probably not. Use the credit card at least once per month so that your history will be reported to the credit bureaus.

A way to build up credit history fast is to become an authorized user on someone else's credit card even if you don't have possession or even know the number of the credit card and aren't liable for the charges but your credit history tanks if they don't make timely payments. When that is done, the past and future credit history of that card becomes your credit history. Since 2008, FICO stopped credit repair services from using that technique by putting thousands of people with poor credit on one card with a very good credit history. Don't know what algorithm FICO used to stop that practice but it still works for at least close relatives (suspect FICO just limits the number of authorized users).

Last edited by Michael; Jan 6th 2015 at 4:45 pm.
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
Try getting a store card like from Macy's or the like. The credit limit will be low, like $2-300 but it can get you started. I found that about 6 months after I got my Macy's card, I started getting solicitations from the dodgier end of the "repair your credit" credit card market, but a couple of months after that I got some from more reputable ones, and ended up with a Capital One card.
Store cards probably only work if you use them fairly frequently though right?

I doubt I'd use a Macy's or any retail card frequently enough, I do most of my shopping online. Perhaps a supermarket or fuel card but I don't think these build credit history?

What about Amazon? I would certainly use that frequently

Last edited by yogibear14; Jan 6th 2015 at 5:22 pm.
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

Originally Posted by yogibear14 View Post
Store cards probably only work if you use them fairly frequently though right?

I doubt I'd use a Macy's or any retail card frequently enough, I do most of my shopping online. Perhaps a supermarket or fuel card but I don't think these build credit history?

What about Amazon? I would certainly use that frequently
TBH i used mine a couple of times back when I first got it and not at all after I got a "real" CC.
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

I applied for a secured credit card with Capitol One, and despite having one of their credit cards for 20 odd years in the UK, I was still declined LOL. Ended up with a secured credit card with my bank, WF. I stick my gas on it each month and pay off in full on pay day. I've had it 3 months and my credit rating has gone from non existent to 700 and something and shows as good on Credit Karma.
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

Originally Posted by markonline1 View Post
I applied for a secured credit card with Capitol One, and despite having one of their credit cards for 20 odd years in the UK, I was still declined LOL. Ended up with a secured credit card with my bank, WF. I stick my gas on it each month and pay off in full on pay day. I've had it 3 months and my credit rating has gone from non existent to 700 and something and shows as good on Credit Karma.
Yes Barclaycard have a US section now and despite me having had current accounts and credit with Barclays UK for years they said that was irrelevant

Seems like a plan then. Thanks.
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

This question isn't really any different to all the others asking about building up credit. The wiki, really is a good starting point.

And just ignore the score because it's pretty meaningless without actual history, which you won't see anything of really for at least 6 months and not much of any worth till a year mark.
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 5:05 am
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Default Re: Building Credit

I've been in the US years and the local Kroger supermarket still declines me for their credit card ( I only apply because it's 10 cents off gas ) 3 times now- insufficient credit history.

Yet I had a 732 credit score last time I checked.

That's what I say- much of this stuff is BS. Be careful, don't take on high-priced credit just because it might boost your credit score. I overpaid for a car that way, and it didn't make any difference.

Also- do you really need credit? I never borrow anything any more, and my last bit of a mortgage is about to be paid. My last car I paid cash.

We get so brainwashed into servicing debt.
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 5:51 am
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Discover gave my OH a credit card no questions asked. 9 months in and he has a very good credit rating (second from top rank according to the girl in T-mobile).
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 1:31 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

Originally Posted by OnwardandUpward View Post

Also- do you really need credit?
Most people do. You need the history to get utilities, rent an apartment/car, insurance rates and in some instances to get a job.
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit

We had problems getting store cards - tried three before giving up and damaging the score even more. That was 6-12 months after entry. We did eventually get a Kohl's card because of the discounts but that has a $25 late payment penalty and no way to pay early or automatically, so we've been dinged a couple of times. Somewhat defeated the object of the discounts, especially as you seem to be able to get 10% just by asking nicely!
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