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Building Credit For A New Arrival

Building Credit For A New Arrival

Old Jul 28th 2020, 10:37 pm
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Default Building Credit For A New Arrival

I have family moving over here in about one or two months. They have Visa’s approved in the past week or two, are essential workers and have been asked to get over here as soon was they can so no need to go into whether they should or should not be traveling at this time, and whether they will be allowed in. In any case I can't comment on their personal details any more than that. They will be here for an indefinite period of time but at least several years. My question is what is the best way for them to build up a credit score.

I moved here more than 20 years ago so its been a while since I had this challenge. I recall that transferring an American Express credit card from the UK to the US helped but for some reason I think that is not as effective anymore. I also wondered if I added them as an authorized user to my credit cards if that would help their credit score, that used to work but not sure if it still does. I could probably act as a guarantor for them but would rather not do that unless I have to. They don’t have an immediate need for credit but life will be easier for them if they can build up a credit history and score sooner than later. They will have SSNs.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old Jul 28th 2020, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

If they have an Amex card in the UK it can still be used to open a US-based Amex card - but from what I understand it doesn't lead to the account history being imported i.e. it gets you a foot on the ladder, but if you have had your Amex card in the UK since July 2012, if you arrive in the US in July 2020 and swap your Amex card your credit history will show a start date of July 2020, not July 2012.

If they need a vehicle, get one pre-ordered through International Autosource - it will get them an installment loan on their credit history immediately they collect their car.
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Old Jul 29th 2020, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Adding people as an AU will help in terms of score, but many credit card issuers have wised up to this as a strategy and actively discount AU accounts when making credit decisions now.

Other than the Amex, and going through IA to get a car, theirs little that can be done in advance.
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Old Jul 29th 2020, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Hi GG..
credit cards -
there are some US cards that you can open before you arrive- creditstacks is one option but may depend on their specific visa. We are asked to recommend this option to our clients if they ask since it seems to be a good one. Will report to creditbureaux once you send in the SSN.
Wells Fargo and Bof A will both approve non-secured cards if you open a checking account with them. I think B of A will do it without checking account but you might have to push this with them. You can apply before you get the SSN which might be important because at the mo I know my Austin SS offices are closed except for dire emergencies.
Cars - IAS is an option but a bit pricier. Mazda/VW Audi will both approve leases for new arrivals but check about SSN requirement. They will also approve loans for their certified used cars.
SSN applications are a nightmare right now. Each individual office across the country has different policies and the best thing is to call the nearest ones and see if any of them will do an application for new ssn. Tell them NOT to send in the documents via mail because you will be up shitcreek if they lose them.


oh yes - one more thing. If they're coming to TX then tell them to make their DPS appointment right now for driver's licenses. Wait times are into December/Jan in most places. They need just their email address and use "1234" instead of SSN.

Last edited by petitefrancaise; Jul 29th 2020 at 1:24 pm.
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Old Jul 29th 2020, 2:02 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Thanks everyone, all helpful information.
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Old Jul 29th 2020, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

HSBC will also open you an account and maybe a CC before you arrive without an SSN. As long as you count as Advance or Premier in your relationship with then. I opened a UK account a few months before I moved with £50 so I could have accounts in both countries (although, I was introduced to them via my company as it was an L1 move).
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Can confirm that for Amex your UK card only makes getting a U.S. card easier, you are not transferring your UK card and its history to the U.S. In fact, you keep your UK card too, unless you close it, which we didn't. Then it takes two payment cycles before you get any credit for your U.S. Amex card for your FICO score with the credit agencies, as Amex doesn't report it until after two payment cycles. In the meantime you will have an Amex search lodged on your U.S. credit file so if anything there is a small negative impact for FICO before you get any credit in the U.S. for your new U.S. Amex card. We ended up also getting a secured credit card with BoA which counts as a full credit card for FICO purposes. It was quick and easy and we don't need the credit, just the card to build up credit history.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

We ended up getting a secured credit card with BoA which counts as a full credit card for FICO purposes.
You need 3 revolving trade lines (note I did not say credit cards, a checking line of credit will work too as long as it reports) and a single installment loan for maximum FICO scoring.

Anything below that you're leaving points on the table.

Let between 1-9% balance of a single card report too, this generates the most usage points and eliminates the 'all at zero/not using revolving credit' penalty.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

If you want to see how FICO is calculated - this is a good overview. Lot's of different things go into it -> https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-e...credit-scores/
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

I am moving to the USA in 20 days and have managed to get a credit card for me and my wife for a fairly high value. I got a UK HSBC current and credit account about October last year and then Applied for a USA checking account last month through the international account opening team. The opened a USA checking account and sent it to me in the Uk. I opened a USA credit card at the same time and it was for the same value as my Uk card.

all the cards have been sent to me in the Uk and I have started using them (more to check they worked) but it will give them a good head start on building credit when they arrive... hopefully it has for us!

Last edited by Burg3r; Jul 30th 2020 at 4:34 pm.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Originally Posted by LegalEagleTX View Post
If you want to see how FICO is calculated - this is a good overview. Lot's of different things go into it -> https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-e...credit-scores/
Forget this link, it's all standard crap that doesn't tell you anything.

Try this excellent thread from MyFICO.com. I have been a member over there for several years and my score has gone from 620 to 804 with a fully versed understanding of what helps, what hurts, and how to move forward. This information has been confirmed by members that run tests based on their own credit, so is community generated and very accurate:

https://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Und...0/td-p/6023348
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Forget this link, it's all standard crap that doesn't tell you anything.
Strange, there is nothing inconsistent between your link and the link I posted. Both tell you the mix of factors that go into your FICO report and how you can improve it. The good thing about Experian is that they know what they are talking about, whereas who knows about random people off internet forums, right?

Last edited by LegalEagleTX; Jul 30th 2020 at 4:42 pm.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Strange, there is nothing inconsistent between your link and the link I posted.
I never said it was inconsistent. I said it was standard.

Specifics versus generalities. Experian is not going to give you specifics, because they own the formula.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
I never said it was inconsistent. I said it was standard.
No, you said it was crap that didn't tell you anything.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: Building Credit For A New Arrival

Originally Posted by LegalEagleTX View Post
No, you said it was crap that didn't tell you anything.
Why don't you try reading my post again?

it's all standard crap that doesn't tell you anything
As in not specific. Standard and general.

And I still never said it was inconsistant.

If you are indeed in the legal trade, you need to look at what you're reading better than that or you'll end up in all kinds of Tort.

So please put your nose back into joint and let's get

Last edited by civilservant; Jul 30th 2020 at 4:53 pm.
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