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Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Old Mar 31st 2013, 8:47 pm
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Default Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Hi,

(assuming this is the suitable place to post this thread. If not, apologies!)

I'm a recent UK migrant moved to the US as a permanent resident. I have a SSN, bank account, driver's license and job here. In the UK I had a very high credit score, never any problems getting lines of credit.

From research I've done, I understand that despite all of these things, my credit score here in the US is a default zero, and that getting any lines of credit here extremely difficult. So things like getting a mortgage, using payment plans, getting credits cards/loans aren't going to happen until I build a history.

Does anyone have any first hand experiences they can share about how they went about building their credit score/history? I would rather not start applying for credit lines and risk damaging my credit score, so any actual examples of easy to obtain credit (particularly credit cards) would be extremely welcome!

Thanks

Greg
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Old Mar 31st 2013, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Fatbri...it_and_Finance

Your most likely place to start is a secured card from somewhere like Bank of America or Capital One.
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Old Apr 1st 2013, 12:31 am
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Originally Posted by Greg California View Post
I would rather not start applying for credit lines and risk damaging my credit score...
You can't actually damage a non-existent credit score!


... so any actual examples of easy to obtain credit (particularly credit cards) would be extremely welcome!
Civilservant has it right... start with a secure card, perhaps from your own bank. Also, read the Wiki link he provided!

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Old Apr 1st 2013, 12:41 am
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Originally Posted by Greg California View Post
Hi,

(assuming this is the suitable place to post this thread. If not, apologies!)

I'm a recent UK migrant moved to the US as a permanent resident. I have a SSN, bank account, driver's license and job here. In the UK I had a very high credit score, never any problems getting lines of credit.

From research I've done, I understand that despite all of these things, my credit score here in the US is a default zero, and that getting any lines of credit here extremely difficult. So things like getting a mortgage, using payment plans, getting credits cards/loans aren't going to happen until I build a history.

Does anyone have any first hand experiences they can share about how they went about building their credit score/history? I would rather not start applying for credit lines and risk damaging my credit score, so any actual examples of easy to obtain credit (particularly credit cards) would be extremely welcome!

Thanks

Greg
It is actually pretty easy to get a high credit score but the history is what takes time including work history. For example, FHA mortgages can be acquired with either a fairly low 620 credit score or no credit score at all but what will likely cause denial is lack of work history in your current job.
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Old Apr 1st 2013, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

I found the best way is to buy from a "six months same as cash" type establishment. I don't know if you have Badcock Furniture in your area, but I bought a recliner (which I could perfectly well afford to pay cash for) on that basis, paid it off and then bought something else and did the same.

It wasn't long before I got a store card from Sears, which at the time was a Visa card and before long, I had built up a history and an acceptable credit score.
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Old Apr 2nd 2013, 12:57 am
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

greg welcome to the USA, I personally arrived here on june 30th 2012.

after i had received my greencard and ssn i went onto the american express website and got myself approved,dont know how,and got a AMEX green

since than i have now got 2 others in my name a chase sapphire visa and us airways mastercard,from barclays bank delaware.

so i never had to get a secured card,in fact our bank bank of america actually refused to give me a secured card.

also i just charged small amounts each month on the AMEX and paid it off in full each month, my credit score on last check was in the very good /excellent it is around 820 or so

hope this helps

Last edited by redarmy990; Apr 2nd 2013 at 1:00 am. Reason: more info
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Old Apr 2nd 2013, 4:30 am
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
You can't actually damage a non-existent credit score!
But you can shaft the history.

Anyway, this is a subject that comes up pretty much weekly, so apart from the wiki linked above, always worth having a search on BE to see what everyone else has done.

Though secured card, car loan, AmEx global transfer, co-signer with someone who already has credit, using a local credit union are all the most common and best ways to get the ball rolling and then just a matter of time.
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Old Apr 2nd 2013, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Originally Posted by Greg California View Post
Hi,

(assuming this is the suitable place to post this thread. If not, apologies!)

I'm a recent UK migrant moved to the US as a permanent resident. I have a SSN, bank account, driver's license and job here. In the UK I had a very high credit score, never any problems getting lines of credit.
Did you by any chance have a UK Amex card before you moved over here? If you did, you can apply for a US one via their Global Mobility program (I think that's what it's called) and you'll get a regular US Amex. The nice thing about this way is that they report the length of your UK history with them to the US credit bureaus. That helps a lot.
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Old Apr 3rd 2013, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

I came over in 2007 and my credit score is still zero. I am only getting to try and do something about it now and it's not proving easy at all. The local banks I've tried incl the one I work for lol, don't do secured. Also the cheapo ones I get offer letters for like capital one didn't want to know. My husbands credit is fine, It's just everything went in his name as I didn't work until 2011. I have a checking account and debit card and still use my numerous uk crediit cards just not able to get a us one yet.
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Old Apr 3rd 2013, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

If your husband has a regular credit card and he can put you on the card as an authorised user, it should show up on your credit report.
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Old Apr 3rd 2013, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
I came over in 2007 and my credit score is still zero. I am only getting to try and do something about it now and it's not proving easy at all. The local banks I've tried incl the one I work for lol, don't do secured. Also the cheapo ones I get offer letters for like capital one didn't want to know. My husbands credit is fine, It's just everything went in his name as I didn't work until 2011. I have a checking account and debit card and still use my numerous uk crediit cards just not able to get a us one yet.
Become an "authorized user" of your husbands credit cards and your credit score should skyrocket. It rises fast since you get all his credit history for those cards.

At one time laws were passed to stop that from occurring since "credit repair" companies were using one credit card (but not issuing them) for all their clients but the law was overturned but the credit card companies figured out a way to limit the number and type of "authorized users" on a credit card so it again became a way to quickly increase a relatives credit score.
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Old Apr 5th 2013, 12:28 am
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
I came over in 2007 and my credit score is still zero. I am only getting to try and do something about it now and it's not proving easy at all. The local banks I've tried incl the one I work for lol, don't do secured. Also the cheapo ones I get offer letters for like capital one didn't want to know. My husbands credit is fine, It's just everything went in his name as I didn't work until 2011. I have a checking account and debit card and still use my numerous uk crediit cards just not able to get a us one yet.
Check the paperwork from companies like Capital One. If they say pre-approved you're normally good to go and have been pres-screened and approved. If it says pre-qualified or selected it means nothing.

I had a secured card for a year but still had issues getting a regular credit card and got a pre-approved letter from Capital One which helped me. It's taken me 3.5 years to get a decent history where I get approved on things, it's mainly just time of having credit unfortunately. Life gets much easier once you have greater than 2 years credit history.
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Old Apr 5th 2013, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

One thing to watch out for / think about.

We started with a secured card and then, over time, migrated to 'real' cards. As part of that process we freed up some of the cash securing the original card, reducing the credit limit on it. Last time I looked our credit report in respect of that item showed a limit of X and a maximum blance of 2X - the new, lower limit was used but the maximum balance was from when the limit was higher. On the raw numbers shown it looks like we went over the limit quite substantially. I have no idea if this will have impacted any score calculation but figure it can't have done any good!

Anyway, our current scores are fine
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Old Apr 5th 2013, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
I came over in 2007 and my credit score is still zero. I am only getting to try and do something about it now and it's not proving easy at all. The local banks I've tried incl the one I work for lol, don't do secured. Also the cheapo ones I get offer letters for like capital one didn't want to know. My husbands credit is fine, It's just everything went in his name as I didn't work until 2011. I have a checking account and debit card and still use my numerous uk crediit cards just not able to get a us one yet.
Why not piggyback off of his credit? What about your home mortgage, is it in both your names?
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Old Apr 5th 2013, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Credit Cards / Building Credit score in the US

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
Check the paperwork from companies like Capital One. If they say pre-approved you're normally good to go and have been pres-screened and approved. If it says pre-qualified or selected it means nothing.

I had a secured card for a year but still had issues getting a regular credit card and got a pre-approved letter from Capital One which helped me. It's taken me 3.5 years to get a decent history where I get approved on things, it's mainly just time of having credit unfortunately. Life gets much easier once you have greater than 2 years credit history.
No! This is just not true!

They can and will still bounce your application no matter what the letter says. I got one from Capital One and applied. Instead of getting a card in the mail, I got a rejection letter - and a zing on my (already awful) credit report.
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