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Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Old Apr 16th 2013, 2:35 pm
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Default Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Hi

I am moving out to the USA in the summer and I am trying to find out information regarding credit ratings for a UK citizen in the US.

Are there any agreements between the UK companies like Equifax and Experian, for their operations in the US. Or do you have to start from scratch with no credit!

I will likely want to purchase a car quickly and with no credit I will struggle.

Thanks
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

You will have no credit history. I believe that the UK Data Protection Act prohibits the routine sharing of personal credit data with the US credit agencies.

If you have an Amex card, it is possible to get the US parent organization to get a credit reference from the UK subsidiary.

So far as buying a car goes, some report that it can be done soon after arrival, but I and many others here recommend International Autosource; what they offer might sound too good to be true, but it really isn't, they do exactly what they say they do. They will finance a car for a new immigrant with no US credit history, I used them myself and can't fault their service. The terms, incl interest rates, are the same as for US residents buying from a main street dealer- in my case a 0% deal similar to those widely advertised at the time.

There are a number of threads on International Autosource on this forum, and the opinions are generally either favourable or mildly negative, mostly from a few people who found a cheaper deal for a specific vehicle. My deal was financially favourable, allowed me to cross one large item off the "to do list", AND enabled me to start building credit history immediately (based on the monthly payments).

The one "string" to IA is that you must sign the contract and pay the deposit before you arrive in the US.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 16th 2013 at 3:52 pm.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Thanks for the reply, I will definitely look into the International Autosource option before I arrive in the US.

I also do have two Amex cards which I can 'transfer' over as well as in the process of sorting out my US bank account through HSBC.

It is a shame that the UK credit companies dont share data but its sounds like its not insurmountable.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

See also the Wiki on credit.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Originally Posted by dazzymol View Post
.....I also do have two Amex cards which I can 'transfer' over .....
You'll probably have to apply for a US Amex card, get rejected, then phone up customer service to explain your status as a "longstanding valued customer in the UK". That's what I had to do, and the US application process didn't (doesn't?) seem to allow a more direct way to tap your UK history with Amex.

BTW Unless you're moving to New York, you'll probably want to open an a/c with another bank because HSBC is almost entirely confined to that state.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You'll probably have to apply for a US Amex card, get rejected, then phone up customer service to explain your status as a "longstanding valued customer in the UK". That's what I had to do, and the US application process didn't (doesn't?) seem to allow a more direct way to tap your UK history with Amex.
No, if he's got a personal AMEX directly issued by AMEX then he needs to phone them up once in the US and ask for a global transfer. Theoretically needs to have been held for at least a year though there have been reports of less. They ask for a SSN but this isn't essential at the time of applying.

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
BTW Unless you're moving to New York, you'll probably want to open an a/c with another bank because HSBC is almost entirely confined to that state.
That I agree with!
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

The wiki link above will help loads, as will the numerous threads on the subject.

The AmEx has to be direct from there to do the global transfer, it can't be a card offered by a third party.

Get a local bank, maybe even a credit union. Who is best will depend on location. HSBC generally won't be it though, but do keep the UK account open.

Getting a car loan is easy. The rate won't be great though, but it's a good way of building credit history.

Expect to have shite rates for insurance and be required to put down deposits on all your utilities too because of a lack of US credit history.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Thanks Guys, appreciate all the advice.

Am now thinking HSBC may not be the way to go (i actually wasnt very impressed with the application process today, took 1 hour on the phone) and I am going to be living in Massachusetts. I did also look at CitiGroup as they do an account which can combine USD, GBP and EUR if needed.

http://www.citibank.co.uk/personal/b...plus/index.htm

Designed for customers who need simple, cost effective solutions to managing their money at home in the UK as well as overseas.


As far as my Amex cards go, the blurb on he website is -

American Express have created the Global Card Transfer service to support our Card members when moving from one country to another. As an American Express Card member, you have exclusive access to this service that's been designed to make your life easier, and to help build your credit rating in your new country of residence. The current American Express card's payment history and standing will be referenced in the approval process for the new card.

With Global Card Transfer, we can transfer your existing Card or you can choose a Card from a wide range of Card offerings – all with the service and coverage you have come to expect from American Express.

To transfer your Card to your new country of residence, please ensure you have the following information available:

1. your new permanent resident address

2. your existing American Express Card number



I will also check out the wiki's, I still have a couple of months before I go so I am just trying to get ahead of the curve.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
No, if he's got a personal AMEX directly issued by AMEX then he needs to phone them up once in the US and ask for a global transfer. Theoretically needs to have been held for at least a year though there have been reports of less. They ask for a SSN but this isn't essential at the time of applying.
Looks like it depends who you get on the other end of the phone. I had a personal Amex in the UK and called them in the US November last year asking to 'transfer'. They told me to apply online* and then call them again once I got rejected. Seemed to work well and they included the time from when I first got my UK card when reporting to the US credit agencies.

Also they didn't close my UK account in this process, I had to call them in the UK and do that separately.

* I think they told me to do this as I could get a better bonus for opening a new account if I applied online which was better than what they could offer over the phone.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Originally Posted by DexterBerkeley View Post
Looks like it depends who you get on the other end of the phone.
Not sure about that as they have a Global Transfer department, or at least a phone number for it. Phone them up, give the details, card within days. Maybe if you just phoned their regular call center you'd get given that blurb by somebody who wasn't aware of it.

Originally Posted by DexterBerkeley View Post
I had a personal Amex in the UK and called them in the US November last year asking to 'transfer'. They told me to apply online* and then call them again once I got rejected. Seemed to work well and they included the time from when I first got my UK card when reporting to the US credit agencies.
Didn't that take some time though? I called on the Monday and had the card by Friday. Including the UK time with the card is standard.

Originally Posted by DexterBerkeley View Post
Also they didn't close my UK account in this process, I had to call them in the UK and do that separately.
Same here, though I haven't closed it. It's been idle nearly a year so we'll see whether something happens.

Originally Posted by DexterBerkeley View Post
* I think they told me to do this as I could get a better bonus for opening a new account if I applied online which was better than what they could offer over the phone.
Can't vouch for this either way but wife and I did both get 25,000 Delta miles and a $5k limit off the bat without asking. Probably could have pushed for a higher credit limit.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Not sure about that as they have a Global Transfer department, or at least a phone number for it. Phone them up, give the details, card within days. Maybe if you just phoned their regular call center you'd get given that blurb by somebody who wasn't aware of it.
Digging deeper into the recesses of my mind, it was Global Transfer I called, and they could have done it all over the phone but it was better to apply online, get declined and then call back. Must have got me more welcome points

Didn't that take some time though? I called on the Monday and had the card by Friday. Including the UK time with the card is standard.
Sounds about right, I called on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and it arrived at the end of the following week, so elapsed was longer given the holiday.

Same here, though I haven't closed it. It's been idle nearly a year so we'll see whether something happens.

Can't vouch for this either way but wife and I did both get 25,000 Delta miles and a $5k limit off the bat without asking. Probably could have pushed for a higher credit limit.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

I moved to the US about 7 years ago and had to start from scratch. The good thing is it can be quick to get a good credit rating (2 to 3 years).

My first credit card here from BofA had a limit of $200 and I bought a new ford focus at an APR of 18%!!!! with 20% down. After a year i changed the car and got the APR down to 10% then again after year 3 and had an APR of less than 3% so yourve just got to be patient.

Its important to get credit cards here even if you dont need them and pay off the monthly amount as it is all taken into account.

The flip side is if you have any bad credit in the UK then it doesnt carry over to the USA.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: Credit Rating in the USA as a UK Citizen

Originally Posted by johnnydinger View Post
I moved to the US about 7 years ago and had to start from scratch. The good thing is it can be quick to get a good credit rating (2 to 3 years).

My first credit card here from BofA had a limit of $200 and I bought a new ford focus at an APR of 18%!!!! with 20% down. After a year i changed the car and got the APR down to 10% then again after year 3 and had an APR of less than 3% so you've just got to be patient. .....
Sorry to hear about your experience, but there really is no need for others to put themselves through that if they use International Autosource. I think your experience, of paying 18%, just proves what a great deal buying through IA is!
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