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Credit ratings in the USA

Credit ratings in the USA

Old Feb 17th 2009, 2:18 pm
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Default Credit ratings in the USA

I moved to the USA five months ago and want to start to build a credit rating.

I am in a slighly unusual situation in that my basic salary is fairly low but that is because my accomodation and all utility bills are paid for meaning they are NOT in my name.

Therefore, with what will look like a low salary and no crecit history ( I was rejected for a credit card by Citi who I bank with at the weekend) how do I go about getting a card to start building credit?

Partiuclar products people have used would be a good help.

In the UK I have been a homeowner for eight years, probably had a credit card for about ten years, and never missed a payment on either so have excellent credit but it appears to count for nothing here.

Any help with specific cards/products I could try would be greatly appreciated.

FYI - my salary paid into my bank is $1000 a month due to the rent/utilities etc.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 17th 2009, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Bit out of date, but the principles are still the same: http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Fatbri...it_and_Finance
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Old Feb 17th 2009, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Originally Posted by Scot_in_NYC View Post
I moved to the USA five months ago and want to start to build a credit rating.

I am in a slighly unusual situation in that my basic salary is fairly low but that is because my accomodation and all utility bills are paid for meaning they are NOT in my name.

Therefore, with what will look like a low salary and no crecit history ( I was rejected for a credit card by Citi who I bank with at the weekend) how do I go about getting a card to start building credit?

Partiuclar products people have used would be a good help.

In the UK I have been a homeowner for eight years, probably had a credit card for about ten years, and never missed a payment on either so have excellent credit but it appears to count for nothing here.

Any help with specific cards/products I could try would be greatly appreciated.

FYI - my salary paid into my bank is $1000 a month due to the rent/utilities etc.

Thanks!
What you get paid doesn't affect your credit score, and your utility and rent would most likely not contribute to your report (although there have been a few people who said their utilties have appeared, but its rare).

You most likely need to get a secured credit card. Bank of America do one - this is what I got. After having it for about 6 months you will have a credit score. The idea is you give them an amount of money and they will give you a card with that limit. It can be started with as little $300.
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Old Feb 17th 2009, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Is the $300 refundable?
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Old Feb 17th 2009, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Originally Posted by Scot_in_NYC View Post
Is the $300 refundable?
Yes, after an amount of time - seems to vary, but normally a year they will change the card to an unsecured card. At that point they will send you the money back.
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Old Feb 17th 2009, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Try Capital One. That's how I started. The only way utilities will affect your credit score is if you don't pay them.
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Old Feb 17th 2009, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

As FB says, his wiki thing is still valid. For more current info, and people who can help you, look at creditboards.com.

Don't go with CrapOne, do go with BoA as it will go unsecured in 9-12 months, in the worst case go with Orchard.
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Old Feb 17th 2009, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
As FB says, his wiki thing is still valid. For more current info, and people who can help you, look at creditboards.com.

Don't go with CrapOne, do go with BoA as it will go unsecured in 9-12 months, in the worst case go with Orchard.
I agree CapOne are bad....but it does give a springboard to a card from prime lenders without the need for a deposit. I ditched them as soon as the time was right.....
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Old Feb 17th 2009, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Utilities only ding your score badly for paying late etc, being good helps sod all.

Read the wiki, search the site, this is almost a daily topic so there's loads of info.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Utilities only ding your score badly for paying late etc, being good helps sod all.

Read the wiki, search the site, this is almost a daily topic so there's loads of info.
Sorry to hijack.

A quick question. We still currently live in UK but have a property out in US that is currently rented. Husband has SSN and me ITN. We pay property taxes, trash & sewage, from paying these bills on time would this have started up a credit rating for us?

Thanks

Amanda
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Originally Posted by mrs Bucket View Post
Sorry to hijack.

A quick question. We still currently live in UK but have a property out in US that is currently rented. Husband has SSN and me ITN. We pay property taxes, trash & sewage, from paying these bills on time would this have started up a credit rating for us?

Thanks

Amanda
It is possible, but most likely not. I guess you bought the house outright?

If you are planning to move to the US at some point the best thing to do is go and get yourself an Amex - when you move to the US you can transfer it over and you will get your Amex history credited. Therefore the sooner you do this the better.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Originally Posted by mrs Bucket View Post
Sorry to hijack.

We pay property taxes, trash & sewage, from paying these bills on time would this have started up a credit rating for us?

Thanks

Amanda

no. You are paying these things to the city...they won't report it to the credit bureaus.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

You could always go and get a store card that's how we started out. Shopping the sales at Macy's and Mervyns and J C Penney.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

Originally Posted by steve100100 View Post
no. You are paying these things to the city...they won't report it to the credit bureaus.
depends on the location...some places contract out the rubbish collection etc, but your right in that it won't help build a credit history.
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Old Feb 19th 2009, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Credit ratings in the USA

I used the old BofA secured credit card to do exactly the same thing that you are looking for. I had a limit of $300 for about 12 months before they upped it to a much more normal $10,000. The thing is make sure that you use the card AND pay it off promptly; this is what drives the credit score.
For me, the $300 was such a ridiculously low limit that I practically forgot about it. The key is to use it and show that you are able to spend (and pay off) within limits.
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