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-   -   Credit - starting from zero (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/credit-starting-zero-638174/)

Indianabound Oct 29th 2009 11:38 pm

Credit - starting from zero
 
Hi I moved to work in Indiana in January, I have since got married and I'm starting to apply for a Green Card.

One problem has been my lack of credit history but want to build history and improve my score ASAP so I can ultimately get a mortgage in the future...

How do I best do this?

At present I still can't even get a credit card... anyone been in a similar situation?

Thanks for you help everyone

gazzpfc Oct 29th 2009 11:42 pm

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 
When we went there we were same as is everyone.
If you banked with HSBC for example it seems a relatively simple process to get US account with cards etc.

We took bank statements, letter from mortgage company showing we owned house outright in UK as it was final payment stuff and I suppose best of all we got company to talk to its bankers.
Took about 4 months of running our checking account well before we got a visa initially low limit of $2000 but by end it was at $10000.

Indianabound Oct 29th 2009 11:47 pm

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 
Yeah I've been able to get a bank account, but wonder how can I kick-start my credit score/credit history...

Trixie_b Oct 29th 2009 11:54 pm

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 
get a secured card. give your bank $300 and they'll give you a credit card with a max limit of $300 - use this for a year or two and you'll have a credit score.

As a point of reference, I've been living here for 2 and a bit years and now I have a pretty decent score - it's this last year that's made a difference

Bob Oct 30th 2009 12:04 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 
This topic has been covered hundreds of times, with a lot of good info in a horde of threads, there's even a pretty good wiki article on how to get started....worth looking out for.

Bob Oct 30th 2009 12:06 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 

Originally Posted by Trixie_b (Post 8055730)
As a point of reference, I've been living here for 2 and a bit years and now I have a pretty decent score - it's this last year that's made a difference

Score alone ain't all that important though really....it's the history that makes a real difference when going for a mortgage...

Trixie_b Oct 30th 2009 12:08 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 8055769)
Score alone ain't all that important though really....it's the history that makes a real difference when going for a mortgage...

I was still a bit "young" on history when I got my credit reports for a re-fi 2 weeks ago.

meauxna Oct 30th 2009 12:14 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 

Originally Posted by Indianabound (Post 8055718)
Yeah I've been able to get a bank account, but wonder how can I kick-start my credit score/credit history...

Is your spouse a US citizen? How's her/his credit? You may still benefit from being an 'authorized user' on their existing account; my DH went from zero to 800 very quickly.

gazzpfc Oct 30th 2009 12:19 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 

Originally Posted by Indianabound (Post 8055718)
Yeah I've been able to get a bank account, but wonder how can I kick-start my credit score/credit history...

Well we also got car finance relatively easily that will I presume show on your credit rating.

Bob Oct 30th 2009 12:28 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 

Originally Posted by gazzpfc (Post 8055803)
Well we also got car finance relatively easily that will I presume show on your credit rating.

after 6 months it will.

Indianabound Oct 30th 2009 1:09 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 
this article is great... http://www.kamya.com/intro/miscstoriescred.html

thanks everyone lots of great advice

meauxna Oct 30th 2009 1:18 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 

Originally Posted by Indianabound (Post 8055920)
this article is great... http://www.kamya.com/intro/miscstoriescred.html

thanks everyone lots of great advice

omigosh, there's a blast from the past! kamya FTW!
(bear in mind that those experiences may be 10 years old and no longer applicable)

Michael Oct 30th 2009 1:45 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 
As meauxna stated, being an "authorized user" on someone credit card (only if they have a good credit history on that card) will build up your credit score quickly. Since you inherit the history of the card, you will also get a credit history.

The practice of piggybacking on someones credit card to build up a credit history was temporarily discontinued in 2007 but was reinstated after Fair Isaac (FICO) lost a lawsuit to a credit repair company (they were using master credit cards to build up clients credit scores). Now it is much more difficult for credit repair companies to piggyback even though it is allowed for normal customers.

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-ca...-user-1265.php

You are allowed to check your credit report for free from the 3 credit bureaus annually by using the following government sanctioned site.

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

princessconsuela Oct 30th 2009 10:20 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 
This is something that's really worrying me for when I move over in January. The things I have done are to get an American Express card in the UK which can easily be transfered to an American American Express card. I've also opened an account with HSBC in the US and they'll give me a credit card too. I'm going to stop at 2 credit cards though because more than that I've heard can negatively affect your score. I was also worried about buying a car because I would need a loan for that so I am buying one through international autosource as they'll give you a good deal and give you a loan without a US credit history.

So that's my plan of attack so far! Good luck!

Bob Oct 31st 2009 3:23 am

Re: Credit - starting from zero
 

Originally Posted by princessconsuela (Post 8056833)
This is something that's really worrying me for when I move over in January. The things I have done are to get an American Express card in the UK which can easily be transfered to an American American Express card. I've also opened an account with HSBC in the US and they'll give me a credit card too. I'm going to stop at 2 credit cards though because more than that I've heard can negatively affect your score. I was also worried about buying a car because I would need a loan for that so I am buying one through international autosource as they'll give you a good deal and give you a loan without a US credit history.

So that's my plan of attack so far! Good luck!

Getting a car lone is a great way to build credit history...put the deposit down, get lone and if you can pay the bulk of it off do so, but keep the remainder going for at least 6 months.


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