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Establishing Credit in US

Establishing Credit in US

Old Apr 20th 2011, 11:12 pm
  #1  
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Default Establishing Credit in US

Now that we are nearly ready to move to the US, it's about time we start thinking of ways to establish credit in the US so that we can plan to buy a house in the future.

If anybody has any advice on this, please could you let me know.

Many thanks!!
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Old Apr 21st 2011, 12:06 am
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Default Re: Establishing Credit in US

I had no credit here, got denied after various online tries at getting a credit card, then finally started building it by opening a secured card account- this is where you pay a deposit at the start and they hold that in case you don't pay your bill (typical deposit might be a couple of hunderd dollars) then that becomes your credit limit for the time being. If you prove yourself to be a good customer, after a year or so they should be able to either upgrade you to a proper traditional credit card account, or you will have established enough basic creidt history to open a different card elsewhere then after that you can close the secured c/c account. Either way, after the initial trial period they should send you your deposit back. So yeah, I would suggest opening up a secured credit card acct with one of the major groups (Visa, mastercard, Amex etc), then go from there. Othre tips include:

- always pay your bill on time, always pay at very least the minimum monthly amount due

- be sensible with how many c/cards you open e.g. don't go crazy and open up every department store card you're offered because of the tempting sounding discount. That's how debt problems start, and besides, opening up a lot of cards isn't the way to go to building good credit, it's better if you have just a few and are good about paying them off regularly.

-Read the fine print for every card you get, know what the rates etc are

-watch your spending and keep track of it every month, mark sure its within your budget. Just because you have credit doesn't mean you won't have to pay for it, it just means you don't have to pay for it NOW.

-pay your utitilies bills on time like clockwork: you dont want any nasty collections ending up on your credit report to mess with your credit score

-otherwise just the obvious stuff: protect your SSNumber, shred anything you get rid of that has your personal details on it, do the free once yearly credit score check that everyone is entitled to, etcetc.

Last edited by Lakersdarge; Apr 21st 2011 at 12:09 am.
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Old Apr 21st 2011, 12:59 am
  #3  
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Default Re: Establishing Credit in US

Originally Posted by CandK View Post

If anybody has any advice on this, please could you let me know.
Yeah, read the wiki....and if you've got a AmEx, that is a good start.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Catego...nancial_Topics
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Old Apr 21st 2011, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Establishing Credit in US

We did things a little bit differently. The first thing we did was visit my US credit union, which I had kept active the whole five years we lived in the UK.

Upon arrival in the US, they set up a joint checking and savings account for us. My husband immediately got a debit card. Eight months later, we went back and my husband applied for a regular credit card with the same credit union. I had to co-sign, but otherwise they accepted him and gave him a VISA credit card with a $500 limit and 9.9% interest rate.

They advised him to use it regularly, keep at least a $10 balance on it and pay his bill on time and it shouldn't be too long before his credit limit was increased. Overall, very easy and painless.

Not sure if you're willing to wait eight months, but it worked well for my husband. No messing around with various online applications or secured cards. I'd highly recommend using a credit union as we've really appreciated the personal service you get.
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