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-   -   How do I build up a credit rating in the USA? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/how-do-i-build-up-credit-rating-usa-78159/)

Tom May 11th 2002 11:20 am

How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
My fiance has been working in San Francisco for 1 month and it appears to be
difficult for her to get credit because of the complete absence of any credit rating.

I will be joining her in a couple of months and expect to experience the same problem
with no US credit rating.

Is there anything I can do to establish a credit rating in USA, either before or
after I land?

We both have very good ratings in the UK.

Tom Squance

Ned May 11th 2002 3:20 pm

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
Yes, it's the classic catch 22 - you can't get credit without a credit history and
you can't build a credit history if no-one gives you credit!Actually, it's easier
than most people think. Here are some tips:

(1) You can get a "secured" credit card where you deposit money and charge against
it. This is probably the easiest way to build a credit history and your best
option in my opinion. Check out http://www.credit-land.com/ for details of
secured credit cards.

(2) See if your UK institution has an affiliate in the US (e.g. I had a MBNA credit
card in the UK, and MBNA in the US were able to check that my payment history and
issue me with a US credit card)

(3) If you've ever had a car loan with e.g. Ford in the UK, try to get a car loan in
the US and pay it off. Ask them to check your UK payment history.

(4) Store charge cards (e.g. Sears) and gas station charge cards (e.g. Exxon, Mobil,
Shell) are sometimes easier to get than credit cards. Purchase some things on
these and pay them off to build credit history.

Good luck.

"Tom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > My fiance has been working in San Francisco for 1 month and it appears to be
    > difficult for her to get credit because of the complete absence of any
    > credit rating.
    >
    > I will be joining her in a couple of months and expect to experience the same
    > problem with no US credit rating.
    >
    > Is there anything I can do to establish a credit rating in USA, either before or
    > after I land?
    >
    > We both have very good ratings in the UK.
    >
    > Tom Squance

James Donovan May 11th 2002 6:20 pm

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
[email protected] (Tom) wrote in message
news:<[email protected] com>...
    > My fiance has been working in San Francisco for 1 month and it appears to be
    > difficult for her to get credit because of the complete absence of any
    > credit rating.
    >
    > I will be joining her in a couple of months and expect to experience the same
    > problem with no US credit rating.

A secured credit card is the way most people go. Your foreign credit rating counts
for nothing here. I discovered that the hard way, and I am a natural born US citizen
(who grew up in the UK).

You pay a small security deposit (eg $500) and you get a credit card with that limit.
You make your payments on time and in a you'll be on your way to good credit.

crazy daisy May 11th 2002 6:20 pm

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
I've noticed that Capital One do a good deal ie only $99 secured fee and credit up to $500 and the annual fee is only $39. The catch? - unfortunately they want only US citizens or permanent residents to apply. As we are on H1B's which are non-immigrant visa's I'm not sure if this qualifies us as permanent residents - has anyone else on H1/H4's found a way around this problem?

Riri May 12th 2002 5:20 am

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
Do you have a Social Security Number? R "Tom" <[email protected]> wrote in
message news:[email protected]...
    > My fiance has been working in San Francisco for 1 month and it appears to be
    > difficult for her to get credit because of the complete absence of any
    > credit rating.
    >
    > I will be joining her in a couple of months and expect to experience the same
    > problem with no US credit rating.
    >
    > Is there anything I can do to establish a credit rating in USA, either before or
    > after I land?
    >
    > We both have very good ratings in the UK.
    >
    > Tom Squance

Riri May 12th 2002 5:20 am

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
Do you have a Social Security Number? R "Tom" <tomsquance[email protected]> wrote in
message news:[email protected]...
    > My fiance has been working in San Francisco for 1 month and it appears to be
    > difficult for her to get credit because of the complete absence of any
    > credit rating.
    >
    > I will be joining her in a couple of months and expect to experience the same
    > problem with no US credit rating.
    >
    > Is there anything I can do to establish a credit rating in USA, either before or
    > after I land?
    >
    > We both have very good ratings in the UK.
    >
    > Tom Squance

Chris May 12th 2002 5:20 am

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
I moved to the US on a L1A visa and before I had my AOS, Capital One gave me a credit
card for $200.00 with an increasing balance every month I paid on time.

"crazy daisy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > I've noticed that Capital One do a good deal ie only $99 secured fee and credit up
    > to $500 and the annual fee is only $39. The catch? - unfortunately they want only
    > US citizens or permanent residents to apply. As we are on H1B's which are
    > non-immigrant visa's I'm not sure if this qualifies us as permanent residents - has
    > anyone else on H1/H4's found a way around this problem?
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com

Riri May 12th 2002 6:20 am

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
Do you have a Social Security Number? R "Tom" <[email protected]> wrote in
message news:[email protected]...
    > My fiance has been working in San Francisco for 1 month and it appears to be
    > difficult for her to get credit because of the complete absence of any
    > credit rating.
    >
    > I will be joining her in a couple of months and expect to experience the same
    > problem with no US credit rating.
    >
    > Is there anything I can do to establish a credit rating in USA, either before or
    > after I land?
    >
    > We both have very good ratings in the UK.
    >
    > Tom Squance

Tom May 12th 2002 11:20 am

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
I don't yet. K1 visa is being processed. My fiance does have a social
security number.

Tom "RiRi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
    > Do you have a Social Security Number? R "Tom" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message news:[email protected]...
    > > My fiance has been working in San Francisco for 1 month and it appears to be
    > > difficult for her to get credit because of the complete absence of any credit
    > > rating.
    > >
    > > I will be joining her in a couple of months and expect to experience the same
    > > problem with no US credit rating.
    > >
    > > Is there anything I can do to establish a credit rating in USA, either before or
    > > after I land?
    > >
    > > We both have very good ratings in the UK.
    > >
    > > Tom Squance

James Donovan May 12th 2002 2:20 pm

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
crazy daisy <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
    > I've noticed that Capital One do a good deal ie only $99 secured fee and credit up
    > to $500 and the annual fee is only $39. The catch? - unfortunately they want only
    > US citizens or permanent residents to apply. As we are on H1B's which are
    > non-immigrant visa's I'm not sure if this qualifies us as permanent residents - has
    > anyone else on H1/H4's found a way around this problem?

Actually, you must have some credit history to get one of their cards. One of my
friends recently came here on a green card and was turned down for the "secured"
credit card.

Jahn May 12th 2002 4:20 pm

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
Actually, a friend of mine, a foreigner student on F-1 visa, applied at a Boston
bank for a credit card. Refused cause he had no credit history. He applied for
secure option, refuse cause he's not permanent resident. Then he told me he followed
the bank agent's advice to "lie" about his residency, and he actually got the
secured card.

They obviously don't check your residency.

I do not endorse this method, but I just thought you should know.

My friend now has very good history, and he got 4 credit cards, all with no deposit.

Regards...

On 11 May 2002 20:20:01 GMT, crazy daisy <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've noticed that Capital One do a good deal ie only $99 secured fee and credit up
    >to $500 and the annual fee is only $39. The catch? - unfortunately they want only US
    >citizens or permanent residents to apply. As we are on H1B's which are non-immigrant
    >visa's I'm not sure if this qualifies us as permanent residents - has anyone else on
    >H1/H4's found a way around this problem?

James Donovan May 12th 2002 8:20 pm

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
Jahn <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>. ..
    > Actually, a friend of mine, a foreigner student on F-1 visa, applied at a Boston
    > bank for a credit card. Refused cause he had no credit history. He applied for
    > secure option, refuse cause he's not permanent resident. Then he told me he
    > followed the bank agent's advice to "lie" about his residency, and he actually got
    > the secured card.
    >
    > They obviously don't check your residency.

I would understand someone like an H-1B applying for a credit card, but why an F-1
student? Isn't one of the requirements for a student visa that your stay only be
temporary and that you have no permanent intent of staying in the US?

Jeremy Russell May 12th 2002 9:20 pm

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
I got myself a UK American Express card 2 weeks before leaving the UK and then just
called Amex and got it transferred to my US address - then used it - a lot - for
business expenses. Once you've got a card and pay it regularly, your US mailbox will
be flooded with credit card offers.

Good luck JR

On 11 May 2002 02:27:46 -0700, [email protected] (Tom) wrote:

    >My fiance has been working in San Francisco for 1 month and it appears to be
    >difficult for her to get credit because of the complete absence of any
    >credit rating.
    >
    >I will be joining her in a couple of months and expect to experience the same
    >problem with no US credit rating.
    >
    >Is there anything I can do to establish a credit rating in USA, either before or
    >after I land?
    >
    >We both have very good ratings in the UK.
    >
    >Tom Squance

crazy daisy May 13th 2002 4:54 am

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
Thanks for all your advice.

The hubby does have an SS number and I have a tax id number. We have applied for a couple of cards with the same story - no credit history. Luckily our UK cards have been happy to forward mail onto a US address but it would be nice to avoid all those change of currency fees. We do have a car but it's paid for by the company so can't use that for credit worthiness. Also the SS number was only issued 6 months ago as before that we were on B1's and I think it takes a minimum of 6 months to get established so to speak.

I don't blame the credit card companies tho' - I suppose I wouldn't want to loan my money to someone who I haven't met before, know nothing about them with the possibility that they could at the end of their contract flee the country with a ton of debts built up! Course, we're not like that at all but I bet a few have given us expats a bad name!

crazy daisy May 15th 2002 4:30 am

Re: How do I build up a credit rating in the USA?
 
Sorry Tom to tiptoe in your thread(!) but I have another question for the resourceful folks at britishexpats. A couple of you mentioned being able to change your UK card for a US one. Was there a balance still in the UK card? If so, are the card companies willing to transfer the balance or do they require you pay off the balance before starting the new card?

Thanks again guys!


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