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How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Old Oct 5th 2013, 3:08 pm
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Default How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Hi everyone,

I've been in the US for just over a year now, and we've been establishing our lives, we are interested in establishing my credit as I have none. Even though I have a fairly good job, no one will give me any line of credit, not even a store card!! It's frustrating to say the least.
So other than the secured credit card (which makes no sense to me - like I'm going to give the bank $500 of my own money to use as collateral for a card that I can only spend the limit of $500 on, and they get to charge me interest on that?!!) and a co signer, is there any other option that I haven't been made aware of yet? Or is that it?

Thanks for your help and advice,

Emma.
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Old Oct 5th 2013, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

I somewhat agree that a secured credit card makes no sense except that it is the easiest way to get started. You might however try another bank as they all behave differently with respect to credit cards. I started banking with HSBC and they gave me a card with a $200 limit when I arrived in 2001. A couple of week later I called customer service and they bumped it up to $1,000, but after six months I think I was up to $5,000, though banks migjt not be willing to increase credit lines as fast or as far these days.

Wells Fargo regularly gets recommendations here as a friendly bank for expats and immigrants, but if you get no luck with several banks, you could try a credit union if there is one nearby that you qualify to join (they do have certain restrictive membership rules often depending on who you work for or where you live.)
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Old Oct 5th 2013, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I somewhat agree that a secured credit card makes no sense except that it is the easiest way to get started. You might however try another bank as they all behave differently with respect to credit cards. I started banking with HSBC and they gave me a card with a $200 limit when I arrived in 2001. A couple of week later I called customer service and they bumped it up to $1,000, but after six months I think I was up to $5,000, though banks migjt not be willing to increase credit lines as fast or as far these days.

Wells Fargo regularly gets recommendations here as a friendly bank for expats and immigrants, but if you get no luck with several banks, you could try a credit union if there is one nearby that you qualify to join (they do have certain restrictive membership rules often depending on who you work for or where you live.)
That's pretty good, I've heard that they don't tend to let you on the unsecured type of card for 12 - 18 months these days. You might have got lucky! Although, as you say, I guess that depends on the bank itself and what their policies are. Yes I can join a credit union through my work, I might have to look into that.
Thanks!
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Old Oct 5th 2013, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Banks vary - it doesn't have to be $500. We started with $200 at Bank of America.

Bear in mind that every time you ask for credit, you are negatively affecting your credit score. If you are applying to lots of places and getting nowhere, you may be compounding the problem.
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Old Oct 5th 2013, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Fatbri...it_and_Finance

Good start in the wiki... :/
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 12:52 am
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Oooh there was some excellent advice there, thank you for pointing the way!!
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 1:05 am
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

I took out a Macy's card not long after we arrived and it was approved on the spot. A few months after that I started getting solicitations for poor-value "fix your credit" cards from not-so-reputable companies, but a few months later I started getting solicitations from much more reputable companies and ended up getting a CapitalOne card. The main thing to do is not immediately take up the very first solicitations you get - check them out on Google and if they don't have a good rep, hold on until better ones come through.
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 1:25 am
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

We started out with a secured capital one card and shortly after that, I got an Orchard Bank credit card and a Barclaycard (both low limits and yearly fees, but at least not secured), then a few months later I managed to get a couple of store cards (GE Capital). My husband managed to get a credit card and car finance fairly early on via a credit union - I think they tend to be a bit more flexible. I would sign up to CreditKarma and CreditSesame (both free) and Quizzle (get a free report on signing up, you have to pay for updates after that) and see what your credit score looks like and how many searches you have against you.
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 1:51 am
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Does you husband have a credit card? If he does, you can become an authorized user on his credit card and his credit history will become part of your account with the credit bureaus even if you don't have possession of the credit card.

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-ca...-user-1377.php

Make sure your husband doesn't remove you as an authorized user until you have established you own credit (got other credit cards) since your credit score will drop and I believe the history will be removed from the credit bureaus.

After a few months, you can use this site to get free credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus once per year to check if his history is showing on your account. Use only one credit bureau at a time since you only have three free reports per year.

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

Last edited by Michael; Oct 6th 2013 at 1:58 am.
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 4:21 am
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Originally Posted by Emma M View Post
Hi everyone,

I've been in the US for just over a year now, and we've been establishing our lives, we are interested in establishing my credit as I have none. Even though I have a fairly good job, no one will give me any line of credit, not even a store card!! It's frustrating to say the least.
So other than the secured credit card (which makes no sense to me - like I'm going to give the bank $500 of my own money to use as collateral for a card that I can only spend the limit of $500 on, and they get to charge me interest on that?!!) and a co signer, is there any other option that I haven't been made aware of yet? Or is that it?

Thanks for your help and advice,

Emma.
You want a credit history. A secure credit card is a tried and tested way of getting that. Does it need to make more sense?
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 2:13 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Originally Posted by NatashaB View Post
I would sign up to CreditKarma and CreditSesame (both free) and Quizzle (get a free report on signing up, you have to pay for updates after that) and see what your credit score looks like and how many searches you have against you.
Do you know long long it is before your credit data becomes available on these websites?

I've been here since July and have a non-secured HSBC (US) credit card which was issued on the basis of my UK HSBC account - having tried CreditKarma over the last month or so, it keeps reporting that my data cannot be retrieved or verified.

Jonathan
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Originally Posted by jtlc2345 View Post
Do you know long long it is before your credit data becomes available on these websites?
Jonathan
A new account is usually reported within a month of it being opened. Your SSN and a US Address are the key locators you need to find your report.

The sites mentioned are not the actual credit bureaux. You have to go to the source. The three credit bureaux that keep tabs on you are Transunion, Equifax and Experian.

This is the only place to get an accurate and free (once a year) credit report. You don't have to sign up for anything, it's not a private enterprise etc etc..

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

We started with a $200 limit card with HSBC, and within about 3 or 4 months, they increased that. Then at 6 months or so they took the limit off completely, and since then it has been plain sailing really with no problems getting credit when we needed it for some furniture, and a pretty high credit score. From my own experience anyway, it seems to be the best & perhaps quickest way.
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

If you want to start a credit history WITHOUT getting a secure credit card, there IS a way to help accelerate the process.

Go to your local furniture store that offers 'Six months same as cash' and buy something that you can afford and need (usually, it's over $299, but that can vary). Stores like Badcock offer this with no credit check and it gets reported to the credit bureaus.

Keep the payments up on time and it will reflect in your score. You may need to rinse and repeat, because no matter which method you use, the only thing that really matters is time.
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Old Oct 10th 2013, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: How to establish credit without the secured credit card?

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Does you husband have a credit card? If he does, you can become an authorized user on his credit card and his credit history will become part of your account with the credit bureaus even if you don't have possession of the credit card.

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-ca...-user-1377.php

Make sure your husband doesn't remove you as an authorized user until you have established you own credit (got other credit cards) since your credit score will drop and I believe the history will be removed from the credit bureaus.

After a few months, you can use this site to get free credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus once per year to check if his history is showing on your account. Use only one credit bureau at a time since you only have three free reports per year.

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
Just reading this so checked with the credit bureau to see if I'm in their system yet - lo and behold, I have a credit score and history. We took out a joint car loan with Wells Fargo last January and I joined my husband's credit card account as an authorised user in June. So it's taken a few months but it was worth it to avoid looking for a credit card with a high interest rate.
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