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How to get a credit history?

How to get a credit history?

Old Aug 16th 2004, 4:37 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by Minty
I have had an HSBC account for over 20 years and I see they have some branches in the US. Would it be helpful ig I got them to issue me with a card? Would my credit history from the UK help?

Minty
In my opinion the best thing to do is ask Minty. When we moved over here to the US (hubs is British, I'm American) we hit a stone wall because neither of us had credit here. Luckily I had kept my credit union account open. It will take us awhile to rebuild credit, hopefully we'll have some of our savings intact to buy a house.....but that doesn't look like it will happen for awhile.

Good luck.
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Old Aug 16th 2004, 4:48 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Wee, whooppee-dooo. I finally exist!!!

I have a credit record and my own dinky-winky-doo credit card - as of today!

Lots of good advice on here. Thought I'd add my experience 'cos when I'm dealing with this sort of stuff, I always feel helped by hearing someone else's journey.

Arrived from England December 2002 - new immigrant - zero rating. Couldn't get a secured bus ticket :P To make matters worse my USC husband had never even bothered to get a bank account before we met, so he had no credit either, and only a very new checking account at the Credit Union. Took 6 months to get me added to the account because they wouldn't do it till I had an SSN.

So - 6 months to get on a checking account with a debit card.

Around that time Garth applied for and got a Target guest card and a Providian unsecured card - both with credit limits of just $500. But here's the surprising thing. I just got my history from Experian and it shows ME as having that Providian card too, even though I was only a second user. It was NOT a joint account - but it WAS building me history, which I didn't expect.

Couple months ago we applied jointly for a car loan, which we got, even though I couldn't get a credit card of my own at the time. Think about the credit unions - ours gave us the loan at 4%, which is pretty damn good considering our lack of history. I think the thing about cars and houses is, they can be easier to apply for because the lender has something they can get back if you default. Anyway....

This week I have finally been approved for a credit card of my very own. WOOHOO! I have arrived! To celebrate I applied for - and got - my own Target card too. WAHAAAAAY!!!



Crazy isn't it. After building a decent life, you have to go back to the start when you come here. You claw your way back inch by inch.... But oh the rush at each little victory - an SSN, a Green Card, a JOB, a car, and now.....

A CREDIT CARD!!!!



Regards
-=-
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Old Aug 16th 2004, 5:30 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

I did the much publicised on these forums - Swap UK Amex card for US Amex card trick for a start. They even gave me a decent credit limit ($5000) from the off. Thereafter, just use your card for most things and pay it off, your score goes up reasonably quickly
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Old Aug 16th 2004, 5:33 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by Dan725
I did the much publicised on these forums - Swap UK Amex card for US Amex card trick for a start. They even gave me a decent credit limit ($5000) from the off. Thereafter, just use your card for most things and pay it off, your score goes up reasonably quickly
Me too - I had a Blue amex card with a good limit within three weeks of arriving here, by making two phone calls and signing one form.
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Old Aug 16th 2004, 5:46 pm
  #20  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by THFC1
Does anybody know if a Corporate Amex card in your name will help to improve your credit score?
My spouse has one and it does not show up on his credit report because it is issued to his employer, not him individually.

That's why a corporate credit card will not impact on one's own personal credit rating/history.
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Old Aug 16th 2004, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

I got my first pre-approved credit card application through Saturday...next stop - debt, despair and ruin!
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Old Aug 16th 2004, 7:21 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by Big Vern
I got my first pre-approved credit card application through Saturday...next stop - debt, despair and ruin!
Cheers! Its the American way!
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Old Aug 17th 2004, 1:17 am
  #23  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

is this a no-questions-asked swap or do amex look at things like your job in the US etc before agreeing to the swap?

Originally Posted by Big Vern
Me too - I had a Blue amex card with a good limit within three weeks of arriving here, by making two phone calls and signing one form.
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Old Aug 17th 2004, 1:48 am
  #24  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by fatbrit
Sorry – don’t go with the first three of these ideas at all!

1) Don’t get a secured card from any of these folks at all. I would also add to this group Capital One. They are sub-prime lenders! Therefore, you become a sub-prime borrower. Get yourself down the big boys or local credit union to open the secured card. Will cost you a lot less or nothing in fees and now you’re a prime borrower.

2) Won’t increase your credit score at all. May decrease it if accounts go into default.

3) Won’t increase your credit score at all.

I have to agree with 2 and 3. We have been here a year, paid all our bills on time and had an account with Bank of America and just applied for a car loan. My husband found out that he has no credit history at all (the only credit card we have is his company one and no loans).

They will give us the car loan at a very high interest but he has to produce bank statements, copy of visa and a letter from his employer to secure it and that's with a down payment of 7k!

Credit cards seem to be the best way to get a credit history.

Also be prepared to have to put down a deposit for your utilities or they may not connect you.

Emm.
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Old Aug 17th 2004, 2:18 am
  #25  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

yeah - i had heard that utilities would count towards a credit score - so i gave the local gas co a fat deposit to get my name on the bill. 1 year later - no record - however - they are giving me a 6% return on my money!

even if your partner is a USC and you are an authorised user on their card - this is worth jack sh1t until you get credit in your own name



Originally Posted by Emm
I have to agree with 2 and 3. We have been here a year, paid all our bills on time and had an account with Bank of America and just applied for a car loan. My husband found out that he has no credit history at all (the only credit card we have is his company one and no loans).

They will give us the car loan at a very high interest but he has to produce bank statements, copy of visa and a letter from his employer to secure it and that's with a down payment of 7k!

Credit cards seem to be the best way to get a credit history.

Also be prepared to have to put down a deposit for your utilities or they may not connect you.

Emm.
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Old Aug 17th 2004, 4:08 am
  #26  
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Red face Re: How to get a credit history?

From my personal experience I would say

After you get your SSN (everything is tied to this)
1) open a bank account with a major bank or a credit union
2) Immediately apply for a secured card or secured loan with that bank, ensure that the bank reports to all 3 credit agencies
3) Ensure that you always make the paymets on time
4) For a credit card - pay the full amount every month
5) Do not max out the credit card every month
6) Do not apply for too much credit, every enquiry is recorded in your credit file and stays there for 2 years

Alternatively, if you have a UK AMEX card or MBNA card you can usually get the USA equivilent, but you need to explain this clearly to them when you apply.

I was told (by Equifax) that you will not get any FICO credit score until you have had revolving credit (credit card) or recurring credit (loan) reported to your credit file for six months. It takes about 18-24 months to actually have a sound credit history.

Also the utilities (power, water, mobile phone etc.) do NOT appear on your credit report at all if you pay them on time every month, so will not help your credit rating in any way (AFAIK)

Hope this helps

Last edited by sas; Aug 17th 2004 at 4:11 am.
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Old Aug 17th 2004, 4:23 am
  #27  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by Minty
I have had an HSBC account for over 20 years and I see they have some branches in the US. Would it be helpful ig I got them to issue me with a card? Would my credit history from the UK help?
Minty
No harm in asking -- other posts would seem to suggest so! Remember, however, that the first drone you speak to at the bank isn't likely to know the answer. Persevere and don't take no for an answer until you've heard it at least half a dozen times from increasingly more powerful Jedi in the relevant department.
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Old Aug 17th 2004, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by Minty
I have had an HSBC account for over 20 years and I see they have some branches in the US. Would it be helpful ig I got them to issue me with a card? Would my credit history from the UK help?

Minty
We had HSBC account in the UK and opened a USA HSBC account easily. We can't visit a branch as there aren't any in our area but we do everything online, through post and over the phone and it works great. We applied when we were over here and they contacted the UK branch to confirm everything. Arrange a short meeting with your UK local branch customer services manager before you come over and tell them what you are planning to do and get their direct phone number so you can contact direct for assistance.

One of the main advantages of this was we were able to open the HSBC bank account before we got our SSN (which was taking forever) - the normal USA banks would not allow us to open a bank account without the SSN. When you call HSBC USA speak to the international banking department.

Also, apply to get an American Express card whilst you are still in the UK (where you have a history so should be relatively easy) you can then easily transfer it to a USA card when you get over here. We'd had an American Express card for years and so was really easy to get a USA Amex card.

Last edited by CEO DMF; Aug 17th 2004 at 1:47 pm.
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Old Aug 17th 2004, 2:11 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by CEO DMF
We had HSBC account in the UK and opened a USA HSBC account easily. We can't visit a branch as there aren't any in our area but we do everything online, through post and over the phone and it works great. We applied when we were over here and they contacted the UK branch to confirm everything. Arrange a short meeting with your UK local branch customer services manager before you come over and tell them what you are planning to do and get their direct phone number so you can contact direct for assistance.

One of the main advantages of this was we were able to open the HSBC bank account before we got our SSN (which was taking forever) - the normal USA banks would not allow us to open a bank account without the SSN. When you call HSBC USA speak to the international banking department.

Also, apply to get an American Express card whilst you are still in the UK (where you have a history so should be relatively easy) you can then easily transfer it to a USA card when you get over here. We'd had an American Express card for years and so was really easy to get a USA Amex card.

Thats great. I had hoped that my 20 years with HSBC would count for something. I don't have an American Express Card now but have a HSBC Platinum card. SHould I still go for the American Express card?

Minty
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Old Aug 17th 2004, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: How to get a credit history?

Originally Posted by Minty
Thats great. I had hoped that my 20 years with HSBC would count for something. I don't have an American Express Card now but have a HSBC Platinum card. SHould I still go for the American Express card?

Minty
I think I would do, means you have a couple of sources of credit and you're building credit from a couple of sources - can't hurt!! Just spend a little on your Amex each month - but as everyone has said, make sure you pay it off each month to help build good credit.
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