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Upping my credit score

Upping my credit score

Old Jan 23rd 2016, 11:28 pm
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Default Upping my credit score

Hello, wise and wonderful expats. Having moved to Ca, married my US citizen husband, I'm now looking to start building my credit score. From reading the forums, looks like applying for my own credit/store cards will result in immediate rejection, thus damaging my already piteous credit score. Would it be better for building credit to a) get a secured card or b) ask my husband to cosign a card for me or c) do both? I have a current account with BoA, and we have a joint account with them too, for what it's worth.

Thanks all!
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Old Jan 23rd 2016, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Not a immigration question, so I moved it to the main US section.

The subject has come up quite a lot. There is a wiki that'll make for a good start.

But yes, do both and get your name on the car finance and anything else would also help.
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Old Jan 24th 2016, 12:15 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

I don't think you need to open any new cards - just have your name added to all of your husband's accounts and cards. My credit score is actually better than my husband's now and I've never had finance in my own name at all. Went from 0 to 820 in a pretty short period of time.
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Old Jan 24th 2016, 1:04 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

If you have a SSN, sign up with Credit Karma and you'll receive advisory notices how to improve your score, AND start receiving pre-approved offers from virtually all the credit card companies.
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Old Jan 24th 2016, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Both, as long as HE has good credit!

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Old Jan 24th 2016, 3:54 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Do all the US banks report credit to the spouse credit report when they have a secondary card on the others account?

Curious if it's the norm, or just some banks.

Up this way the banks don't do that, well the banks we have credit with anyhow.
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Old Jan 24th 2016, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

I think some do and some don't.

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Old Jan 24th 2016, 4:28 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Score is meaningless without history. Length of history is a big factor. Give it a couple of years of careful credit use, paying off in full, not using too much of your limit.
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Old Jan 24th 2016, 5:01 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
Do all the US banks report credit to the spouse credit report when they have a secondary card on the others account?

Curious if it's the norm, or just some banks.

Up this way the banks don't do that, well the banks we have credit with anyhow.
We're with BofA and they do - I hadn't realised some don't!
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Old Jan 24th 2016, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

My husband and I are authorized users on eachother's Chase cards and they report to both our credit reports. I never gave them my husband's SSN when I added him as an extra user, so I guess they confirmed his identity based on just name and address. Citibank also seems to report to the second user's credit report.
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Old Jan 25th 2016, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

I think you can also get some prepay credit cards to help with credit score. If you are renting, some landlords report back rental payment history
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
... If you are renting, some landlords report back rental payment history
They, along with utilities only report delinquent payments, so no help in improving your score/history.
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 1:50 am
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
..... If you are renting, some landlords report back rental payment history
Landlords can pull a would-be tenant's credit report through an intermediary, but only the largest "corporate" landlords have the right sort of membership of the credit scoring agencies to feed payment data back into credit databases.

As Bob suggested, delinquent payments can be reported, but only indirectly when tenant arrears are sold to collection agencies, and the collection agencies certainly do have access to report delinquencies.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jan 26th 2016 at 1:52 am.
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Don't know if this helps, but I am buying a car for my good lady. I just pinged my credit union (supports expats) to enquire a similar and they sent me a cover note for a $20k loan for a car with no issues. With a 4% rate.

If you've been in the country less than a year they can help - Advancial. That's my situation.

You may need to bank with them, but that was not a condition of my loan note, in fact if I use my Advancial bank account they will reduce the rate by a quarter percent.
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Upping my credit score

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
Do all the US banks report credit to the spouse credit report when they have a secondary card on the others account?

Curious if it's the norm, or just some banks.

Up this way the banks don't do that, well the banks we have credit with anyhow.
Not just spouses.

When we came to the US, I was issued an Amex card by my employer. Within weeks, on a business trip to VA, the card was declined. The employer would regularly miss payments and/or be over their limit.

After I left that company (3 years later), I found the Amex card was on MY credit report and causing me a major hit on my credit. I challenged it and had it removed but it taught me the importance of getting and checking a regular credit report (not just the FICO score).
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