32

It is possible to build a reasonable credit history and score in about six months, but you have to be careful what you do. Try to get a mortgage at a financial institution that has special programs for foreign nationals. You will probably need to make a large down payment (25% or more). On top of that, many banks will offer you an unsecured credit card if ...


25

There are brands that have special programs for foreigners: Mazda (Foreign Resident Program) All European brands (VW, BMW, Mercedes, Audi) There are dealerships that might have specific programs allowing foreigners to lease (I know about some Ford dealerships). There are special companies that can help foreign nationals get a car lease Expatride ...


17

I moved to the USA in the middle of the 2008 credit crisis, so this issue hit me hard. There are a multitude of things that you can do to build up a credit history. Apply for a secured credit card (as @gerrit also indicates), where you provide the funds to completely cover the credit limit of the card, so a $2,000 limit would require you to pay the card ...


14

Having done the reverse - moved to the USA from the UK, I feel your pain. I moved in 2008 when banks were crashing. The primary way I found of doing this was to use a Secured Card, and I found an example of one from Capital One UK (but I'm sure there are others): http://www.capitalone.co.uk/support/faqs-secured-card.jsf With a secured card, you give them ...


11

From my experience in the US (and some of it applies to Germany as well), for lack of a central registration of address office which is accessible by the private sector, a credit history is often used as a substitute, i.e. to validate that a person who claims to have a past actually lived at that point in time under the given name. For example, in the US ...


11

I've recently started building a credit history in Canada, and I think it's the same. The solution I have chosen is to take a secured credit-card. Through my financial institution (a credit union), I have fixed 500$ on a savings account. I need to fix these 500$ for one year, and during this year, these 500$ will be my credit limit. During this year, I ...


11

(very long answer) The easiest method to build credit in the United States is to have someone with good credit co-sign a loan or credit card for you. If you do not have that option, the fastest way to build credit for yourself in the United States is through secured credit. Using this method you will find that it's actually quite easy to quickly build a ...


10

There are two catch 22s when trying to rent in the UK as an expat. The first is that you often need an address to get a bank account and a bank account to get an address. The second is that you need an address to get a credit history (technically, I believe you need to attempt to register to vote at the address) and you need a credit history to get an ...


10

If you have an American Express card from another country, you can "transfer" it to the US. In addition to giving you an (unsecured) credit card in the US with a real credit limit that you can use to then start building your credit, American Express will report the date the account was opened as being when you first became a cardholder elsewhere in the ...


7

Credit history is used to asses what kind of risk you are, and if an entity decides to loan you money. If you own many credit cards and a mortgage, and never missed a payment, companies will be happy to give you more credit, because you proved that you manage, and pay back your debts on time. If you have a negative mark, missed mortgage payment or missed ...


7

As @gerrit says, get a secured credit card. As soon as you can, get a regular credit card - you can use websites like creditkarma.com and creditsesame.com to get an idea of what credit cards you can use. Make that that you use the card regularly, and pay it off regularly. There's a bit of a paradox - when you apply for an account, you take a hit to your ...


7

There is no reason to keep your move secret or to engage a lawyer. And there is no standard name for the service other than 'moving'. I know from personal experience that American Express, MasterCard, and Visa cards originally issued in the USA continue to work after you move to Europe and change your address. I have done it in three different countries ...


6

I personally use my parents place as my US address. Then I go paperless and pay my accounts through a bank that I transfer money into from where I am now. Anything important is mailed to me by my parents. Initially you will get alerts or phone calls that you've made a foreign transaction. Just explain to them you will be out of the country for a few months.


6

This is more specific to the US than anywhere else. While identity theft can happen anywhere, in the US it is much more likely to happen since there's no government issued identification on a national level. The United States, as the matter of ideology, doesn't identify its residents/citizens. You can ask for a passport/passport card, but vast majority of ...


6

There is no validation that you actually live at the address, so use the address of your parents, friends, colleagues etc and ask them to forward any correspondence. There are also tons of commercial providers that provide this as a service, just search for "us address rental" or equivalent.


5

Keep your existing accounts open If you have no existing credit in the US, get some Pay off your bills on time As a last resort, talk with American Express Keep your existing accounts open If you have existing cards and bank accounts, do not close them all before leaving the country or while abroad. If you do not use the account for months, it may be marked ...


5

There are services that will produce a credit history report based on the country you used to live in. Experian or credit safe, as a couple. They cost quite a bit, about £50~£250 per search, based on the criteria you need your check to be carried out. Depending on what you need to do, just moving in to UK is not that bad. You can get a mobile phone contract,...


5

For buying property, not having indefinite leave to remain (equivalent status to a green card) will mean many mortgage deals aren't available to you, so you'll end up paying a higher rate of interest than most people. Should you decide to buy, check your desired bank's mortgage lending criteria before applying - or go through an independent mortgage broker, ...


5

I can speak from my experience as a Canadian citizen and resident with a permanent US mailing address, and my curious quest to attain US credit. As an actual US resident, you should have a considerably easier time. First, apply for a basic credit card (e.g. Capital One Platinum). They may want evidence of your income. They will probably give you a low ...


4

The first step is to find a place to stay. It's tempting to rent an "all inclusive" place to stay, but that immediately creates problems for proof of identity and your credit score. See below for more details. The second step is to get a bank account. See How to open up your first UK bank account without proof of address? here. The third step is to sign up ...


4

Hiring an attorney merely to be able to continue to use a credit card would seem very expensive, you only need a post office box or something like that (USPS calls companies offering this service “commercial mail receiving agencies”). As long as the credit card company doesn't notice you moved abroad, you should in any case be able to continue to use the ...


4

My letting agent ran an international credit check (or rather they asked another company to do this) based on my previous address in Canada (which I had to list as “current address”). They also asked my previous landlord for evidence that I had no outstanding debts and had been a good tenant. Together with the job contract and other documentation, this was ...


4

If you are moving to the Eastern USA from Canada, do yourself a favour and bank with TD Canada Trust in Canada before you leave the great white North. They are the parent of TD Bank North America and have branches all down the eastern seaboard and into the Carolinas and Florida, where Canadian snowbirds congregate. TD Bank in the USA can and will use your ...


4

I've contacted them over email at meineschufa@schufa.de and explained it in English, also I've provided an automated German translation. They then asked me for my address registration certificate, in German of course. I've provided it over email and after 2 weeks I received a confirmation letter as well as a free report in my postbox confirming that the ...


3

"Legal address" is used often but it does not have any special meaning when it refers to a person's address. It simply denotes a place where you can receive mail and where the police can possibly find you if they happen to be looking for you. You should specify a place where you know you can receive some mail in the US. Perhaps, the university office ...


3

Start before you make the move. Do research if there are professional organizations in your country who offer credit cards, and become a member. When I moved to the US in 1997, I became a member of the IEEE at home and applied for a member credit card. It was no problem getting one. Having the card was invaluable for building credit history and being able to ...


2

Another factor--one's credit rating is unfortunately sometimes used as an indication of how careful and reliable you are. Thus, for example, someone with a poor credit rating very well might pay more for insurance than someone with a good credit rating. It can even matter in terms of getting a job.


2

I used ExpatRide with great success. They can assist expats with any make or model available in the U.S. Before or after arriving in the U.S. I got a pre-owned BMW 5 series with manufacture warranty on an Open End Lease (which means that I can break the lease at any time at little or no cost). I was afraid to lock myself into a regular Closed End Lease ...


2

Have you already chosen leasing as your best option for a car? Leasing has some attributes that might not make it a great choice. A lease is for a fixed period - usually two years. You are contracting to make monthly payments and there is no way out of that (well, repossession, but you don't want to go there). There are also mileage limits and wear and tear ...


2

Nothing prevents you from keeping a US bank account and using a US credit card. You can keep some regular expenses from online services (e.g. Skype credit) tied to the US credit card, which will get you to make regular transactions. Even better, having a US credit card when on home leave allows you to avoid the currency exchange fees on your foreign credit ...


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