Immigrants Labeled as No Credit History

By Stephen Fisherton on October 17, 2010

Immigrants still need to create a credit report in the United States despite their present credit report they have established in their country. The reason: the credit laws of over there is different with the credit laws here, in the United States. For this reason, immigrants really have to be classified as ‘people with no credit history’, with an equal footing with the ‘people with bad credit history’. This is not a bad thing for the newcomers who have established good credit history in their previous country, though. But it will take time to build a good one.

The usual question they ask is: how do they start building a credit history?

Industry experts say that if these immigrants have an international bank account, they better get a credit card in that bank. For instance, BarclayCard holders from UK can be connected to BarclayCard in US. The banks are willing to help their customers even if they are miles away. But for those with no international bank accounts, they can start to establish a credit relationship with the US credit card companies by applying for a bad history credit card or a secured credit card. Secured credit card offers are the best type of cards for those with no credit history.

Credit card companies requiring this need them to deposit an amount equal or a percentage of their credit limit. Note: The ideal deposit should be equal or more than the credit limit. With that deposit, any defaults incurred by the card holder will be offset by the deposit. If the card holder has no delays and has fully paid the entire credit account, the deposit will be returned to him or her. If he or she is lucky, the card may even be converted to the unsecured type, or a regular credit card, that is if the trust and creditworthiness were proved.

Before the credit cards, immigrants may try other options. If they came in the US for a job, they may try to get help establishing credit from their employer or the country they will be working for. Banks may need a letter of employment and statement of income, or other pertinent documents. There are also credit card companies that specialize in helping immigrants. American Express, for example, says it can approve applicants based on income levels and reviewing of assets. Finally, if the person immigrates to be with local friends or family, he or she can opt to be an authorized user of their credit cards.

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