If you’re new to the USA, it might be extremely difficult for you to get a credit score in the USA, rent a house, or even buy a car without a U.S. credit history. There are many immigrant students who are not even able to buy a cell phone because they don’t have a U.S credit history. For immigrants to get the loan approved, buy a used car, or even rent an apartment, they often need to build up their credit score.
Here are a few methods of establishing a credit score in the USA as an immigrant.
Get a credit card
The foremost thing that an immigrant must do to build a credit score and history is to get a credit card. However, you must ensure that you pay your credit bills on time, or else it may hurt your credit score, risking going into credit card debt. Even though your immigrant status makes it difficult for you to get a credit card, try to get a valid social security number (SSN). If you can’t get a valid SSN, you can consider applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ( ITIN ). Check out the IRS website on how to get an ITIN.
Get a secure credit card
If you’re new to the country, your first challenge will be to build yourself a credit score. And getting a co-signer can be extremely challenging if you don’t know anyone you can trust. If there is no way you can get a traditional credit card, you can get a secured credit card. A secured credit card works when the issuer gives you a credit card, once you have deposited a certain spending limit. You need to deposit the money in your bank account before you get the credit card, hence the deposited cash will act as collateral and the spending limit.
You will need to have a good income as only then the issuer can give you a secured credit card. As you maintain the secured credit card properly, you will be able to build a credit score with time. And you would eventually be able to apply for a regular credit card. However, you must inquire whether the credit card issuer would report the payment history to at least one credit bureau; otherwise, you may not be able to build any credit score.
Paying rent on time
This will ensure you gradually build a credit score since the landlord could report your payments to the credit bureaus. You could also pay rent through an electronic rent service that reports your rent payments to the Experian’s Rent bureau. This will ensure you quickly build credit in the USA.
Steer clear of debt
As an immigrant, you ensure to not live beyond means. Since falling into the vicious cycle of debt can not only destroy your credit score but also the dream life you imagined yourself living in a few years. If you get a credit card, you must pay your bills in full and within the given time, every month. If you’re already in debt, try paying off your existing credit card debts as soon as possible. Register yourself with a professional debt relief company to repay your debts ASAP.
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