Guidelines for obtaining a Credit Score in the US

  1. When us Brits get together the most frustrating thing we all agree on is how to get credit-now at home in the Uk it is not that important as here in the US because everything and I mean everything is credit scored from the expected to the unexpected.

    So a good way to get a credit score started is by getting a loan or a credit card-not simple you havent got a score so you wont get either of these. NOw there is a way round this and it is simple.

    Whilst you are in the UK living and working apply for an American Express card-do two applications if you are a husband and wife team. Spend on it and pay it off each month.

    When you arrive here in the US-phone American Express here and apply over the phone for a US AMEX Card-you will get a credit limit of around $5000 straight away. Then do the same as I advised early use it and pay it off each month. This will build up your credit score.

    You should also get either a car loan or a lease car this will also build up your credit (even if you can buy a car for cash dont). You will pay higher interest rates but you have to look at the bigger picture.

    Keep doing both of these and after six months you will be in a better position regarding your credit score-then after a year you can refinance at lower rates.

    My husband never applied for his AMEX until August, he is self employed and he has no credit score as yet!!!!!!!!

    Now any Brits who have good suggestions and advice please post to help those who follow
    Last edit by madwife2002 on Dec 6, '06
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  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   apriljan
    I agree with madwife. We did exactly that. You don't realise how important it is until you get here.
  4. by   cariad
    ogp nurses do get help,,,,,,believe it or not !!!
    they have an agreement with bank of america who will give employees a loan for a car and a credit card for aroumd $5,000. our bank also gave us one for $500, which was peanuts but we used it each month and paid it off, which showed that we were a good credit risk. apparently we have been told to have credit cards but keep the spending on them low and keep at least 50% credit at all times clear on them. it shows that they will give you the credit but you dont need to use it. its completely opposite to the uk.
    you can get a motrgage with your uk credit, we brought an experian report and then when we got a mortgage 3 months after landing in the us, we had to arrange to get an up to date one.
  5. by   topscot
    My husband and i both have Amex cards here in the UK and i have spoken to them and they will change them over to American ones when we move, they will also transfer your balance if you need, we have bought a car from a company called autosource recommended by OGP and they have got us finance which will go towards our credit score also they will set us up with competitive car insurance which we can pay monthly
  6. by   Clarecartwright
    Qucik question

    I have an lloyds tsb credit card with my bank which is through American Express - does this count or does it have too be throught Am Ex directly

    Thanks for the info
  7. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from Clarecartwright
    Qucik question

    I have an lloyds tsb credit card with my bank which is through American Express - does this count or does it have too be throught Am Ex directly

    Thanks for the info
    sure it has to be american express direct
  8. by   Clarecartwright
    Thanks for that
  9. by   ann h
    Not quite on the same lines but might help people with regard to money.
    When we sold our house we used
    Foreign exchange and currency rates from Halo Financial - The guiding light in foreign exchange
    to change money to $s they give a good rate of exchange.
    Now money in in $s in an offshore account
    Nationwide International Limited - secure offshore savings accounts at competitive rates (Isle of Man)
    interest 4.90%
    Not going to buy another house in FL until we arrive
    We have had an American Express card for a good year now and I always spend and pay off balance every month.
    You will have to pay deposit for water, electric etc but will get them back after a year or two if I can remember.
  10. by   english_nurse
    here is a link to an excellent article about finance and credit
    BritishExpats - Credit & Finance Problems for Brits in the USA
  11. by   madwife2002
    Quote from english_nurse
    here is a link to an excellent article about finance and credit
    BritishExpats - Credit & Finance Problems for Brits in the USA


    Great link
  12. by   english_nurse
    thanks, i like the site, lots of information, but the people there can be a bit 'scarey' sometimes
  13. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from english_nurse
    thanks, i like the site, lots of information, but the people there can be a bit 'scarey' sometimes

    Bit scarey.......... putting it mildly I too go on that site a lot but in the nurses forum generally nurses going to Australia
  14. by   BSNtobe2009
    I just wanted to post that when coming to the USA, you need to establish at minimum, 4 lines of credit as soon as possible.

    I worked in lending for 10 years before quitting my job and trying for nursing school.

    I always recommend two major credit cards, a gas, and a store card.

    You need to use the cards every month, with the exception of the store card, and pay them off each month...no matter how small of the amount. Try everything to open the four in the smallest time-frame possible, and for the first two years, try to not open new lines of credit unless you absolutely have to finance a car, etc.

    Each time you open a new line of credit, the bureau regrades it according to age. Old credit cards should never be closed out if you are trying to get your score up....that is the biggest myth in the lending industry. It will actually cause your score to go down.

    To make sure your credit balances do not hurt your score, keep them to less than 50% of the high credit line. If your high credit line is $1000, never put more than $499.00 on the card. Making payments on a credit card doesn't increase your credit score any faster than charging each month and paying it off.

    I don't know how it is "over the pond" but here in the states, just about anytime you go to any clothing store they will offer you a discount if you open up a new line of credit...ALWAYS decline these if you already have a store card until your credit is well-established, and never open up more than two lines of credit in any calender year....any more and you are hurting your score.

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