“You can’t take it with you,” is an American saying that means money and worldly possessions are left behind when you pass on — they don’t follow you into death. Sadly, the same often applies to your credit history when you move to the United States.
For decades, newcomers to America have learned this the hard way. Arriving with virtually no American financial history, it can be next to impossible to get credit. No credit or poor credit can make it extremely difficult to get a:
- credit card
- apartment lease
- mortgage (home loan)
- car loan or lease
Without an American credit history, (or with a low credit score) you’ll potentially pay thousands of extra dollars in security deposits and interest rates, since lenders (including cell phone providers, and gas and electricity companies) have no way of knowing how financially stable and trustworthy you may be.
How to transfer credit history from your home country to the U.S.
Building a good credit score in America takes time. In fact, it can take years! It is absolutely achievable through diligent effort, but this is not ideal if you need access to certain financial products right away and have recently moved to the U.S.
There is possibly another option: if you are new to the U.S. and want to apply for financial products, you may be able to transfer your credit history from your previous country of residence using Nova Credit. Nova Credit is plugged into the top global consumer credit bureaus to bring your credit to the U.S for use by American lenders, property rental companies, and others. Essentially, Nova Credit moves credit reports from countries like Mexico, India, Australia, United Kingdom and others into equivalent reports for U.S. lenders. That allows you to use your international credit file to apply for U.S. loans, apartments, and more. Effectively, Nova Credit serves as an enabler to “yes”, and lenders are able to serve a new customer segment – you!
Getting started is easy. You can simply visit the marketplace to see which credit cards you can apply to using your international credit history. Nova is soon launching with partners across student loans, car loans, apartment rentals and more.
Build your U.S. credit score
Transferring your international credit history can help give your U.S. credit a boost. Utilize Nova Credit to leverage your existing international credit history and obtain a credit card. Once you begin using your credit card responsibly, you’ll be building a U.S. credit profile and credit score (commonly known as a FICO score). Responsible use of credit and the age of your accounts both positively affect credit scores.
RECOMMENDED: Credit-Building Guide for Immigrants
Credit is very important in America
For better or worse, credit will continue to be very important in the U.S.A. This is sometimes surprising to newcomers, but it has a direct impact on the types of products that you can access, on the apartment that you live in, and even on your ability to get certain jobs. Most directly, good credit can save you a lot of money over your lifetime! Whether you build your American credit history over time or use your international credit profile, it is vital to understand the importance of credit.
CitizenPath partner Nova Credit built a product to facilitate global credit migration. They have been able to help new American immigrants obtain lines of credit that were previously unavailable. If you are a U.S. immigrant searching for a credit card, check out Nova’s marketplace. Soon, look for new categories in student loans, car loans, apartment rentals, and more.