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Immigrant's first steps

NewinVA
New Member

Immigrant's first steps

Hi! 


I recently moved to the US, I already have my SSN and need to start building my credit, I am confused as to what is the best way to do this:

 

- Should I get only one credit card or several?
- Should I be an authorized used on my husband's credit cards? How will this affect my credit score? He uses them to a minimum and pays on time now and for the last 2 years, but that hasn't always been the case, will this affect me negatively?
- Should I apply for small loan instead of credit cards or in addition to it, to have mix credit?
- Which type of cards should I be looking into? I read somewhere a mix of secured cards and stores cards is better

 

Any additional advice would be much appreciate since I want to do this right from the start.

Thank you

6 REPLIES 6
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Immigrant's first steps

With no credit history, you'll want to start out with a couple of secured cards.  Your local bank or credit union may offer one.  There are others like Discover that come highly recommended.  If your husband has a CLEAN credit card account or two that are at least a few years old or older, adding you as an AU could be beneficial.  If they are negative accounts (they contain ANY negative information, even 1 late payment that was a long time ago) you don't want them on your credit report.

 

I'd start with unsecured cards for now and simply use them but pay them off every month, on time of course.  Within 6-12 months chances are you'll be able to convert one to an unsecured card and from there you may be able to apply for other cards that suit your spend/lifestyle as you touched on in your post above.  For now though, those unsecured cards are not a priority, as you need to establish your credit roots to get yourself started.

Message 2 of 7
ALK11
Established Contributor

Re: Immigrant's first steps

First, it would be good to be added as an authorized user only if the card you'll be adding has a good history. I'd recommend getting 3 secured cards. Check your local bank and/or credit union and then you can also check Captial One and Discover. Finally, it will help to take out a small loan, but at this point I don't think its necessary. Just get a couple cards and treat them right. 

Message 3 of 7
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Immigrant's first steps

By a small loan, I'm sure the above poster means employing the SSL technique.  This is a good method for increasing your scores 25-30 points for the next 5 years or so.  There's a sticky thread on the Share Secure Loan technique, which would be a good read if you have the time.

Message 4 of 7
NewinVA
New Member

Re: Immigrant's first steps

Thanks for your replies.

 

i know you suggested a thread but I'm swapped with studying for an upcoming exam, so I was wondering what would that loan look like being that I have zero credit? That's in terms of interest rate, amount, for how many years would that loan be, etc

 

thanks again!

Message 5 of 7
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Immigrant's first steps


@NewinVA wrote:

Thanks for your replies.

 

i know you suggested a thread but I'm swapped with studying for an upcoming exam, so I was wondering what would that loan look like being that I have zero credit? That's in terms of interest rate, amount, for how many years would that loan be, etc

 

thanks again!


Here's a link to the SSL technique thread.  You need only read through the first 2 posts.  It's a $500 loan, 5 year term, next to nothing in interest as you pay the loan down from $500 to $45 or so immediately after opening the account.

 

http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Understanding-FICO-Scoring/Adding-an-installment-loan-the-Share-Secu...

Message 6 of 7
RobertEG
Legendary Contributor

Re: Immigrant's first steps

FICO places much more scoring emphasis on the presence of revolving accounts than installment loans.

Their risk analysis places heavy emphasis on the showing of effective use of discretionary credit, such as credit cards, which permit the consumer to use credit at their discretion up to the approved credit limit.

 

I would begin with obtaining multiple credit cards before tacking on an installment loan simply for scoring purposes.

 

Bank cards (e.g., VISA, Master Card, etc.) are viewed more favorably than store cards.

 

Message 7 of 7
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