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My credit journey as a non-resident

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My credit journey as a non-resident

Dear all,

 

First of all, I am a new member and would like to thank you for all your help which led me through this short credit journey. WIthout you guys I could not have achieve where I am at right now, and I really hope its just the beginning of the road!!

About myself:

I am a nonresident person, with my family living in the USA, I use their address as my mailing address and for my bank as we

This february I decided to try my luck and apply for a credit card with BOA after reading the forums here and other info on the web, that BOA allows to apply with without SSN or ITIN. To my suprpise, they approved me with 99/500 secured card. I started using the card frequently and PIF most of the times, if I reported balance that must have been quite low, In May this Year I tried my luck and called Amex (was very nervous on the call) and tried to apply for the BCE card as I read it was one of the easier cards to get. I applied with my passport number and all my info, and they asked me to call back... I thought I will be denied, but to my suprise after an hour later they told me over the phone that congratulations, you are approved!! With 2000 limit, but I was very happy!! I started using that card as well , booking hotels, tickets, ordering online etc, always PIF early,My FICO score was 697 according to the Amex fico score report, In July, I visited the USA again, and went into the BOA branch, tried my luck again and requested the Travel Rewrds Card (no bonus though., as i was applying in branch) , the boa rep was quite skeptical if I will get the card, but after a few minutes he was smiling and congratulating on the card (1500 limit), also on the same day I went to a different boa branch and applied for a business travel rewards card (5000 bonus points) as I have a company in the US. I did not get any answer,I have been told that the application was put on hold and I should receive an aswer in mail.. I was pretty sure it got declined. After like 10 days however, I. Logged in to my online banking and saw the business card visa there with 4000 LIMIT!! I was really surprised and happy,.when the card shipped I got a credit score report of 739 which was unbelivable.. Back in July when I visited the boa branches the same day I applied for 3x CLI on my BCE and got approved @ 6000, so I was already in the skies because of the other cards and this credit limit increase! I was using these cards since then and always PIF , only the business cards has balance on htem but it has 9 month 0% apr offer so I thought i might just paid off in little installments. In August I got an early graduation for my seecured boa cash rewards card which got a CLI as well, so it is at 1600 CL now! (Graduated in 6 months, AF remained although)

Fast forward to the last week of September and I tried my luck again with Amex: i saw the 50k gold delta offer and decided to go for it.. As i learned on the forum, you should apply to a charge and to a revolving credit card at the same day as it could only hit 1 HP. So i decied to apply online (ssn 000-0000-001) formthe delta and after a few hours for the amex prg. Both gtot APPROVED!! delta with 6000, prg I am not sure , tried spending limit at 4700 and got approved. Righr now I am enthusiastic and super happy of my approvals!!

My portfolio is the following as of today:

BOA cash rewards (now unsecured) 1600 - current util 5%
BOA Travel Rewrds 1500 - current util 30%
BOA business visa travel rewards 4000 - current util 70% will pay it off in the next month.
AMEX BCE - 6000 current util 55% (but will pay it off shortly)
AMEX delta gold - 6000
AMEX PRG - no preset sl

i have several questions to the experienced forum members, if you could help me with thr next stepsSmiley Wink

what should I do with my boa cards, wait for all of them to appear for Luv button and go for it in the next 2 months, or should I wait some more time? How much should I ask for?
I am in process to get my ITIN number soon. Which cards should I try to apply woth itin? I am receiving offers from Discoveer & Capital One in mails. jetblue card in email, is any of these accepts ITIN? Do you have ant other recommendations?
should I wait till,thenend of the year for the nexr app spree with my itin number or should I wait more time?

I am an AU on my uncle's chase sapphire preferred, does it mean with the ITIN number I could be eligible for that card, or i will be denied becUse of 5/24 rule ? (Although my itin wont show the applications, probably BOA will report to it only) this is a card I really want to get , but I am afraid I will be denied.

This story I would like to keep updating, I just wanted to share it with you guys esoecially the ones without credit history or no ssn, it is possible ti build up a nice credit!!


Thank you for reading me!

 

 

 

BOA Cash Rewards 1600 | BOA Travel Rewards 1500 | BOA Business Travel Rewards Visa 4000 | AMEX BCE 6000 | AMEX Delta Gold 6000 | AMEX PRG

FICO8 score 722
Message 1 of 18
17 REPLIES 17
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident

Congrats on the approvals! 

I don't have any advice for "what's next". 

But I do suggest to keep your balances low (below 30%) and to let your accounts age for a bit. 

Good luck! 

AMEX Platinum, Gold, Reserve & SPG | PenFed PR VS | NFCU FS VS | Discover IT | Citibank DC WEMC l Capital One Venture VS | Nordstrom VS l Banana Republic LUXE V I Lowes I Macys I Wayfair I
Message 2 of 18
New Visitor

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident

Very nice detailed post. thank you for all this information.

I have a question:

 

What is  (ssn 000-0000-001)??

 

Thanks,

Noel

Message 3 of 18
New Member

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident

Thank you guys!

 

Sorry, I was very tired yesterday when I started the thread, and also forgive me - english is not my first language.

 

@ noel 2009:  SSN 000-00-0001 sorry, this is what needs to be typed in on AMEX application if you don't have an ssn, the system will let you process the application (but it will give the "please call in" message after..) 

 

BOA Cash Rewards 1600 | BOA Travel Rewards 1500 | BOA Business Travel Rewards Visa 4000 | AMEX BCE 6000 | AMEX Delta Gold 6000 | AMEX PRG

FICO8 score 722
Message 4 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident

Discover stoped giving cards to people with ITIN, only SSN now.

 

With Chase you may need to go to a branch and ask if you are pre-qualified because you are at 5/24. Make sure that the pre-qual is shown on screen and ask for the APR just to make sure. You don't want to waste a HP.

 

I'll say garden for now. Maybe try to get a secured loan to make your file better (don't know if you can with ITIN, you should look that up).

 

You need to tell BofA and Amex about your ITIN. They will add to your file and report to the bureaus. Good luck.

Message 5 of 18
New Member

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident

Hello again,

 

Thank you for your advice. I need to take a look at the secured loans.  How would that work? For a car, or just for regular loan?  Do you know which bank/lender should I contact?

I will try to visit Chase the next time I will be in the US, and also can't wait for my ITIN number to arrive... 

Too bad for Discover, they are sending offers like every week or so.. 

 

I also got offers from Capital One, should I go for them, or I would not get a high limit anyway? I am reading allover the forums and their quicksilver cards do not have a high SSL, or should they match Amex for like 6000?

 

Also, whenever I will be eligible for cli at bank of america, what do you think I should ask for?

And yes, I will garden for a bit now:-)

If anyone without ssn/itin has questions, please let me know, I am more than happy to help what I know already Smiley Happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOA Cash Rewards 1600 | BOA Travel Rewards 1500 | BOA Business Travel Rewards Visa 4000 | AMEX BCE 6000 | AMEX Delta Gold 6000 | AMEX PRG

FICO8 score 722
Message 6 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident


@Cmon1983 wrote:

Hello again,

 

Thank you for your advice. I need to take a look at the secured loans.  How would that work? For a car, or just for regular loan?  Do you know which bank/lender should I contact?

I will try to visit Chase the next time I will be in the US, and also can't wait for my ITIN number to arrive... 

Too bad for Discover, they are sending offers like every week or so.. 

 

I also got offers from Capital One, should I go for them, or I would not get a high limit anyway? I am reading allover the forums and their quicksilver cards do not have a high SSL, or should they match Amex for like 6000?

 

Also, whenever I will be eligible for cli at bank of america, what do you think I should ask for?

And yes, I will garden for a bit now:-)

If anyone without ssn/itin has questions, please let me know, I am more than happy to help what I know already Smiley Happy

 


Sorry for the late response.

 

1.- The secured loan technique is a way to get a loan for 5 years, pay it down to 8% or so and let it report for the 5 years. This will show a better mix of credit on your profile. You can get it with ITIN. Check http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Understanding-FICO-Scoring/Adding-an-installment-loan-the-Share-Secu...

 

2.- You can try Capital One online with ITIN. Because you already have cards with 6K you may get a 5K limit but it all depends on your profile.

 

3.- With BofA you usually ask for a high CLI and they counter. My card was 2K and asked for 15K, they gave me a new limit of 6K, I called back and asked to use the same HP and got 7K, after a few days they changed to 10K.

 

Good luck.

Message 7 of 18
Super Contributor

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident

Kudos to all the friendly people on this thread who are helping out our OP -- but especially Newhis, who has become really good in the last few months at giving thoughtful, sound and encouraging feedback to newcomers.

 

My thoughts, for what they are worth, is that our OP should definitely ease up on the CC applications (as in stop them) and explore instead the idea of a Share Secure loan with Alliant.

 

After our OP gets that loan (and has paid it down), he should enter a prolonged period of gardening.  At least six months, more like a year or more.  No card applications.  It's a bit like an addict "drying out"!  :-)  There's a real boost, an addictive rush, that comes with each new toy (card) and each approval.  Use the time that you are spending away from new cards to calmly reflect on whether there is any advantage on having even one more card -- ever.  You have six and are already talking about three or four more that you want.  You don't want the cards to be controlling you -- via the addictive rush, the excitement, the feeling of approbation.  You want to be completely, cooly, and calmly in charge of every credit move you make.

 

To give you some perspective, I had three cards for many years and I had a score in the low 840s.  With six cards you have more than enough cards to reach an 850 if you ever feel like it.  (I have come to believe there is a slight advantage of four over three.) 

 

Now don't get me wrong, it's fine to have more.  But until you stay away from them for a while, and think hard about why you are applying for them, you'll never know who is in the drivers seat -- you or the CC app experience.

 

I am a bit concerned about the degree of spending you describe ("... booking hotels, tickets, ordering online...") and the interest you have in annual fee cards, like the CSP.  It's possible that you are wealthy and just new to the US.  But I am somehow doubting that.    You need to be very careful about not allowing credit cards to induce you to buy things that you might not buy if you had pull out your wallet and pay actual cash for, especially under the mistaken idea that you are earning Rewards.  Every dollar you spend that is not strictly necessary, even if you get as much as 5 cents back, is a huge loss.  Rewards programs are designed very intentionally to induce you to spend money you otherwise would not.

 

Those are just some thoughts.  I have followed your story with great interest since I have a friend who may be moving to the US later this year.  You have given me some basic for how to best help him.  Best wishes and congrats!

Message 8 of 18
New Member

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident

@ CreditguyinDixie:

 

First of all thank you very much for your thoughts and advices! You are correct, I need to be in control of the CC's not vice versa.  Since my last post the only thing changed was that my original BOA cash rewards secured card got to the limit of 6000!  And yes, I have just received my ITIN number and will work on the secured loan technique as it would really make a difference in my credit profile.  

The primary use of my credit cards are buying goods online and sell them on amazon / export them, so I am kind of using the cards for more like business purchases but I still want to earn rewards for them, possibly flying for free or get cash back. 

 

I would really want to raise my scores and get the secured loan, garden for a bit and then by the end of the year try to apply for some other cards when my credit score won't fluctuate that much ( right now its about 20-35 points difference every month).    I would probably stick to BOA & Amex as they are the most generous credit institutes so far with me. I am out of a game for a lot of Chase cards (the premier ones because of 5/24) but willing to add an Amazon card to the profile (shopping a lot on Amazon).  Of course there is the temptation every time, but gardening feels good, too, I bet Smiley Happy 

 

If there is anyone needing help with building credit with ITIN number don't hesitate to contact me, I will help with what I could. 

 

A question to the end: is there any way that I can assign my ITIN number to BOA without visiting the branch? I am currently out of USA and won't return in the next month or so, but the csr told me that the only avaiable option is that I visit a branch with 2 form identification and thereofre they could apply the ITIN to my account. 

BOA Cash Rewards 1600 | BOA Travel Rewards 1500 | BOA Business Travel Rewards Visa 4000 | AMEX BCE 6000 | AMEX Delta Gold 6000 | AMEX PRG

FICO8 score 722
Message 9 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: My credit journey as a non-resident

Usually ITIN is register when we open the account, because is a value that doesn't change, there is no way to add it online.

 

For some reason (new banker?) when I first got my BofA account/card they didn't fill in my ITIN number, I had to go back to the branch, identify myself and ask them to put the ITIN.

 

You can try a backdoor number and talk with a credit analyst (there is a post with several numbers from many banks. Maybe you get lucky and find someone that can put your ITIN on file. Good luck.

Message 10 of 18
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