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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Starting from scratch Date:  10/23/2001  2:09 PM
Author:  Leviathan Number:  95719 of 312155

I have a friend who has recently moved to the US from Jamaica, and has a good job in computers. I helped him open a bank account today, and the bank offered a 'secured' credit card, i.e. backed up by his savings account. My question is 'is this the fastest/only way for him to start to build a credit history?" How difficult will it be for him to buy a property with a mortgage? He's on a work-permit visa.

It depends on how long it will be until he buys it. If he's purely interested in having a higher credit score and a history, then a secured card, which I hate because they are charging you interest to borrow your own money, is a possibility. However, if your friend is going to stay here for a while before buying a house (which I think may be a good idea so that he has some clue as to where to live), then he can build up a credit history and get a mortgage by paying his rent and utilities on time and by saving up a large down payment. This may also mean that he has to shop around for some place that will look beyond the credit score (and I'm also not up on my visa info so they may be wary of lending if they think he's going to leave the country shortly which may be mitigated somewhat by having a large down payment).

Hopefully, that answered your question and gave you an alternative to think about.

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