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Author: smytheyboy Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308470  
Subject: Easiest way to get a credit card? Date: 11/24/2002 12:05 AM
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Hi,
I have just moved to the US from the UK and would like to get a credit card. I havent tried yet for two reasons:
1) I have heard stories that it is very difficult to get a credit card in the US if you move from a foreign land. e.g. a friend of mine and his wife both work at a prominent US university, they have very well payed jobs. But they had a very toudh time getting a card, I think it took 7-8 applications.

2) I am concerned that if I try to go through this process and get rejected for many cards, my currently non-existent credit history will get tarnished. (By the way, I agree it is impossible to tarnish something that doesnt exist but you know what I mean!)

I have been told that I can request a card company to do an international credit check (I have a good record in the UK) but most are very unwilling to do so.

Essentially my question is, what is the best way for me to get a credit card without starting off life here with a bad credit history?

Thanks in advance

Smytheyboy
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Author: LadyIanna Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145858 of 308470
Subject: Re: Easiest way to get a credit card? Date: 11/24/2002 1:17 PM
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Smytheyboy -

If you've got some extra cash laying about, you could open up a secured card. They are available at most banks and such that handle credit cards. The bank or credit union you deal with currently could help you with this. You deposit a set amount into a savings account and your credit limit is the same amount as the savings. I did this when my credit wasn't looking too hot, and I felt I needed to stash some away for a rainy day. This enables you to build up a credit history. Making payments on time etc. makes it a _good_ credit history.

Also, I would make your current bank your first place to apply for a credit card. Regardless of the rate, if you pay it off every month, or never use it, once they give you the card you will now have a credit history. Then you can look into getting another card with a lower rate.

Also, never pay a fee for a secured card despite what some of those fly-by-night tv commercials say, you can get a card. You have an advantage over some people. You don't have a bad credit history, just no US credit history.

Also, I would think American Express etc would be able to check your UK credit history, as they are an international company. (aren't they?)

(of course if I'm wrong about any of this, I'll be flamed to death.) 8^)


Anyway, welcome to the US and good luck!

Lady Ianna

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Author: eudaimon6 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145859 of 308470
Subject: Re: Easiest way to get a credit card? Date: 11/24/2002 1:23 PM
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take $500 and get a secured credit card. many banks offer them. what you are doing is putting money in an interest-earning account which secures a line of credit. the bank is 100% protected because if you dont pay they keep your deposit. after a year or so of good pay history ask to have the card converted to fully or partly unsecured states. the most important thing to look for on these type cards is one with no annual fee. interest rate is less important since you will not likely be carrying much of a balance, if any, on a card with a small limit.

avoid some of the cards offered to people with poor/limited credit with very high initial fees. i have heard of cards with start-up and annual fees of more than $200.

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Author: LadyIanna Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145863 of 308470
Subject: Re: Easiest way to get a credit card? Date: 11/24/2002 2:28 PM
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take $500 and get a secured credit card. many banks offer them.

there must be an echo in here. <,^)

LI


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Author: concordiax Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145866 of 308470
Subject: Re: Easiest way to get a credit card? Date: 11/24/2002 4:02 PM
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As others have said, a secured CC is your best bet to start. That's what an English colleague of mine did when she moved to the US three years ago to take a college job. She also leased a car, which, while not the best idea in all circumstances, further helped establish a credit rating in the US. It didn't take long to get a non-secured credit card after that. She bought a house recently, and had no trouble getting a decent mortgage, so I guess it worked.

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Author: xxannxx Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145942 of 308470
Subject: Re: Easiest way to get a credit card? Date: 11/25/2002 5:40 PM
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>>Also, I would think American Express etc would be able to check your UK credit history, as they are an international company. (aren't they?)

I had a friend who was in exactly this position, and even Amex wouldn't do an international credit check.

I got him a card on my Amex account, and within 3 months he had his own card, and a flood of other offers.

You'd have to find someone who *really* trusts you to go this route, though.

ann

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