5 Tips to Build Credit as a New Immigrant

The land of the free, home of the brave and a place where it is almost impossible to establish new immigrant credit without already having existing credit. While you’re shaking your head at the seemingly catch-22 scenario, keep in mind that while it can be difficult to build credit as a U.S. immigrant without any pre-existing credit, it can be done. Credit card companies and financial institutions can be made to listen, but you need to take the time to prepare yourself and have important documents at the ready.

So, here are five tips that can help build your new immigrant credit:

5.) Don’t Take “No” for an Answer

Denied - new immigrant credit

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Without a pre-existing credit history, don’t be surprised if many credit card companies and financial institutions turn you down for credit cards and loans. If this happens, appeal the decision, especially if you earn a decent income; prove it with pay stubs. Another way to prove your credit-worthiness to the credit companies and in turn improve your new immigrant credit is if your employer or even your landlord are on good terms with you; don’t be afraid to ask them for letters of recommendation based on their own financial dealings with you.

In fact, if you pay your rent through an electronic rent service, report your payment to Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. Some utility companies report your payments, too, so paying your cable, electricity, water and other bills on time (and in full) can help you establish your new immigrant credit.

Additionally, if you have good standing with creditors in the country you came from, get copies of any glowing statements and reports, translate them into English if necessary and show them to the creditor or bank with which you want to establish a credit card or loan. Take the time to build your case and then argue it, and you just may be rewarded with the credit card or the loan you’ve been asking for.