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Building up credit

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I need to build up my credit here in the US. I have a bank account with the credit union but they do not offer secured credit cards.

So I was thinking about my options because I really do not want to be denied since that will affect my credit score.

My partner has excellent credit (800 range) so is it safe to get a credit card and have them co-sign? We are both at the same bank so do you think they'd approve me for an unsecured credit card with a low limit? We do not have joint accounts.

Also, my partner has a store credit card and is paying off a $500.00 balance with the minimum payment each month.

Would it be a good idea to have my name added to that account? We never miss a payment on it. Will this help my credit score?

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I was wondering the same thing. Hope someone can help us out soon :P


My K1 timeline (4 months/NO expedites): http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/profile.php?cfl=0&id=163489

My AOS timeline (10 months):

08/16/2014 - Sent in AOS package

08/18/2014 - Delivered per USPS website

08/22/2014 - Text of receipt numbers received

08/27/2014 - NOA hard copies received (dated 08/19 and 08/21)

08/29/2014 - Notice date of Biometrics letter

09/11/2014 - Received Biometrics appointment letter

09/18/2014 - Biometrics completed at USCIS Raleigh, North Carolina

11/08/2014 - EAD / Travel Document approved and went to card production

11/19/2014 - Received EAD/AP combo card (dated 11/14/2014)

12/16/2014 - Received Notice of Potential Interview Waiver letter dated 12/11/14

06/24/2015 - AOS approved! Card picked up by USPS KY for delivery

06/26/2015 - Received green card by mail (Yay I can rest for 2 years!)

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I need to build up my credit here in the US. I have a bank account with the credit union but they do not offer secured credit cards.

So I was thinking about my options because I really do not want to be denied since that will affect my credit score.

My partner has excellent credit (800 range) so is it safe to get a credit card and have them co-sign? We are both at the same bank so do you think they'd approve me for an unsecured credit card with a low limit? We do not have joint accounts.

Also, my partner has a store credit card and is paying off a $500.00 balance with the minimum payment each month.

Would it be a good idea to have my name added to that account? We never miss a payment on it. Will this help my credit score?

I know Wells Fargo has secured credit cards. You can also get a store card from Target, Kohl's etc pretty easily. They will be low limit but get one you will need to use regularly. Within 6 months, you should get offers for better unsecured credit cards. Start using those and pay back properly and within an year you should get a great credit score.

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Your bank will probably give you a credit card if your husband has a long and successful history with them. We bank with Chase, and they gave my husband a low limit credit card based on my relationship with them. We then has him use that (not exceeding 20% of his limit each month and paying it in full) for about 6 months and then he was able to apply for an airline CC (which I think we ultimately needed Chase to again push through, but they did so without issue). Also had him added as primary to our electric bill (this took some hoop-jumping) as soon as possible. Not sure how much this helped, but it definitely didn't hurt.

He's been here 1.5 years and we just bought a house, so everything we did seems to have paid off. He could have gotten the mortgage himself without issue based on his own credit score and income at this point.

My advice is to add your name to anything and everything you can right out of the gate. Building credit is such a hassle :(


K1 Visa Process AOS Process

Mar 18 2013: I-129F mailed to CSC Nov 15 2013: I-485 with EAD/AP filed at Chicago Lockbox

Sept 19 2013: Interview - Approved!! Jan 25 2014: EAD/AP Card Received

Oct 6 2013: POE - Chicago O'Hare June 2 2014: Permanent Resident Card Received!

Oct 27 2013: Wedding!

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Your bank will probably give you a credit card if your husband has a long and successful history with them. We bank with Chase, and they gave my husband a low limit credit card based on my relationship with them. We then has him use that (not exceeding 20% of his limit each month and paying it in full) for about 6 months and then he was able to apply for an airline CC (which I think we ultimately needed Chase to again push through, but they did so without issue). Also had him added as primary to our electric bill (this took some hoop-jumping) as soon as possible. Not sure how much this helped, but it definitely didn't hurt.

He's been here 1.5 years and we just bought a house, so everything we did seems to have paid off. He could have gotten the mortgage himself without issue based on his own credit score and income at this point.

My advice is to add your name to anything and everything you can right out of the gate. Building credit is such a hassle :(

I was added on my husband's Navy Fed account. So whatever purchases he makes will reflect on both our credit scores?


My K1 timeline (4 months/NO expedites): http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/profile.php?cfl=0&id=163489

My AOS timeline (10 months):

08/16/2014 - Sent in AOS package

08/18/2014 - Delivered per USPS website

08/22/2014 - Text of receipt numbers received

08/27/2014 - NOA hard copies received (dated 08/19 and 08/21)

08/29/2014 - Notice date of Biometrics letter

09/11/2014 - Received Biometrics appointment letter

09/18/2014 - Biometrics completed at USCIS Raleigh, North Carolina

11/08/2014 - EAD / Travel Document approved and went to card production

11/19/2014 - Received EAD/AP combo card (dated 11/14/2014)

12/16/2014 - Received Notice of Potential Interview Waiver letter dated 12/11/14

06/24/2015 - AOS approved! Card picked up by USPS KY for delivery

06/26/2015 - Received green card by mail (Yay I can rest for 2 years!)

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A quick google search makes it appear Navy Fed may be reporting out to the credit bureaus for authorized users, but I'd give them a call and check - they also distinguish between joint user and authorized user, so I'm not sure of the differences and implications. If it's been more than 6 months since you were added, maybe pull your credit report and see what's being reported on it.


K1 Visa Process AOS Process

Mar 18 2013: I-129F mailed to CSC Nov 15 2013: I-485 with EAD/AP filed at Chicago Lockbox

Sept 19 2013: Interview - Approved!! Jan 25 2014: EAD/AP Card Received

Oct 6 2013: POE - Chicago O'Hare June 2 2014: Permanent Resident Card Received!

Oct 27 2013: Wedding!

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If your husband adds you to his current account it will help, you will not only get credit for his future on time payments but the credit history for how long he has had the account will come along with it. What you need to check before hand though would be his balance to credit limit ratio, it needs to be under 40% or it could hurt your credit more than help even with ontime payments, so if the balance is 500 that hes paying down and his credit limit is 750 thats over 40% and could hurt your credit. There are several major credit card companies such as capital one and discover who offer secured cards that after a year of on time payments would be converted to unsecured.

Edited by yllas025

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My husband literally added me as an auth user to all his credit cards(amex,discover,cap one etc).Really helped me build my score then after a couple of months I was approved for a store card then started applying for other cards too.Fast forward to today,I now have my own amex,discover,cap one and higher credit score than my husband,lol.Just watch out for utilization though.We keep it below 10% (people say below 30% is ideal) and never miss any payments.Good luck! :)


Filed I-130 DCF: May 27, 2014 Here's what happened (http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/498046-filed-dcf-today-5-27-2014/ )

I-130 Approved on:June 4,2014

Interview July 18, 2014 (Approved) You can read this ( http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/506247-interview/ )

Got the Visa Packet!! July 23,2014

POE: SEATTLE July 28,2014

--------------------------------------------

GREEN CARD AND SSC STATUS

August 25,2014 Went to SSA to see what's going on with my SSC- SAVE has my middle name together with my first name.

August 28,2014 ELIS went from ACCEPTED TO OPTIMIZED IN PROCESS (INITIAL REVIEW)

September 2 Called local ssa and was told SSC was mailed/Elis says Green CARD production has begun

September 4,2014-received ssc

September 8,2014- green card mailed/closed on elis

September 9,2014- green card received yahooo!!

---------------------------------------------------------

REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS

Mailed Packet: 4/29/2016

NOA1: 5/2/2016

Bio Appt: 6/1/2016

Approval:2/13/2017

Received 10 year green card:2/17/2017

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There is a pinned topic on building credit in the Tax and Finances forum that might give you some good information.

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/forum/159-tax-finances-during-us-immigration/

My husband gained a credit score by being an authorized user (not joint owner) on several of my credit cards.

Also wanted to add that in just a year from now you will be gathering documents for removing conditions on your 2 year greencard. Joint bank and credit card accounts are good evidence. Your joint evidence needs to span the entire two years since your greencard was issued or since your marriage. You might want to get some joint accounts now since you've already been a full year without.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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When my wife wished to build her credit, she went to a local credit union and they worked with her to help her. They gave her a loan of $100 and then asked her to repay that loan in designated small increments. Then they gave her another larger loan and had her do the same thing again. That got the ball rolling. Soon she got offers for credit cards. She always paid on time when using them. Then she got approved for a car loan and paid always on time. She paid the rent and utilities month after month on time. Just last year she was approved at a very good rate for a house loan, and she bought the house and pays the mortgage every month on time. Her credit score is around 750 right now, but that is due to the fact her credit history is so short in this country. If she lived here longer her score would be much higher. As time passes her score keeps going higher as she continues to be financially responsible.

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I added my huband to my Discover Card. They made him a joint account user. We also applied for a secured credit card, but because we were able to purchase a car and have him on the title with me, we canceled the secured credit card before it was issued. Almost immediately after that he was able to get two unsecured credit cards to start establishing his own credit.


ROC

3.6.2017     Mailed I-751

3.7.2017     NOA sent

3.23.2017   Biometrics Appointment

2.26.2018   I-751 Transferred to Local Office

3.5.2018     I-751 Received in Local Office

5.1.2018     Case Transferred; Preliminary Review Done; transferred to NBC in Lee's Summit, MO

5.3.2018     Case Transferred

7.24.2018   Joint interview approved

7.30.2018   Green Card received

Naturalization

3.15.2018   Filed N 400 Online

3.15.2018   USCIS sent the receipt

3.16.2018   USCIS sent biometrics letter

6.14.2018   Interview Notice sent

7.24.2018   Naturalization Interview; approved

9.26.2018   Oath Ceremony Scheduled

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I need to build up my credit here in the US. I have a bank account with the credit union but they do not offer secured credit cards.

So I was thinking about my options because I really do not want to be denied since that will affect my credit score.

My partner has excellent credit (800 range) so is it safe to get a credit card and have them co-sign? We are both at the same bank so do you think they'd approve me for an unsecured credit card with a low limit? We do not have joint accounts.

Also, my partner has a store credit card and is paying off a $500.00 balance with the minimum payment each month.

Would it be a good idea to have my name added to that account? We never miss a payment on it. Will this help my credit score?

Adding you as an authorised user does NOT raise or down your credit score at all.

On your credit report, you are reported as an authorised user. You cannot co-sign a credit card. When I first came to this country, I opened a credit card at macys using my passport, state ID and another credit card from my home country. It was opened on the spot and approved with 1,000 credit line. I let it sit there for few weeks and applied for a Bank of America credit card (not secured!) and was approved in few days.

I would also recommend you taking an AMEX charge card, since it is a charge card, it gets approved easier than regular credit cards. I almost had no problem with chase approving me . I wouldn't recommend capital one to ANYBODY, since they literally send me an approved offer every other month and each time i applied,I was declined with 3 hard pulls.

I remember Barclays representative told me i was declined because they only issue cards to US citizens.

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Maybe a bit late for you as you've already moved to the US but if you take out an amex in the UK you can actually transfer it to any country you move to and become a resident of, this is as simple as changing a few things online. I have a platinum card and as soon as I have a SSN I'll transfer my account to the US immediately moving my credit history with amex over.


Adjustment of Status (AOS) Followed by Removal of Conditions (ROC)

 

03-13-2015: AOS Packet Mailed to Chicago Lockbox Facility via USPS

03-14-2015: Arrived at Post Office Chicago, IL

03-17-2015: AOS Packet received by USCIS

03-23-2015: Text/ Email Notification: Notice of Acceptance

03-28-2015: NOA1 for AOS, AP & EAD received in the mail

04-03-2015: Notice of Appointment for Biometrics on the 14th of April at 9 a.m arrived with lawyer

04-07-2015: Notice of Appointment for Biometrics on the 14th of April at 9 a.m arrived at my address (lot slower)

04-06-2015: Early walk in for Biometrics complete 6th April, walked in at 3pm and spoke with the centre manager

05-14-2015: Expedite request made

05-15-2015: USCIS site says expedite complete but no change.

06-01-2015: Case enquiry opened with USCIS as its passed 75 days.

06-02-2015: EAD/AP card in production and to be distributed.

06-05-2014: Hard copy notice to say EAD approved.

06-08-2015: EAD Card arrived in the mail.

08-25-2015: 161 Days since filing and no interview date.

01-12-2016: 300 Days since filingand no interview date.

02-24-2016: Case scheduled for Interview March 26th 2016 (347 days after filing and will be well over a year come interview date).

04-02-2016: GREEN CARD ARRIVED.
01-02-2018: ROC I-751 package sent
01-03-2018: I-751 signed for in California 
01-08-2018: NOA-1 Received (1 year Extension Letter)

 

 

 

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Adding you as an authorised user does NOT raise or down your credit score at all.

On your credit report, you are reported as an authorised user. You cannot co-sign a credit card. When I first came to this country, I opened a credit card at macys using my passport, state ID and another credit card from my home country. It was opened on the spot and approved with 1,000 credit line. I let it sit there for few weeks and applied for a Bank of America credit card (not secured!) and was approved in few days.

I would also recommend you taking an AMEX charge card, since it is a charge card, it gets approved easier than regular credit cards. I almost had no problem with chase approving me . I wouldn't recommend capital one to ANYBODY, since they literally send me an approved offer every other month and each time i applied,I was declined with 3 hard pulls.

I remember Barclays representative told me i was declined because they only issue cards to US citizens.

I'm not sure that the bolded is correct but maybe you can point me in the right direction.

Different credit models take a different approach to authorized user credit. All FICO score versions include authorized user accounts so it will impact your credit both positively and negatively.

On the advice of my FP this is how we built my wife's credit along with a secured card from BOA. Within a few years her score was higher than mine and I am now an authorized user on all of her cards as well.

From the FICO website:

Authorized user of credit card

All FICO® Score versions include authorized user credit card accounts when calculating a score. This can help people benefit from their shared management of a credit card account. It also helps lenders by providing scores that are based on a full snapshot of the consumer's credit history.

Edited by Operator

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*** Thread moved from the "Moving to the US" forum to the "Tax & Finances" forum, where similar issues are often discussed. ***


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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