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Penguin_ie

Banks and bank accounts

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I've a few questions about banking:

- Is there any bank you guys would especially recommend? We will move to NW Arkansas if it makes a difference.

- When will my/ our credit be good enough to get a credit card? DH, the USC, has no debts, but also never took out loans and had no credit card when in the US, so I don't think he'll have a credit score? I am thinking the easiest will be to just keep our Irish credit card open for a year or so, till credit is established?

- How quickly can a bank account be opened/ be functional and what is needed to open one? Here in Ireland it's quite complicated- you need two bills in your name with a home address, and after you go to the branch to open the account, it takes several days till it is functional. My husband is flying over for a week long visit next month and we were hoping he could open an account then, and I could transfer most of our savings into it the same day, as he might make an offer on a house while over there and we'd be in a better position to negotiate if he can show money in the bank...


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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I don't know what banks are in Arkansas but I do not recommend Wells Fargo. They have all kinds of fees and charge you for every breath you take. It's ridiculous.

I think the best thing would be to call banks ahead of time and explain the situation before flying to the US. That way he can be prepared with whatever they ask.

He might also ask them to open a secured credit card and that should help him and you get started on building credit.

Diana


CR-1

02/05/07 - I-130 sent to NSC

05/03/07 - NOA2

05/10/07 - NVC receives petition, case # assigned

08/08/07 - Case Complete

09/27/07 - Interview, visa granted

10/02/07 - POE

11/16/07 - Received green card and Welcome to America letter in the mail

Removing Conditions

07/06/09 - I-751 sent to CSC

08/14/09 - Biometrics

09/27/09 - Approved

10/01/09 - Received 10 year green card

U.S. Citizenship

03/30/11 - N-400 sent via Priority Mail w/ delivery confirmation

05/12/11 - Biometrics

07/20/11 - Interview - passed

07/20/11 - Oath ceremony - same day as interview

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Opening a bank account here is easy. Last few accounts I/we opened, just need some ID. No need for proof of SSN (although you are required to provide an SSN), address, blood type, or much of anything else. Account is "functional" - complete with ATM card - immediately. If the bank you go to demands anything else, I recommend leaving and finding another bank.

Should be able to get a credit card right away. Will have a small limit - but you should be able to get one.

Recommend a credit union over a bank, and agree with above poster - stay the hell away from Wells Fargo. They suck in every way possible.


PEOPLE: READ THE APPLICATION FORM INSTRUCTIONS!!!! They have a lot of good information in them! Most of the questions I see on VJ are clearly addressed by the form instructions. Give them a read!! If you are unable to understand the form instructions, I highly recommend hiring someone who does to help you with the process. Our process, from K-1 to Citizenship and U.S. Passport is completed. Good luck with your process.

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See, since neither one of them have any kind of credit in the US, I thik it will take a few tries getting a credit card. A secured credit card will take care of that and after a while they'll give you a real credit card.

Diana


CR-1

02/05/07 - I-130 sent to NSC

05/03/07 - NOA2

05/10/07 - NVC receives petition, case # assigned

08/08/07 - Case Complete

09/27/07 - Interview, visa granted

10/02/07 - POE

11/16/07 - Received green card and Welcome to America letter in the mail

Removing Conditions

07/06/09 - I-751 sent to CSC

08/14/09 - Biometrics

09/27/09 - Approved

10/01/09 - Received 10 year green card

U.S. Citizenship

03/30/11 - N-400 sent via Priority Mail w/ delivery confirmation

05/12/11 - Biometrics

07/20/11 - Interview - passed

07/20/11 - Oath ceremony - same day as interview

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What is a secured credit card? Is it like a debit card where money comes out of your account immediately, or a card with a tiny limit (say, 200 dollars or something)? I never borrow on the card, always pay it all off at the end of the month, so the first of these would be no problem. The second might, as we'll need to make several big purchases soon after arriving in the US (furniture, a car etc).


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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A secured credit card is linked to a bank account, allowing a credit card company to deduct payment if the cardholder fails to pay. To obtain a secured card, you must deposit an amount of money equal to the credit limit of the card into a bank account.

Removing of Conditions Timeline

05/29/2007 - Sent package to NSC

05/31/2007 - Package received by NSC

06/01/2007 - Date on NOA (1 day after they received our package!)

06/11/2007 - NOA and Biometrics notice received via snail-mail

06/21/2007 - Biometrics taken

04/03/2008 - Transferred to CSC

05/14/2008 - Approved (notified via email)

05/21/2008 - Card received

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Why don't Americans do Debit cards. That secured credit card thing sounds like nonsense. You have to leave the money in there??? At least with a debit card you can use your money, it's not sitting doing nothing in an account so you can have a card.


The UK Wiki

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When I arrived in the US I had a check with me that I needed to get into a bank account rather than just holding on to it. We went to a number of banks and some said that without a SSN they couldn't open an account for me. Finally we went to Suntrust and they helped me by opening an account without having the SSN yet. I must say that my check was for a substantial amount after the sale of a home in Australia and still there were a lot of places that were not interested. Anyway once at Suntrust they were happy to have me as a customer and I provided them with my SSN as soon as I had it. I suggest that you go from place to place until you find somewhere that is willing to give you what you need. Something I have found since living here in America is that not all banks or anything really operates the same way, you can always find somewhere that is more willing than others to do things a little differently. I do think that you will need to wait till you are living here though as they do require an address here in the States. Can't offer any advice on credit cards though since neither of us has a credit card.

Good luck.

Debby


K-3 Visa

Event Date

Service Center : Texas Service Center

Consulate : Sydney, Australia

Marriage : 2003-12-27

I-130 Sent : 2004-01-15

I-130 NOA1 : 2004-01-20

I-129F Sent : 2004-02-18

I-129F NOA1 : 2004-02-23

I-129F RFE(s) :

RFE Reply(s) :

I-129F NOA2 : 2004-07-24

NVC Received :

NVC Left :

Consulate Received :

Packet 3 Received : 2004-08-20

Packet 3 Sent : 2004-09-23

Packet 4 Received : 2004-10-01

Interview Date : 2004-10-27 Submit Review

Visa Received : 2004-10-27

US Entry : 2004-11-03

I-130 Approval :

Point of Entry Review

Event Date

Point of Entry : Atlanta

POE Date : 2004-11-03

Got EAD Stamp :

Biometrics Taken : Yes

Harassment Level : 0

Comments : They were really nice at Hartsfield airport when I arrived. The lines were long and the process took a while but there were no hassles.

Adjustment of Status

Event Date

CIS Office : Atlanta GA

Date Filed : 2005-01-23

NOA Date :

RFE(s) :

Bio. Appt. : 2005-03-18

Interview Date : 2006-08-01 Submit Review

Approved :

Got I551 Stamp :

Greencard Received:

Comments :

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Why don't Americans do Debit cards. That secured credit card thing sounds like nonsense. You have to leave the money in there??? At least with a debit card you can use your money, it's not sitting doing nothing in an account so you can have a card.
Uh, gee, because debit cards do not help you establish and build credit?

PEOPLE: READ THE APPLICATION FORM INSTRUCTIONS!!!! They have a lot of good information in them! Most of the questions I see on VJ are clearly addressed by the form instructions. Give them a read!! If you are unable to understand the form instructions, I highly recommend hiring someone who does to help you with the process. Our process, from K-1 to Citizenship and U.S. Passport is completed. Good luck with your process.

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We opened a joint account the last time P was visiting. They took his passport and his social security number (which he had from when he lived in US as a teenager) and my DL.

We went through Bank of America, though my primary account is through a teacher's credit union and they have better rates. But I like BofA and we've never had any problems with them.

Oh and I was going to say that I don't think your Irish credit card will help you establish credit here in the states even if you keep it open. Perhaps you could get a department store or gas card if you don't want to do a secured credit card? That way you can begin to establish some credit. I think that in our debt-friendly country (insert sarcasm there!) you will find that soon enough you'll have offers coming in.


____________________________________

Done with USCIS until 12/28/2020!

penguinpasscanada.jpg

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" ~Gandhi

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credit cards from other countries dont show up on your US credit report and as such don't make any difference to your credit rating over here. technically, you could run up your irish credit card and not pay it off...this would not have any adverse rating on your US credit score.

you will be starting from nothing so any kind of credit you can secure will be helpful...capital one are able to offer unsecured credit cards to non-residents, which helps! secured credit cards really are a waste of time, unless every other option has failed you! Wells Fargo is extremely hard to get credit through as a non-resident/citizen...impossible actually!

I was able to get a bank of america, capital one and a gas card credit card (for the summer drive!) as soon as i came here. very low limits but of course they increase them periodically. nothing like the credit i had before i left UK!


June 20th 2007.....I-129f Sent to CSC!

July 7th 2007....NOA1

November 8th....NOA2

December 8th.....Packet 3 Received (Sent back 10th)

January 8th.....Packet 4 Received

January 16th.....Interview in London

January 20th....Flight to AZ via JFK, received temp EAD

February 29th...Civil Ceremony

March 10th...I485, I765 & I131 sent to Chicago

March 22nd....Received NOA for I485, I131 & I765 (All dated March 18th)

March 24th....Received Biometrics Appointment Letter (dated March 20th)

April 7th...Request for Initial Evidence for I485 (Received in MO on the 10th)

April 9th....Biometrics Appointment

May 30th...EAD Card Production Ordered and AP Approved

June 7th....Wedding!!

June 13th...EAD Card & AP in hand

September 22nd...AOS Interview - APPROVED!

Nov 21st...Card Production Ordered!

Nov 22nd...Welcome to America Letter Received

Nov 29th 2008...Green Card Received!!!

Aug 20th 2010...Mailed I-751 to CSC

Aug 23rd...Check Cashed

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I was able to open checking and savings accounts with Bank of America the day after I arrived. I needed to provide an SSN eventually, but did not need it on the day I opened an account but gave it to the bank when it arrived in the mail a few weeks after I arrived in the US.

I had a MasterCard in Ireland, but that mattered little in the US and I was turned down for a MasterCard as I had no credit history here. I managed to get a secured credit card, after which I started to build up credit. Now, almost two years on, I have several unsecured credit cards with respectable limits and am inundated with credit card and loan offers in the mail.


Timeline

I-130

February 13, 2006: I-130 filed (US Embassy, Dublin, Ireland).

April 18, 2006: Interview date received.

May 02, 2006: Interview (US Embassy, Dublin, Ireland). Visa approved.

June 14, 2006: Moved to Charlotte, NC.

July 20, 2006: 'Welcome to the United States' letter received.

July 21, 2006: Applied for SSN.

July 29, 2006: SSN received.

September 05, 2006: 2 year Permanent Resident card received.

I-751

April 09, 2008: Mailed I-751 to TSC.

April 15, 2008: Check cashed.

April 16, 2008: Case transferred to VSC.

April 23, 2008: Biometrics appointment letter received.

May 10, 2008: Biometrics appointment.

June 28, 2008: Moved to Clearwater, FL (Filed AR-11 and I-865).

March 04,2009: 10 year Permanent Resident card production ordered.

March 13,2009: 10 year Permanent Resident card received.

N-400

April 24, 2009: Mailed N-400 to TX Lockbox.

April 30, 2009: NOA1 Notice date.

May 11, 2009: Biometrics appointment letter received.

May 16, 2009: Biometrics complete (walk-in).

June 04, 2009: Interview letter received.

July 23, 2009: Interview.

July 23, 2009: Oath. I am a US citizen!

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Why don't Americans do Debit cards. That secured credit card thing sounds like nonsense. You have to leave the money in there??? At least with a debit card you can use your money, it's not sitting doing nothing in an account so you can have a card.

I'm pretty sure they do, my bank card is a Visa but its a debit card, i cant use it to get credit (go overdrawn) but I can use it at places that require a credit card, it just debits my account

of course the 4 years good banking I have with them wont count towards anything as i have no SSN so it will not tie up once I get one (I assume)

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