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Would like to ask what is the best way to go about building my credit? I already have my GC and SSN, I am part of a joint bank account, and I will have three household bills in my name starting August. I have been receiving letters from Capitol One and other banks to open a credit card, just not sure which I should get because I am not familiar with the lingo and how to build credit in general. Besides, we have a debit card which we usually prefer to use, so I wouldn't know what to pay for with a credit card anyway? Can someone just guide me in the right direction? My hubby doesn't have a credit card either, just debit, should we get a joint credit account or should I get one separately? Just lost and confused in this matter, any advice would help!


My Journey:

We met through a study-abroad program in Shanghai, China in August of 2009

We got engaged March of 2010

I received my K1 VISA in 6 months (June-December 2010)

We were married 04/02/2011
I received my conditional 2-year greencard (AOS) in 2.5 months with no interview (April-June 2011)

Our son was born 02/03/2013

I received my masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology 04/17/2013

I received my 10-year greencard (ROC) in 3 months with no interview (March-June 2013)

My husband returned from deployment 06/20/2013

My naturalization journey took 4 months (April-August 2014)

I became a US citizen on 08/01/2014

Received passport in 3 weeks (regular processing)

Thank you, VJ! smile.png

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Also, what about walmart credit card? Or since im going back to school, should I get those cards offered to students?


My Journey:

We met through a study-abroad program in Shanghai, China in August of 2009

We got engaged March of 2010

I received my K1 VISA in 6 months (June-December 2010)

We were married 04/02/2011
I received my conditional 2-year greencard (AOS) in 2.5 months with no interview (April-June 2011)

Our son was born 02/03/2013

I received my masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology 04/17/2013

I received my 10-year greencard (ROC) in 3 months with no interview (March-June 2013)

My husband returned from deployment 06/20/2013

My naturalization journey took 4 months (April-August 2014)

I became a US citizen on 08/01/2014

Received passport in 3 weeks (regular processing)

Thank you, VJ! smile.png

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My cousin wanted to build her credit, so she started getting victoria's secret credit card, macy's, etc. i think as long as it's "credit" card and you pay them regularly... that's just my opinion. :)


Jul. 2010 - got married

Aug. 13 [i think? xD] - I-130 sent

Nov. 27 - I-130 approved! [we didn't receive NOA2 which gave us headache whether to advance to filing AOS..but we did..so..]

.....

Jan. 24 - I485 and I765 apps sent out [DAY 00]

Jan. 27 - Received Date [DAY 03]

Feb. 01 - Notice Date NOA1 for both I485 and I765 [DAY 08]

Feb. 14 - NOA2 for Biometrics Appt. for March 2. [DAY 21]

Mar. 02 - Biometrics Appt. Done. [DAY 37]

Mar. 29 - EAD Card Production Email Notice and Online Case Status [DAY 64]

Apr. 01 - EAD Card Production Email Notice - AGAIN -_____- [DAY 67]

Apr. 04 - EAD Approval Email Notice [DAY 70]

Apr. 06 - EAC card received in the mail!!! :D [DAY 72]

Apr. 07 - Applied for SSN ^_^ [DAY 73]

Apr. 11 - Got my SSN (just the number..the card will be next week or so :) )[DAY 77]

Apr. 14 - Got my SS Card in the mail [Day 80]

May 12 - Received my Interview letter dated in June 15th (a day after my 24th bday aklsjdalkdjkasl!~!!!!!!!) [DAY 107]

June 15 - INITIAL INTERVIEW - APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!! Card Production Ordered! :) [DAY 141]

June 20 - Welcome Letter Received! [DAY 146]

June 23 - GREEN CARD RECEIVED!!! [DAY 149]

ROC

Apr. 04, 2013 - Sent I751 packet to VSC

Apr. 08, 2013 - Received NOA1

May 08, 2013 - Biometrics appt.

Aug. 14, 2013 - Card Production Order message received via email and text

Aug. 16, 2013 - Received approval letter dated Aug. 12th

Aug. 22, 2013 - Received card in the mail!:)

N-400

Jun 13, 2014 - sent N400

Jun 19, 2014 - check cashed

Jul 15, 2014 - received notice that my application is being reviewed

October (cannot remember the date) - Placed in line for interview

December 8, 2014 - Interview date (passed)

December 12, 2014 - Oath!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Morocco
Timeline

Be careful of to many credit cards. One really is enough and to use it for emergiencies. A good checking account balance, paying bills on time, and saving is the best way to insure good credit. Getting into debt with credit cards is very foolish.

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Be very careful of credit cards...its so easy to over spend. I would suggest a store credit card to start with...i.e. Macy's, Kohls. Pay it ON TIME, ALL THE TIME. And always try to pay more than the minimum due. Rule of thumb, if you can't afford to buy it in cash...DON'T BUY IT.


10/26/03 Met in Yahoo chat room
06-2004 Glyn flies to Boston for 2 week holiday with me in White Mountains
06/07/2006- HE PROPOSES!!
12/13/2006- Glyn and Simon the best man fly in for wedding.
December 16,2006- Happiest day of my life
12/25/2006- Best and worst Christmas ever. Glyn flies back to England at 6 pm Christmas Night.
02/19/2007- UK spousal visa approved in NY after only 4 days.
March 2,2007- Reunited in England with Glyn.
01/21/2008-mailed I-130 to USCIS in London
01/24/2008-NOA1
04/13/2008-Panic. RFE received
April 17, 2008-Mailed off again.
April 22, 2008-NOA2 received dated April 21, 2008.
April 26, 2008-Packet 3 received
April 28, 2008-Mailed off DS-230
May06,2008-Packet 3 sent
May 08, 2008-Medical scheduled
May 22,2008-Packet 4 received
June 03,2008-Interview APPROVED!!!!!

June 04, 2008-Visa in hand
June 20, 2008-Shippers come for our things.
June 25, 2008-Flying to the USA
November 15, 2010-Sent off VERY late I-751 along with many prayers.
04/09/2011-10 year GC arrives in mail.
09/08/2011-Glyn leaves for UK
01/30/2012-Biometrics for UK spousal & dependent visas sent out w/ application same day
02/24/2012-UK settlement visas issued

04/16/2013-I-130 sent off-----04/19/2013 NOA1

05/15/2013-NOA2

Never received packet 3 although it was mailed to us on May 29th

07/17/2013-Sent off packet 3 after finally getting ALL our documents together

08/19/2013-Medical scheduled (there were earlier appointments but unfortunately, we couldn't get there for them due to hubby's work)

09/24/2013-Interview APPROVED

11/01/2013-POE BOSTON

01/13/2014-10 Year green card received

03/09/2019- Sent I-130 to Chicago lock box for step-son

03/20/2019- NOA 1

08/10/2019-NOA 2

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That's not a prob, hubby and I are excellent in budgeting money.. he has excellent credit, I have zero. Just wanna get working on it :)


My Journey:

We met through a study-abroad program in Shanghai, China in August of 2009

We got engaged March of 2010

I received my K1 VISA in 6 months (June-December 2010)

We were married 04/02/2011
I received my conditional 2-year greencard (AOS) in 2.5 months with no interview (April-June 2011)

Our son was born 02/03/2013

I received my masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology 04/17/2013

I received my 10-year greencard (ROC) in 3 months with no interview (March-June 2013)

My husband returned from deployment 06/20/2013

My naturalization journey took 4 months (April-August 2014)

I became a US citizen on 08/01/2014

Received passport in 3 weeks (regular processing)

Thank you, VJ! smile.png

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Would like to ask what is the best way to go about building my credit? I already have my GC and SSN, I am part of a joint bank account, and I will have three household bills in my name starting August. I have been receiving letters from Capitol One and other banks to open a credit card, just not sure which I should get because I am not familiar with the lingo and how to build credit in general. Besides, we have a debit card which we usually prefer to use, so I wouldn't know what to pay for with a credit card anyway? Can someone just guide me in the right direction? My hubby doesn't have a credit card either, just debit, should we get a joint credit account or should I get one separately? Just lost and confused in this matter, any advice would help!

MessyBrownHair,

As an immigrant myself, I have some experience on building credit. It can be difficult to find a credit card that will approve you without a credit history. So, you can start with store credit cards (Macys, Sears, Target, etc.) or you can also consider obtaining a "secure" credit card (you deposit a certain amount of money with the company as a collateral or insurance to your debt). There are also credit cards that can be obtained without the need for a deposit. I would suggest you try to start with one of the latter, if possible.

Other VJ members have been succesful obtaining the Capital One card that is specially designed for new immigrants. I would suggest that you obtain a credit card on your name and use it wisely. I actually pay everything by credit card. By doing this, I have built a credit history. I pay off my credit card balance every month so I pay no interest or fees whatsoever and I actually get rewards for my credit card use! Again, the key is self-control and responsibility. Make your payments on time and in full if you do not wish to be charged interest. Your credit history will begin to be built as you use your credit. Little by little your credit score will improve and you will be more easily approved for more credit. It is a process that takes time and intelligent budgeting and self-control as I have already mentioned. Do not fear credit cards (as so many people do), simply understand their use and potential problems.

Best wishes!


August 23, 2010 - I-129 F package sent via USPS priority mail with delivery confirmation.

August 30, 2010 - Per Department of Homeland Security (DHS) e-mail, petition received and routed to California Service Center for processing. Check cashed. I-797C Notice of Action by mail (NOA 1) - Received date 08/25/2010. Notice date 08/27/2010.

After 150 days of imposed anxious patience...

January 24, 2011 - Per USCIS website, petition approved and notice mailed.

January 31, 2011 - Approval receipt notice (NOA 2) received by mail. Called NVC, given Santo Domingo case number, and informed that petition was sent same day to consulate.

Called Visa Specialist at the Department of State every day for a case update. Informed of interview date on February, 16 2011. Informed that packet was mailed to fiance on February, 15 2011.

February 21, 2011 - Fiance has not yet received packet. Called 1-877-804-5402 (Visa Information Center of the United States Embassy) to request a duplicate packet in person pick-up at the US consulate in Santo Domingo. Packet can be picked-up by fiance on 02/28.

March 1, 2011 - Medical exam completed at Consultorios de Visa in Santo Domingo.

March 9, 2011 at 6 AM - Interview, approved!

March 18, 2011 - POE together. JFK and O'Hare airports. Legal wedding: May 16, 2011.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

-Henry David Thoreau

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If you really would want to have a credit card to establish credit I would recommend to get a low limit one from Capitol one.

They have cards (my ex used to have one) that let you spent only up to a small amount (in my ex's case $250) which is easy to pay off

and so have credit activity. That way you don't accumulate a big load of debt with interest, fees etc. - as I read on some consumer complaint

boards regarding store credits such as those from Old Navy, especially if you would apply for several of them. If they qualify you (I remember I didn't with no

credit history)

With those at school I'd be very careful, too - the banks soliciting campuses are very eager to get you and your money and probably will do anything sound

good and like you said, without the knowledge you may sign up for something you later on will regret.

Lastly, there is what's called secured credit cards - you basically pay yourself back - the bank will issue a credit card after you make a deposit and that is also your spending limit. You have to pay monthly as with every credit card.

You being on household bills already helps, and a joint account is also very good.

Maxximus


10/13/2010 - Mailed in The Package (AOS, I-765, I-130)

10/17/2010 - USPS confirms delivery to USCIS

10/25/2010 - Check cashed

10/26/2010 - All applications been worked on aka touched

10/28/2010 - NOA1 Receipts for applications received

11/24/2010 - Received appointment for biometrics in the mail for 12/17 *yay*

12/17/2010 - 9.25 a.m. - 9.45 a.m. Biometrics done !!

12/23/2010 - EAD Approved and Card on its way - Email notification received *yay*

01/03/2011 - WOOOHOOO ...EAD Card in Hand!

01/04/2011 - Oh boy....Received Interview Letter today - February 3rd is the day! :)

02/03/2011 - Interview scheduled 12:45 p.m. - out of there before 1:30 p.m. - further review

Coming home, checking for touches at 5:30 p.m. - CARD PRODUCTION ORDERED !!!!

Thank you All on Visajourney for your inputs, experiences and thoughts!!!

02/09/2011 - Yup another e-mail saying that my card production was ordered.

02/10/2011 - E-mail notification "Approval letter was sent today"

02/14/2011 - Welcome Letter / Approval NOA and Card (separate envelope) received!!! :D

Late November 2012 (have to look up my receipts ;) - mailed in ROC I-751

12/12/2012 - NOA 1, status extension received

12/18/2012 - Biometrics appointment letter received

01/08/2013 - Biometrics done

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Italy
Timeline

Hey MBH, try capitol one, i applied and got approved. :)


AOS
(3.31.2011: Filed I-485 + EAD & AP)

4.01.2011: Received Chicago Lockbox
4.05.2011: Check cashed & NOA1 sent
4.06.2011: NOA1 received & Touched all cases
4.14.2011: Biometrics Appointment Letter Notice (dated 04.11)
5.02.2011: Biometrics Appointment Done
5.17.2011: Email/Text notification for Interview on 6.21
5.18.2011: Received Interview notice in the mail (dated 05.14)
5.24.2011: Email/Text notification - order production of EAD & AP
5.30.2011: EAD + AP card in the mail (dated 05.27)
6.21.2011: AOS Interview approved and card production ordered. (day 82)
6.24.2011: Received Welcome Letter in the mail (dated 6.22)
6.28.2011: Received Green Card in the mail.

ROC with Waiver (deceased spouse)

4.15.2013: Sent 1-751
4.17.2013: 1-751 Receipt Notice (with one year extension). CSC
5.10.2013: Biometrics Appointment Letter (dated 05.08) ESC
5.28.2013: Biometrics Completed.
8.12.2013: RFE (lost documents)
8.29.2013: ROC Approved
9.19.2013: 10 year GC (in the mail)

N-400 (5 Years)

03.24.2016: Sent N-400 (USCIS received 03.25)

03.25.2016: Priority Date

04.07.2016: Received complete N-400 (missing a page)

04.08.2016: Payment was charged to CC

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
Timeline
Would like to ask what is the best way to go about building my credit? I already have my GC and SSN, I am part of a joint bank account, and I will have three household bills in my name starting August. I have been receiving letters from Capitol One and other banks to open a credit card, just not sure which I should get because I am not familiar with the lingo and how to build credit in general. Besides, we have a debit card which we usually prefer to use, so I wouldn't know what to pay for with a credit card anyway? Can someone just guide me in the right direction? My hubby doesn't have a credit card either, just debit, should we get a joint credit account or should I get one separately? Just lost and confused in this matter, any advice would help!

I've been in the US since Sept 2009 and still have ZERO credit history. I tried a Kohl's card and was declined because of no credit history. I have the electric bill in my name, still no history. I'm on my husbands accounts but he doesn't believe in credit cards because he used to work with a bank and saw what it did to people and families. I tried a capital one credit card but will have to do a secured one thanks to no credit history. Ugh. Pain in the butt!

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I've been in the US since Sept 2009 and still have ZERO credit history. I tried a Kohl's card and was declined because of no credit history. I have the electric bill in my name, still no history. I'm on my husbands accounts but he doesn't believe in credit cards because he used to work with a bank and saw what it did to people and families. I tried a capital one credit card but will have to do a secured one thanks to no credit history. Ugh. Pain in the butt!

My hubby is the same! He doesn't believe in credit cards too, and he doesn't know why I want one.. lol.. I don't even know why I want one but I feel like maybe it's something I need to do??? I mean just to build credit.. Might be useful someday..


My Journey:

We met through a study-abroad program in Shanghai, China in August of 2009

We got engaged March of 2010

I received my K1 VISA in 6 months (June-December 2010)

We were married 04/02/2011
I received my conditional 2-year greencard (AOS) in 2.5 months with no interview (April-June 2011)

Our son was born 02/03/2013

I received my masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology 04/17/2013

I received my 10-year greencard (ROC) in 3 months with no interview (March-June 2013)

My husband returned from deployment 06/20/2013

My naturalization journey took 4 months (April-August 2014)

I became a US citizen on 08/01/2014

Received passport in 3 weeks (regular processing)

Thank you, VJ! smile.png

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

Think about it first before applying for one, everytime you apply, they check your credit, and everytime they do points get taken off from your credit. Don't get a credit card with an annual fee, just wait for a good credit card offer (no annual fee, low interest rate and maybe rewards). I suggest starting with a store credit card, but make sure it's a store that you shop quite often from. When you have the card, don't spend more that 30% of your credit limit, this will help build credit, never make a late payment because this will really hurt your credit. I did start with Banana Republic CC, they gave me $400 limit at first that I can only use at Old Navy, Gap, & Banana Republic, after a few months they upgraded me to a Banana Republic Visa & gave me a $4000 limit which I can use anywhere that accepts Visa.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Philippines
Timeline

Hi Messybrownhair:

Same predicament here..lol!

I did some research on how we (new immigrants) can build credit here. There are 3 ways:

1. Apply for a secured credit card as suggested by Maxximus..

2. Try Capital One. They actually target our group..:) They have reasonable rates. Also, some VJers got approved and that sounded encouraging.

2. Try to get a regular credit card (I got a fIlipina/accountant friend in Cali who got hers from Bank of America without a credit history...it's a funny story and she was lucky! She was initially denied but she asked to speak to the Manager. She asked them why she was denied. Obviously, no credit is the reply. So she gave it back to them.."tell me how I can build a credit here if no one will give me a credit card?" The Manager approved it!)...who knows?! :)

3. "Piggy backing" - find someone willing to make you an extension of their credit card..someone with a good credit history, of course, who can trust you and you can trust in return. I forgot how this can be the "fastest" way for you to build your credit but it was considered to be the fastest one. I got my aunt to do this for me once I get my SSN.

Also, I would be wary on applying for credit cards offered in schools and even shopping cards (Macy's, Target, Walmart, etc)..if ever I'll get just one just to help with the credit building.

I am very pragmatic and disciplined when it comes to spending.

Appreciate all the inputs of the other VJers here...means much!

Happy July 4th, everyone!

prep.mac

My Timeline:

10/2009 - met online

11/2010 - came here on B1/B2 visa

12/2010 - first meeting in person in Chicago, IL

03/2011 - moved in with him in IN

4/25/11 - got married in Mitchell, IN

5/02/11 - sent AOS packet (I-130/I-485/I-765) to Chicago Lockbox

5/04/11 - AOS packet received by Chicago Lockbox

5/23/11 - Received NOA for RFE (I-693)

5/27/11 - Sent RFE to DHS Lee's Summit, MO

6/02/11 - DHS Lee's Summit received REF reply

6/06/11 - Biometrics done at Louisville, KY as per NOA schedule

6/24/11 - Received NOA for July 25 interview in Indianapolis, IN

6/30/11 – Received text and email messages EAD card on production

I-130 Petition for a Minor Child of USC

6/25/11 - Sent I-130 packet for stepchild

6/27/11 – USCIS receipt date

6/28/11 - Received text and email messages stating USCIS received it and moved case to CSC for processing

7/01/11 - Touched

7/02/11 – Received NOA1

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
Timeline

Also, just applied for the secured card. Approved with no issue. Paid the $49 refundable security deposit, should get the card in 3 weeks, $200 limit.

I found this interesting: http://financialplan.about.com/od/creditdebtmanagement/a/creditscore.htm think its gunna take me a while... at least i'm married to someone who can financially support us with a fabulous credit score right? otherwise I would be screwed :S Its one of the things I actually think they should make easier on us.. the rest I can deal with but a credit score is so important I think more education about it should be done.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
Timeline

Think about it first before applying for one, everytime you apply, they check your credit, and everytime they do points get taken off from your credit. Don't get a credit card with an annual fee, just wait for a good credit card offer (no annual fee, low interest rate and maybe rewards). I suggest starting with a store credit card, but make sure it's a store that you shop quite often from. When you have the card, don't spend more that 30% of your credit limit, this will help build credit, never make a late payment because this will really hurt your credit. I did start with Banana Republic CC, they gave me $400 limit at first that I can only use at Old Navy, Gap, & Banana Republic, after a few months they upgraded me to a Banana Republic Visa & gave me a $4000 limit which I can use anywhere that accepts Visa.

I agree it WOULD be an issue but as I have no credit history, I have no points... so what "points" can they take from me? You can't get store cards without a history.. or at least I couldn't by myself so a secured card it is.

My hubby is the same! He doesn't believe in credit cards too, and he doesn't know why I want one.. lol.. I don't even know why I want one but I feel like maybe it's something I need to do??? I mean just to build credit.. Might be useful someday..

Tony's at work so i just texted him (literally after I posted that first comment) to tell him that i already applied for one. We've discussed it before but I just went ahead and did it because I NEED to start building a history... So yes I agree, I don't really need one except to start building credit.. which is REALLY important here so a $200 limit one is good for me!

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