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rhirhi

Getting a Credit Rating, Unable to do Joint Finances

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So I've researched this, both on these boards and on other sites, but I can't seem to find anything similar to my situation. Most people seem to have their alien husband/wife set up as joint on their credit cards etc, but we will be unable to do this so I'm worried about building credit.

Our problem is my fiancé's student loan issues. Due to family issues and no fault of his own, he has defaulted on payment of his student loan and is at the stage where they take money from his wages and take his tax returns for repayments. Because of this he's mentioned that it might not be a good idea to file joint tax returns or have a joint bank account in case they go after my money too. I'm assuming that this also means that if I were to be put on his credit card or be linked in any other way to his credit, then that would negatively affect my credit score from the get-go. Correct?

Will being a named tenant on the rental agreement build credit? Will having a regular bank account? Will having a mobile phone? Will being named on utility bills? I've read conflicting views on all of these. I've read about the Capital One cards so that is also another option.

When I get to the US, obviously I'll be trying to build up a credit rating as fast as possible. We will be renting for the first year at the very least, probably 2-3 before looking into getting a mortgage. Is that even realistic, seeing as we will probably only be able to go off my credit rating?


ROC
13/02/17- ROC package sent

22/02/17 - Check cashed

23/02/17 - NOA received

09/03/17 - Biometrics letter received

20/03/17 - Biometrics appointment

17/01/18 - ROC Approval

06/02/18 - Green card in-hand

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Being on a lease, having utility bills, or a bank account will not get you a credit rating. The only way to get a credit rating is to use credit. (We learned this the hard way).

For "joint stuff," you and your future husband can have joint bank accounts and a joint lease without any credit problems spilling to you.

You should work on getting your own credit card to build credit, either a secured card or the capital one card for newcomers or something like that. You should be able to get a good credit score in 6 months.

Good luck.


AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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Ah I see, all the utility bills and being on a lease etc are just useful for proving mingling of finances at RoC then I suppose.

I figured that my only option might be a Capital One card or the like, I was just hoping that there might be other things I could do to build up credit at the same time.


ROC
13/02/17- ROC package sent

22/02/17 - Check cashed

23/02/17 - NOA received

09/03/17 - Biometrics letter received

20/03/17 - Biometrics appointment

17/01/18 - ROC Approval

06/02/18 - Green card in-hand

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For your own sake get a good understanding of what you are getting into as far as his financial situation. It is always easy to blame someone or something else for your problems. At the very least you should have a joint bank account and both of your names on some of the utilities and/or rent. It can be to your disadvantage if you file separately. You not only may have to pay more taxes but when you apply for green card you will need to send them your tax returns for the previous three years. I am not sure how they will respond not seeing that you are not filing jointly after you are married. Maybe someone else has experience doing that. Understand that student loan debt can not be expunged even if you claim bankruptcy.

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For your own sake get a good understanding of what you are getting into as far as his financial situation. It is always easy to blame someone or something else for your problems. At the very least you should have a joint bank account and both of your names on some of the utilities and/or rent. It can be to your disadvantage if you file separately. You not only may have to pay more taxes but when you apply for green card you will need to send them your tax returns for the previous three years. I am not sure how they will respond not seeing that you are not filing jointly after you are married. Maybe someone else has experience doing that. Understand that student loan debt can not be expunged even if you claim bankruptcy.

Believe me, I understand what I am "getting into". Not sure if you were implying that he was just blaming his family situation when really it's his own fault- if so, he was able to go to university because his grandparents were helping him out with living expenses and were going to help with his tuition fees upon graduation. However, they argued with his parents and stopped helping. He had to drop out of university (so was then unable to get a graduate-level job), move home and was unemployed for a while before finding a job. He was stuck paying off a student loan on a very basic wage and rent and food had to come first, hence the default. It really really really was not his fault. He now has a good job and the payments they take from his pay each month are not missed- financially, he is now stable and earns a comfortable amount above the poverty limit.

We won't be able to file tax jointly as they are now taking his tax returns from him, we have been advised that they will take mine too. Therefore, by filing separately, I will get less of a tax return but I will at least get something as opposed to the $0 we would get from filing jointly. Another option we will look at is to file jointly but to include an injured spouse form which I believe ensures that they leave my tax return alone ;)

Having my name on utilities and the lease is definitely happening for RoC, I was just hoping that by doing so I could help my credit rating at the same time.


ROC
13/02/17- ROC package sent

22/02/17 - Check cashed

23/02/17 - NOA received

09/03/17 - Biometrics letter received

20/03/17 - Biometrics appointment

17/01/18 - ROC Approval

06/02/18 - Green card in-hand

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Filing tax separately won't be a problem. There's a sound reason for doing so.

Joint checking accounts should be fine but personally I would steer clear of any joint accounts but I would pursue joint bills (phone/gas/elec/water), joint lease. You could get an account and make him an "authorised user" and vice-versa. I don't believe "authorised user" will affect credit but check at your bank.

Work on joint address, photos, you could also get joint store cards, blockbuster/netflix accounts etc

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Yeah pretty much your only option at the beginning is getting a secured credit card. I just arrived in the U.S a few weeks ago and got approved for a secured credit card last week. I got mine at Members 1st but my husband is a veteran. If your husband is a government employee you can get an account there.


I'm the beneficiary.

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Thanks to those who have made helpful comments. VanessaTony, that was what I was thinking of doing, seems like the safest option. LucidSofia, good to hear a first hand account of getting a card! NLR, I hadn't considered store cards, that might be another avenue to look into once I find employment.

The situation doesn't seem as dire as I first thought, I'd imagined having to wait years to build up credit :)


ROC
13/02/17- ROC package sent

22/02/17 - Check cashed

23/02/17 - NOA received

09/03/17 - Biometrics letter received

20/03/17 - Biometrics appointment

17/01/18 - ROC Approval

06/02/18 - Green card in-hand

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Thanks to those who have made helpful comments. VanessaTony, that was what I was thinking of doing, seems like the safest option. LucidSofia, good to hear a first hand account of getting a card! NLR, I hadn't considered store cards, that might be another avenue to look into once I find employment.

The situation doesn't seem as dire as I first thought, I'd imagined having to wait years to build up credit smile.png

Here's some posts I wrote about how I went about building my credit:

- http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/317690-building-credit/?p=4759448

- http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/405771-credit-history-question/?p=5891620

- http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/331922-new-2011-land-downunder-aussie-aussie-aussie-oi-oi-oi/?p=5753920

- http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/412092-any-tips-on-credit/?p=5951065

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You should be able to start to build credit soon enough, but I would second others thoughts that you keep tax filings and credit separate until his situation stabilizes... Utilities, lease, bills etc will suffice for co-mingling proof for AOS but you will have to be the credit-builder of the relationship for the short term... It happens, but you will be ok and it is a very good thing you are getting info and being proactive about it.


10/14/2000 - Met Aboard a Cruise ship

06/14/2003 - Married Savona Italy

I-130

03/21/2009 - I-130 Mailed to Chicago lockbox

11-30-09: GOT GREEN CARD in mail!!!!!!

Citizenship Process;

1/11/2013: Mailed N400 to Dallas Texas

3/11/2013: interview.. Approved

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We won't be able to file tax jointly as they are now taking his tax returns from him, we have been advised that they will take mine too. Therefore, by filing separately, I will get less of a tax return but I will at least get something as opposed to the $0 we would get from filing jointly. Another option we will look at is to file jointly but to include an injured spouse form which I believe ensures that they leave my tax return alone wink.png

Yes, you can still file jointly and claim "injured spouse". Your own tax refund will not be taken out. I filed injured spouse before and I got my refund back.


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1-20-12-- Priority Date

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10-02-13- Case "In Transit" (CEAC)

10-08-13-Case " Ready"-Embassy received files

10-14-13- Called Embassy to set-up Interview. email confirmation same day

10-16-13-Medical Done (1day)

10-29-13- Interview Date -APPROVED

10-29-13- VISA ISSUED( CEAC)

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xx-xx-xx- POE

Im the USC. Petioned Mom on 10/2010

Mom's POE- 11/2011

Mom petitioned my brother (F2a) and sister (F2b)-Jan2012
Next is Dad (IR5).~ Journey Never Ends~

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AOS-2006

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Thank you all so much, you've all been so helpful. I started this thread expecting bad news so I am very pleased that it won't be as bad as I had expected. I appreciate everyone's reassurances! :)


ROC
13/02/17- ROC package sent

22/02/17 - Check cashed

23/02/17 - NOA received

09/03/17 - Biometrics letter received

20/03/17 - Biometrics appointment

17/01/18 - ROC Approval

06/02/18 - Green card in-hand

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I thought it worth mentioning that to get a credit score you have to use the credit card, not just get it. If you pay off the balance each month then you won't have to pay extra to interest. Use up to 25% of the available credit you have per month.


AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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