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Aili & Dani

How did I get my first Credit Card in US without Green Card

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I spent probably around 6 months hunting for credit card,without having an green card. A lot of banks in US require you to be US citizen but for someone who needs to build credit there is Capital One credit card! I got approved right away after being declined by many others. Yes I tried Discovery, I tried Ally bank etc. None of them let me have one. So I was pretty much expecting to be declined by Capital One too but there it goes, went through. And yes, i did had some credit score thanks to my spouse and joint account. Which is why I got surprised to be turned down. I guess US sees me as someone with no credit score even if I have some. Anyway,for everyone over there trying to get good credit card, its not like unlimited or whatever, its limited on $200 but hey better something than nothing, right? The only thing I needed was SSN and ID card.  So go for Capital One right away so you don't waste bunch of time applying for different ones. I got around 6 declined letters! Hope it helps. 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Australia
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Yes.  When I was there in 2013 the only way my ex could build credit was to get a 'secured' credit card with our bank.  Meant we had to front up the $500 for the 'limit' and they held it for 12 months and we got it back at the end of the 12 months.... but it was the only way.... When you arrive in the USA you are 'born'....you're 0 days old.... it doesn't matter if you have millions, or property portfolios elsewhere.... generally you're BRAND NEW.  I was lucky that I had an AMEX in Australia and with my history with them (plus proving my capital I had there) they were able to issue me with a decent Amex (it was a combined costco one at the time) and thus began building my credit... It's not easy.... and not a moment of this process is....but it's worth it.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Thailand
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That's a lot of pulls on your credit history just to get a 200 dollar limit card. You should have just got a secured credit card ( Available at just about any bank or financial institution, even Capital One offers them) The limit is what you set with a deposit on the account usually 500 minimum, but you can go as high as 5000 if you have the cash to back it up. Most people put a 1000 down and have a 1000 dollar limit card. they use that card for 12 months, and after 12 months of good payment history the card will convert to a unsecured credit card, with the same limit, and they return your deposit money back to you in full, and usually with interest, so your 1000 dollars comes back to you say 1030-1050 depending on rate. Those 6 hard pulls and denial letters on your credit history are going to come back and haunt you for sure. It makes you look desperate for credit, and stays on your credit history for a minimum of 3 years. Bottom line I don't recommend anyone just apply for card after card in a short period of time, will do way more harm then good.


Here on a K1? Need married and a Certificate in hand within a few hours? I'm here to help. Come to Vegas and I'll marry you Vegas style!!   Visa Journey members are always FREE for my services. I know the costs involved in this whole game of immigration, and if I can save you some money I will!

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Entheos said:

Yes.  When I was there in 2013 the only way my ex could build credit was to get a 'secured' credit card with our bank.  Meant we had to front up the $500 for the 'limit' and they held it for 12 months and we got it back at the end of the 12 months.... but it was the only way.... When you arrive in the USA you are 'born'....you're 0 days old.... it doesn't matter if you have millions, or property portfolios elsewhere.... generally you're BRAND NEW.  I was lucky that I had an AMEX in Australia and with my history with them (plus proving my capital I had there) they were able to issue me with a decent Amex (it was a combined costco one at the time) and thus began building my credit... It's not easy.... and not a moment of this process is....but it's worth it.

Not the only way. The way to have a credit history before you arrive here is very simple. once my fiance and I knew we were going to do the K1 visa and get married when I went to visit her I added her as an authorized user to my Chase Amazon prime card, and she got her own card with her name on it. Instead of me sending money and worrying about getting a good rate, she used this card with no foreign transaction fees to pay for anything see needed for the Visa process( Medical exam, Visa fees, etc.) along with some other things when she went shopping. She had the card for about 14 months before she moved here in her name. when she arrived here the first thing she got was her SS card. once the card arrived we went to a bank to open an account, add her to my account, and I had her apply for her own credit card in her own name. They used her new social security number and when they pulled her credit she was instantly approved for a 5000 dollar limit US bank Cash Card in her name, because by having her added to my Chase card, my full 7 year credit history transferred to her SS number as soon as they entered it in the system and it matched the name to SS number. The credit letter she received( you get after you apply for the card) showed her with a 794 credit score not 3 weeks after arriving in the US. So there are ways to " Cheat" the system so to speak.

Edited by Loren Y

Here on a K1? Need married and a Certificate in hand within a few hours? I'm here to help. Come to Vegas and I'll marry you Vegas style!!   Visa Journey members are always FREE for my services. I know the costs involved in this whole game of immigration, and if I can save you some money I will!

 

 

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Australia
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Just now, Loren Y said:

Not the only way. The way to have a credit history before you arrive here is very simple. once my fiance and I knew we were going to do the K1 visa and get married when I went to visit her I added her as an authorized user to my Chase Amazon prime card, and she got her own card with her name on it. Instead of me sending money and worrying about getting a good rate, she used this card with no foreign transaction fees to pay for anything see needed for the Visa process( Medical exam, Visa fees, etc.) along with some other things when she went shopping. She had the card for about 14 months before she moved here in her name. when she arrived here the first thing she got was her SS card. once the card arrived we went to a bank to open add her to may account, and I had her apply for her own credit card in her own name. They used her new social security number and when they pulled her credit she was instantly approved for a 5000 dollar limit US bank Cash Card in her name, because by having her added to my Chase card, my full 7 year credit history transferred to her SS number as soon as they entered it in the system and it matched the name to SS number. The credit letter she received( you get after you apply for the card) showed her with a 794 credit score not 3 weeks after arriving in the US. So there are ways to " Cheat" the system so to speak.

For us it was.  My ex and I are both Australian.  We moved there for her residency.  If you have the option like you've got there then that's perfect... but as a 'non-immigrant alien' then it's one of the only ways as we were both 'new'.  I should have clarified that as the comparison of that situation is definitely different to what MOST people go through on this forum.... but I did think it was an easier way to be able to get a 'credit card'.  Even after that card, and my good history we asked for a small bank loan to buy a 2nd hand car to try and build our credit too and the bank offered us like $1500 when we were only asking for $8500... at the time we OWNED...outright owned the title to a complete property, and I between the 2 of us we were earning really good money.  That was 2.5 years after she got the first card... it was an interesting ride for sure.... I'm VERY glad that I didn't close my accounts when we left now that I'm coming back...I would have had to go through it all over again!!

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3 minutes ago, Entheos said:

For us it was.  My ex and I are both Australian.  We moved there for her residency.  If you have the option like you've got there then that's perfect... but as a 'non-immigrant alien' then it's one of the only ways as we were both 'new'.  I should have clarified that as the comparison of that situation is definitely different to what MOST people go through on this forum.... but I did think it was an easier way to be able to get a 'credit card'.  Even after that card, and my good history we asked for a small bank loan to buy a 2nd hand car to try and build our credit too and the bank offered us like $1500 when we were only asking for $8500... at the time we OWNED...outright owned the title to a complete property, and I between the 2 of us we were earning really good money.  That was 2.5 years after she got the first card... it was an interesting ride for sure.... I'm VERY glad that I didn't close my accounts when we left now that I'm coming back...I would have had to go through it all over again!!

I didn't check your timeline, so I would have seen that I'm sure. I saw the OP had done a K1 when I checked their timeline, so I based my information on that. Sounds like you did what you had to do in your situation. But if your doing a K1 and whoever is petitioning you to come to the US has a decent credit history they can add you to their card without needing a social security number and basically their history will become yours when you get your SS number.


Here on a K1? Need married and a Certificate in hand within a few hours? I'm here to help. Come to Vegas and I'll marry you Vegas style!!   Visa Journey members are always FREE for my services. I know the costs involved in this whole game of immigration, and if I can save you some money I will!

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Another thing the OP should be careful of is their credit utilization ratio. You have a 200 dollar limit card, anything over 50% ( 100 dollars in your case) is considered by the credit agencies as bad use of your available credit. I have attached my wife's current ( 4/10/20) transunion report. You can see she has A rated credit, but whats more important is her utilization ratio ( 1%) and her length of credit history ( 7 years) due to her taking my history from my Chase card she has had before she came here. this also gives her a total available credit of around 25,000 dollars between both cards, and she only has 1 NEW account on her history when she opened her own card. Hopefully that Capital One card comes with free credit reports as a benefit, because you can use what I have attached to help you build your credit faster. This will give you an example of what to aim for.

 

credit2_compressed.pdf Credit1_compressed.pdf

Edited by Loren Y

Here on a K1? Need married and a Certificate in hand within a few hours? I'm here to help. Come to Vegas and I'll marry you Vegas style!!   Visa Journey members are always FREE for my services. I know the costs involved in this whole game of immigration, and if I can save you some money I will!

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Aili & Dani said:

I spent probably around 6 months hunting for credit card,without having an green card. A lot of banks in US require you to be US citizen but for someone who needs to build credit there is Capital One credit card! I got approved right away after being declined by many others. Yes I tried Discovery, I tried Ally bank etc. None of them let me have one. So I was pretty much expecting to be declined by Capital One too but there it goes, went through. And yes, i did had some credit score thanks to my spouse and joint account. Which is why I got surprised to be turned down. I guess US sees me as someone with no credit score even if I have some. Anyway,for everyone over there trying to get good credit card, its not like unlimited or whatever, its limited on $200 but hey better something than nothing, right? The only thing I needed was SSN and ID card.  So go for Capital One right away so you don't waste bunch of time applying for different ones. I got around 6 declined letters! Hope it helps. 

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*~*~*moved from “K-1 fiancé visa progress reports” to “moving to the USA” - topic discusses applying for your first credit card here*~*~*


 

 

 

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I bet anybody can get a secured credit card. That's what I started out with and used for two years before getting a really good credit card.


K-1: 12-22-2015 - 09-07-2016 (260 days)

AP: 12-20-2016 - 04-07-2017 (108 days)

EAD: 01-18-2017 - 05-30-2017 (132 days)

AOS: 12-20-2016 - 07-26-2017 (217 days)

ROC: 04-22-2019 - 04-22-2020 (365 days)

 

Naturalization (Los Angeles County Field Office):

04-19-2020 - Earliest filing date

05-01-2020 - N-400 filed online

05-01-2020 - Received date

05-04-2020 - NOA1 online

05-08-2020 - NOA1 hardcopy

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16 hours ago, Aili & Dani said:

I spent probably around 6 months hunting for credit card,without having an green card. A lot of banks in US require you to be US citizen but for someone who needs to build credit there is Capital One credit card! I got approved right away after being declined by many others. Yes I tried Discovery, I tried Ally bank etc. None of them let me have one. So I was pretty much expecting to be declined by Capital One too but there it goes, went through. And yes, i did had some credit score thanks to my spouse and joint account. Which is why I got surprised to be turned down. I guess US sees me as someone with no credit score even if I have some. Anyway,for everyone over there trying to get good credit card, its not like unlimited or whatever, its limited on $200 but hey better something than nothing, right? The only thing I needed was SSN and ID card.  So go for Capital One right away so you don't waste bunch of time applying for different ones. I got around 6 declined letters! Hope it helps. 

I got my Discover card without my Green Card and without help from my spouse (including no boost from his credit score via joint account) - you just have to be both able and willing to put down a deposit and to be employed. 

 

$500 deposit with Discover in July 2019. 

Responsible use (ie: spend about 50% of it and pay off in full the same day the bill comes every month) 
Deposit refunded & my limit more than tripled by Discover (I didn't ask them about it at all - they just sent me a letter saying that's what they were doing) in February 2020.
All 3 major credit reporting agencies are showing my credit score as between 700 and 730. 

 

Basically - everyone should search for "Credit building" credit cards and finding the one that suits them best. 

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I opened a bank account that was just my own, and then my husband put me on his checking account as our joint account. I went to the same bank that he did, and so they linked our accounts. A few months later I applied for a very low balance ($500) credit card and was approved. You can also get a prepaid CC. 

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Another thing a lot of banks do is what is called a Credit builder loan. Basically you give them an amount in cash, lets say 1000 dollars is the usual amount, and they put your deposit in a savings account and set-up automatic payments from the savings account you set-up to the loan every month. In this example a 1000 dollar loan is paid back at 83.33 a month out of the savings account. They way it helps you is it treats it as a full fledged loan from a bank, and they report every month to the credit agencies. It's a set and forget type thing as once your set, you do nothing for 12 months until it is paid off, and you can have them have it automatically begin again after the first 12 months. This is definitely recommended as it shows a loan on your credit history. You need to have a selection of different credit types to build your score fast. Get a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, credit cards, etc. as the more variety you have the more stable you look.


Here on a K1? Need married and a Certificate in hand within a few hours? I'm here to help. Come to Vegas and I'll marry you Vegas style!!   Visa Journey members are always FREE for my services. I know the costs involved in this whole game of immigration, and if I can save you some money I will!

 

 

 

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