In the US it is very important to have a good credit score to maintain good financial status. A better credit score results in being more likely to get loans from the bank and better rates. People with bad credit scores or no credit at all may have trust issues with the government and banks when looking at money.
Building a credit score can be a long process and can be even harder for someone who is not a resident. But, there are many ways that someone who is not a citizen can build a strong score.
The first step is getting identification. You should apply for an ITIN so that you can apply for loans in the future as they are often required.
The second thing to do is obtain a credit card. With this you can start earning credit immediately. Be sure to make your first credit card payment on time as this is the beginning of obtaining your score.
Even if you have no credit history, you can still qualify for a number of different credit card programs. These can include low-balance and fully-secured credit cards, which will be secured by cash you provide to the bank. Additionally, if you have a qualified co-signer, their additional signature could improve your chances of approval.
MAKE PAYMENTS ON TIME! This is one of the most important things to keep your credit score in good standing. The most important thing that you need to do on a regular basis is to make all of your loan, rent, credit card, and other bill payments on time. When you can do this routinely, you will help to improve your score. However, if you are late on even one payment, it could end up being very detrimental towards your overall score.
Once you have started building your credit, it is important that you continue to monitor it as much as possible. All people with credit histories are vulnerable to identity theft. If you are a victim of this, someone could open up an account illegally in your name. In these situations, they could end up racking up a lot of debt, missing payments, and ruining your score. To prevent this from happening, it is important that you monitor your credit report.
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