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Moving to the U.S.? How to build a great credit score — quickly and painlessly

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Credit Stacks is a US credit card company that evaluates applicants based on potential, not just credit history. Applicants with no US credit history do not have to undergo a credit check, so CreditStacks is especially helpful for relocating professionals who arrive in the US without a local credit history. Qualified applicants receive a premium CreditStacks Mastercard® that allows them to start building credit from day one.


We’re happy to be part of the HomeIs community, sharing information with you about how new arrivals can build build good credit and a bright future in the US.


Learn more about us and apply for CreditStacks at creditstacks.com/signup/?promo=HomeIs.


Why your credit score matters in the U.S.


In the U.S., your credit score is a measure of your financial credibility and general trustworthiness. It’s a quick snapshot that tells people and companies whether it would be smart to do business with you. A good credit score opens the door to easily renting an apartment, buying a car, or opening a mobile phone account. A poor or nonexistent credit history, on the other hand, makes it harder to take these basic steps to settling into your new life in the U.S.


In short, if you are new to the U.S., you want to build a great credit score as quickly as possible.


But as a newcomer to the U.S., you start from zero, credit-wise. How are you supposed to build good credit if lack of credit disqualifies you from getting a credit card in the first place?


Building your credit from scratch: What works and what doesn’t


Building good credit from scratch can be a hassle for expats, but it doesn’t have to be. The truth is, some paths to a good credit score are better than others. Let’s take a look at your options.


Option #1 — The least effective: Take no proactive steps and hope for the best. 


Many expats feel they are too busy navigating their new lives in the U.S. to deal with the mysteries of the U.S. credit system. They cross their fingers and hope that if they just pay their rent and utility bills on time, they will eventually build a good credit score. Unfortunately, unlike credit card and loan payments, rent and utility payments are not routinely reported to credit bureaus. So, you don’t get “good credit” for making these payments on time. On the other hand, if you are ever late with your rent or utility bills, and the company you owe sends the bill to a debt collector. it may end up hurting your credit.


Option #2 — Okay, but takes time: Use lines of credit such as credit-builder loans or secured credit cards to demonstrate your creditworthiness. 


A credit-builder loan is like a forced savings plan, or a loan in reverse: you make regular payments to a bank before you receive the loan amount. The lender releases the loan amount to you, minus interest, after you have paid off the loan. A secured credit card requires a cash deposit to guarantee that you will not default on your bills. Either of these can help you build credit as long as you make payments on time. Whenever you make payments against a credit-builder loan or a secured credit card, your payments are reported to the credit bureaus, potentially boosting your credit score.


Option #3 — The best, most direct path to a great credit score: Get a credit card of your own and start building your credit — from day one. 


Unlike other U.S. credit card companies that refuse to issue a card to expats with no U.S. credit history, a new company called CreditStacks offers a credit card especially helpful for expats. The CreditStacks Mastercard® offers all the benefits of a premium credit card, without the unreasonable requirements that have made applying for a credit card a huge headache for most new arrivals in the U.S.


The credit card that says YES to expats without a U.S. credit history


1. Apply before you even start your new job in the US. Unlike other credit cards, CreditStacks will process your application up to 60 days before you start your new job in the US. Give yourself the peace of mind of knowing your CreditStacks Mastercard will be waiting on your desk on day one.


2. You don’t need any U.S. credit history¹ to apply. CreditStacks knows you are more than just a credit score. When you submit your credit card application, they use proprietary underwriting procedures to look at you as a whole person, assessing factors like current employment, not just credit history.


3. All the perks you expect from a premium credit card. CreditStacks gives you a high monthly credit limit, no annual fees², and all the money-saving benefits you expect from a major credit card, such as identity theft protection, extended warranties on purchases, price protection, zero liability for unauthorized purchases, and more.


4. More than a credit card, CreditStacks is your credit-building partner. Credit card alternatives like debit cards and cash don’t help build your credit. At CreditStacks, helping you build your credit score is a top priority — and giving you a CreditStacks card is just the beginning:


- CreditStacks reports your credit utilization to the three main credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, so that that other credit suppliers (banks, lenders, etc.) can quickly learn that you are a strong and credible customer. (CreditStacks will report your credit activity, whether positive and negative, to the credit bureaus.)


- On-time payments are a critical aspect of building your credit score. To help ensure that your reports are positive, the CreditStacks app allows you customize automatic payments several different ways.


- CreditStacks notifies you if your credit use gets too high, so you can bring your balance back below the recommended 30% threshold. You can even set up automatic payments to cover this, so you can keep making purchases all month with peace of mind.


- Through the CreditStacks app and emails, you will receive tips for smart credit use, so your credit score can keep getting better over time.


Anyone relocating to the U.S. has a lot on their plate. Apply for a CreditStacks Mastercard to make it easier to take care of business, so you can focus on navigating and enjoying your new life in the U.S.


To learn more about CreditStacks, please visit CreditStacks.com: creditstacks.com/signup/?promo=Homeis


¹Applicants who have lived in the US for more than one year at time of application must provide SSN and application review will include a credit check.

²Review the CreditStacks cardholder agreement and fee schedule:

creditstacks.app.box.com/s/c1atkldu3o…

creditstacks.app.box.com/s/tfuosmw0gl…


The CreditStacks Mastercard® is issued by WebBank pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. WebBank, Member FDIC © 2019.

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