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  • FIRST POST
    • PCKC
    • By PCKC 20th Apr 17, 9:37 AM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    PCKC
    US Citizen Getting a Credit Card
    • #1
    • 20th Apr 17, 9:37 AM
    US Citizen Getting a Credit Card 20th Apr 17 at 9:37 AM
    Hi all!

    I am a UK citizen, but my wife is a US citizen. She was accepted for a spouse visa and arrived in February of this year. She has the full right to work and already has a nice job in London.

    As we look towards the future and potential mortgage applications, we're naturally concerned about credit ratings. Credit scores do not carry across from the US to UK, so she is in a tricky position of having a poor rating.

    The annoying part is, is that she has never had bad debt or missed any payments, so in a usual case she would easily be accepted for a card and could start to build rating.

    We now have a joint current account which could help, but it would be much easier to just have a credit card in her name. We've looked into Aqua and other cards designed for people with low scores ...only to find she also needs to be on the electoral register! Which as a US citizen, would be impossible for her.

    Has anyone been in this situation and found a solution?
    Much appreciated!
Page 1
    • ryuuoo
    • By ryuuoo 20th Apr 17, 9:45 AM
    • 53 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    ryuuoo
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 9:45 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 9:45 AM
    I'm pretty sure she can still get on the electoral roll to vote on the local elections?

    Get her to get an Aqua card, and literally pay in full every month. This is a 2/3 year game to get a decent credit history so she can get better cards, the mortgage etc...
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 20th Apr 17, 10:32 AM
    • 7,271 Posts
    • 4,685 Thanks
    Biggles
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 10:32 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 10:32 AM
    I'm pretty sure she can still get on the electoral roll to vote on the local elections?
    Originally posted by ryuuoo
    No, you have to be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen to vote in any election.

    But credit card providers don't only look at the electoral register and credit scores, she needs to talk to one or two and give them her details, especially of her job.
    Last edited by Biggles; 20-04-2017 at 10:34 AM.
    • WillPS
    • By WillPS 20th Apr 17, 11:10 AM
    • 164 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    WillPS
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:10 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:10 AM
    I've read that Metro Bank are quite good in these circumstances. They'll probably want you to open and use a current account for a while before offering you more.
    • kovacsi76
    • By kovacsi76 20th Apr 17, 1:05 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    kovacsi76
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 1:05 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 1:05 PM
    If she has an US Amex card, she might be able to "transfer" it to the UK.
    • guesswho2000
    • By guesswho2000 22nd Apr 17, 3:22 AM
    • 1,536 Posts
    • 715 Thanks
    guesswho2000
    • #6
    • 22nd Apr 17, 3:22 AM
    • #6
    • 22nd Apr 17, 3:22 AM
    If she has an US Amex card, she might be able to "transfer" it to the UK.
    Originally posted by kovacsi76
    Indeed, Amex Global Transfer - https://www.americanexpress.com/global-card-transfers/

    I did that UK-Australia and it was fairly simple, they also retain your card membership start date, so you don't start from scratch in the new country.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 23rd Apr 17, 9:32 AM
    • 482 Posts
    • 206 Thanks
    phillw
    • #7
    • 23rd Apr 17, 9:32 AM
    • #7
    • 23rd Apr 17, 9:32 AM
    We now have a joint current account which could help, but it would be much easier to just have a credit card in her name.
    Originally posted by PCKC
    I don't know how much it helps her, or whether it will just punish you. However it would be worth making an appointment at your bank and see what they say about opening a credit card.

    You may end up running up against "computer says no" but if you're super nice and the bank staff are helpful then they often know how to work through any issues, or can at least talk to the department involved and find out how to improve your chances.

    I've had good experiences in HSBC, Nationwide, Halifax & Virgin. I've not tried Metro bank yet, but I get the impression that they are a "can do" bank.
    Last edited by phillw; 23-04-2017 at 9:36 AM.
    • dresdendave
    • By dresdendave 23rd Apr 17, 9:50 AM
    • 574 Posts
    • 621 Thanks
    dresdendave
    • #8
    • 23rd Apr 17, 9:50 AM
    • #8
    • 23rd Apr 17, 9:50 AM
    No, you have to be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen to vote in any election.
    Originally posted by Biggles

    Classic example of what goes around comes around. If the OP's wife's 18th century ancestors hadn't been such troublemakers, we wouldn't have expelled them from the Empire and she would now be a Commonwealth citizen, like those well behaved Canadians.
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 23rd Apr 17, 10:23 AM
    • 3,811 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 17, 10:23 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 17, 10:23 AM
    Classic example of what goes around comes around. If the OP's wife's 18th century ancestors hadn't been such troublemakers, we wouldn't have expelled them from the Empire and she would now be a Commonwealth citizen, like those well behaved Canadians.
    Originally posted by dresdendave
    They didn't get 'expelled' - they won a War of Independence.
    They'd have enough of Imperial rule.
    • Yawn
    • By Yawn 23rd Apr 17, 7:36 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Yawn
    This may be stating the obvious but there may be other ways of building up her credit report: a mobile phone contract, having some of the utility bills in her name. It will always be difficult to get a credit card without any other financial commitments, regardless of your nationality.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 24th Apr 17, 2:17 PM
    • 482 Posts
    • 206 Thanks
    phillw
    This may be stating the obvious but there may be other ways of building up her credit report: a mobile phone contract, having some of the utility bills in her name. It will always be difficult to get a credit card without any other financial commitments, regardless of your nationality.
    Originally posted by Yawn
    I know someone who ended up getting a car from one of those rip off car supermarkets with the terribly expensive loan and that was the only way he could get any credit. After that he managed to get a credit card and was terrible with it, so in retrospect he would have been better off without credit at all.
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