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    • HappilyNorth
    • By HappilyNorth 11th Jan 18, 12:07 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 0Thanks
    HappilyNorth
    Building a Credit History from Scratch
    • #1
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:07 PM
    Building a Credit History from Scratch 11th Jan 18 at 12:07 PM
    Hi Guys,

    My wife is currently on a two and half year UK visa. She is allowed to work and has a full time job but is not allowed to be registered on the Electoral Roll.

    We would like to start to build a credit history for her where there is currently none.

    I've contacted all 3 main credit agencies but none have any details about her.

    What is the best way to start the credit building process?

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • Candyapple
    • By Candyapple 11th Jan 18, 12:25 PM
    • 2,897 Posts
    • 2,233 Thanks
    Candyapple
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:25 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 18, 12:25 PM
    Try basic bank account first:
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/basic-bank-accounts

    Then try for a SIM only contract:
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cheap-sim-only-contracts

    Then try for subprime credit card:
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/bad-credit-credit-cards
    I'm a Board Guide on the Credit Cards, Loans, Credit Files & Ratings boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com
    • HappilyNorth
    • By HappilyNorth 12th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HappilyNorth
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    Thanks Candyapple.

    My wife and I already hold a joint bank account and she's a sharer on my Vodafone contract, so I guess getting a SIM only contract is not really worth it?

    I highly doubt she'll qualify even for a subprime credit card at the moment. Any other ideas?

    EDIT: I've just seen giff gaff are offering a £5 a month contract only SIM deal with no credit check. Is it worth applying for that?
    Last edited by HappilyNorth; 12-01-2018 at 11:38 AM.
    • KeepOnRunning
    • By KeepOnRunning 12th Jan 18, 12:05 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    KeepOnRunning
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:05 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:05 PM
    I'm in a similar situation although my girlfriend has been in the UK around 4 years now. I had her sign up to Noddle and she had no credit history.
    She wasn't aware she'd need to consider her credit record before trying to get a mortgage/loan, however she already had a bank account with Barclays.

    She couldn't get a mobile phone contract (inclusive of phone), however she could get a SIM only deal which she has done. She was frustrated that her other EU friends have somehow been accepted, however I think it's for the best she gone onto SIM only.
    Anyway, I have also helped her get a credit card with the bank she holds her bank account with (as above - Barclays). I've told her to only use the credit card for petrol and food purchases, then pay it off straight away.

    Now she'll play the waiting game to get some history, however no rush for us as I already have a mortgage myself and we don't plan on buying together for another few years, hopefully by then her credit report will show some history and obtaining a mortgage won't be too difficult.

    I hope this helps, but ultimately I don't think there's a quick fix.
    • HappilyNorth
    • By HappilyNorth 12th Jan 18, 12:23 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HappilyNorth
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:23 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:23 PM
    Many thanks. Is it worth her signing up to Noodle or registering with the 3 main agencies? Sorry, not sure how all this works.
    • KeepOnRunning
    • By KeepOnRunning 12th Jan 18, 12:48 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    KeepOnRunning
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:48 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:48 PM
    I would personally sign up to all 3, however don't expect to see much (if anything) for a few months. It won't speed anything up (as in get history posted to the report any quicker) but you'll learn when some information is posted.
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 12th Jan 18, 4:03 PM
    • 3,668 Posts
    • 946 Thanks
    Anthorn
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 18, 4:03 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 18, 4:03 PM
    Thanks Candyapple.

    My wife and I already hold a joint bank account and she's a sharer on my Vodafone contract, so I guess getting a SIM only contract is not really worth it?

    I highly doubt she'll qualify even for a subprime credit card at the moment. Any other ideas?

    EDIT: I've just seen giff gaff are offering a £5 a month contract only SIM deal with no credit check. Is it worth applying for that?
    Originally posted by HappilyNorth
    Re. a mobile phone contract, the opposite. Credit builds credit and a mobile phone contract is the most basic form of credit. Go for a rolling monthly sim only contract. Sharing your mobile contract doesn't cut it.

    I would be inclined to doubt a basic bank account because since it doesn't provide credit it might not be listed on the credit history which is what you want. Since your wife is already an account holder in a joint account she will likely qualify for a sole account with the same bank. A sole bank account is one of the essentials too

    A mail order catalogue account should be easy to get but not too many. Just one is enough. Try jdwilliams.co.uk

    Lastly try for an Aqua Start card:
    https://www.aquacard.co.uk/credit-cards/aqua-start/

    Lastly as I said, credit builds credit but a credit history is not built in a day. Expect 6 months to two years for it to have an effect and 6 years to fully build it.
    • HappilyNorth
    • By HappilyNorth 12th Jan 18, 6:32 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HappilyNorth
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 6:32 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 6:32 PM
    Ok, thanks for the advice. So to sum up:

    Ask Nationwide for a sole account (does her salary have to go in there or could we just stick a few quid in each month?)
    Register with 3 main reference agencies & Noddle
    Take out the giff gaff £5 a month SIM only contract
    Apply for JD Williams catalogue
    Apply for Aqua card

    Anything else?
    • zx81
    • By zx81 12th Jan 18, 6:43 PM
    • 17,230 Posts
    • 18,310 Thanks
    zx81
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 18, 6:43 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 18, 6:43 PM
    Try for a card, such as aqua, before messing around with catalogues.
    • Sillymoney
    • By Sillymoney 12th Jan 18, 8:21 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Sillymoney
    Both my Nationwide accounts, joint and single report to the credit agencies monthly (no overdraft on either). If your joint account is with Nationwide already you might find little benefit in opening another account. Otherwise as mentioned above credit card, sim only and catalogue would be a good place to start.
    • HappilyNorth
    • By HappilyNorth 13th Jan 18, 8:23 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HappilyNorth
    Thanks one and all.

    Just to clarify, based on the differing opinions above, is having a sole account (whether you have a joint account which is reported to the agencies each month) an essential or not?
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
    • 31,900 Posts
    • 20,085 Thanks
    DCFC79
    Thanks one and all.

    Just to clarify, based on the differing opinions above, is having a sole account (whether you have a joint account which is reported to the agencies each month) an essential or not?
    Originally posted by HappilyNorth
    All depends how her credit file looks, you day its not the best so Id not bother with 1 as it could have an impact on you as your financially linked.

    I personally wouldn't bother with catalogues.
    • lildoonbuggy
    • By lildoonbuggy 13th Jan 18, 9:07 AM
    • 65 Posts
    • 160 Thanks
    lildoonbuggy
    Ok, thanks for the advice. So to sum up:

    Ask Nationwide for a sole account (does her salary have to go in there or could we just stick a few quid in each month?)
    Register with 3 main reference agencies & Noddle
    Take out the giff gaff £5 a month SIM only contract
    Apply for JD Williams catalogue
    Apply for Aqua card

    Anything else?
    Not sure if it's still the same but it used to require at least 2 years of address history to have your account confirmed for credit file updates. If you have issues though, try the Martin lewis
    • lildoonbuggy
    • By lildoonbuggy 13th Jan 18, 9:11 AM
    • 65 Posts
    • 160 Thanks
    lildoonbuggy
    Cont'd. - Martin Lewis credit Club which seems to be able to establish your idebtity earlier in the piece.
    • binaryuniverse
    • By binaryuniverse 13th Jan 18, 9:24 AM
    • 685 Posts
    • 433 Thanks
    binaryuniverse
    Register with 3 main reference agencies & Noddle
    Originally posted by HappilyNorth
    Just to clarify on this, do not sign up to the 3 reference agencies directly. They will sell you costly products that you can get for free.

    Experian
    , sign up to MSE's very own CreditClub.
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/creditclub

    Equifax. Use Clearscore.
    https://www.clearscore.com/

    Callcredit. Noddle, or GiffGaff, if you join them. GiffGaff's has the odd 'feature' of updating daily.
    https://www.noddle.co.uk/
    https://www.giffgaff.com/money/free_credit_report/
    • username
    • By username 13th Jan 18, 10:52 AM
    • 431 Posts
    • 149 Thanks
    username
    Re. a mobile phone contract, the opposite. Credit builds credit and a mobile phone contract is the most basic form of credit. Go for a rolling monthly sim only contract. Sharing your mobile contract doesn't cut it.
    If she simply has one of your additional lines (but the contract is still in your name) then it will have no effect on her credit record.

    Also, with regards to a rolling monthly sim contract, it needs to be a postpay contract in her name, where they take a direct debit from your account and require a credit check to sign up.

    Giffgaff is no good for this purpose, as it is just a pay as you go sim card that does not have any checks to get.

    Also be aware that some networks may also require a security deposit to sign up to a contract of any kind if you do not have much if any of a credit history.

    I would also advise that she does have an account in her own name.
    • HappilyNorth
    • By HappilyNorth 13th Jan 18, 12:27 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HappilyNorth
    Just called Carphone Warehouse to take out a SIM only contract and they advised they'd need at least 3 years address history.

    I asked if that was the same with the networks directly and she advised some will take 2 years. My wife has only been in the UK for 16 months.

    Is it even worth trying for a sub-crime card if we can't even get a cheap phone contract?

    Makes you wonder how on earth one builds a credit history when you can't even get the most basic of credit facilities.
    • Mulder00
    • By Mulder00 13th Jan 18, 12:55 PM
    • 488 Posts
    • 431 Thanks
    Mulder00
    The things I did when I got to the UK first:

    1. I added myself to the electoral roll (understood not everyone can, but as a citizen of a commonwealth country, I was allowed to).
    2. Bought myself a starter pack in my home country which allowed me to open a UK current account to get proof of address.
    3. Signed up with Experian and had my account confirmed (this involved sending proof of identity and address using my new current account and details of my previous addresses from my home country)
    4.Rented a place and added my name to all the utilities (BT and British Gas)
    5. After 5 months I took out a fairly large (£7500) personal loan from my current account provider and repaid it over 9 months.
    6. Then started opening mobile contracts, credit cards and so on and of course made sure that I never missed a single payment for anything.

    I managed to get a mortgage after being here for 4 years and haven't ever had any issue with obtaining credit (and I've done many, many credit applications as I link to earn interest on money obtained with no interest to pay back )
    • HappilyNorth
    • By HappilyNorth 13th Jan 18, 1:12 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HappilyNorth
    Thanks, Mulder! She's from Brazil so unfortunately it's a little different. May I ask what sort of % you put down for a mortgage deposit?

    I just called Vodafone directly and she was accepted straight off the bat for a monthly contract (up to £70 per month) including handset. VERY surprised as she's never applied for credit before.

    Very happy. Many thanks to everybody who has helped.

    Should we apply for the sub-prime credit card now to strike whilst the irons hot or wait a little while as applying for 2 credit services in 1 day may look a bit dodgy?
    • Mulder00
    • By Mulder00 13th Jan 18, 1:57 PM
    • 488 Posts
    • 431 Thanks
    Mulder00
    That is great and REALLY useful that she has a Vodafone account.

    Mortgage was 5% using Help to Buy.

    (Also just realised with your credit card question, that I also opened a credit card with my current account provider (HSBC) during the early days. I never had to open a sub-prime or credit-builder type card - I was worried that it could have a negative impact on my credit score with some companies.)
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