Recent Arrival to the USA

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Replied by ColoNative on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

I may also suggest looking through some of our old posts regarding credit unions. The biggest myth about a credit union is that they're not convenient. This is NOT true because most are apart of a shared branching system where you get to use other credit unions branches. They all teamed up and built a computer system. Not all credit unions are apart of this, check this site to see a list. That's over 6,500 credit unions participating!


Exactly. CU Service centers are connected. Alot of them have even started to accept deposits from cell phones. Meaning, you take a picture of the check and send it to the credit union. As long as the picture is legible, they will post the funds to the account. I believe Chase does this as well.
8 years 9 months ago #1

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Replied by ColoNative on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

Thanks Colo & Joey,

My plan is to join a Credit Union - I was with one in Australia and I loved it. I'm just trying to work out which have the best deal - I live in Los Angeles, if that helps.

I assume that Credit Unions don't offer interest free periods on purchases?

So that leaves me with trying to work which bank or store card will give me the best credit terms and/or deal on a TV.

Oh also, the apartment application & Time Warner connection does result in a hard-pull on your credit... As does opening a checking and/or savings account at some banks. I know that it does at Wells Fargo. I also get my credit report every month and see the inquiries slowly move from "High" to "Moderate" to "Low" impact as time goes by... I could rant about this all day - Why does something effect your credit score if you're not in credit?!


Los Angeles has several credit unions. Wescom is one of the larger ones; however, you can join several other large, national credit unions. Joeyman included a link to search for credit unions.

You are correct, most credit unions will not offer 0% intro rates. And if they do, make sure they are not actually issued by a bank (FIA Card Services, Elan Financial and First National Bank Omaha are notorious for issuing some of the smaller credit unions cards).

And watch for those electronic store cards' intro rates. Many times you may be able to get a Visa/MasterCard or Amex with a great intro rate and will be a card that you can actually use again. For instance, with Best Buy you really would not use it again or you may find yourself purchasing a DVD every so often to keep it active.

As far as utility companies and rental properties checking credit: a solid credit rating is a good indication on somebodies ability and willingness to repay-even for things that most of us need (water and electricity vs a Visa card). If a utility pulls a bureau to find someone with a 400 bureau score, tons of collections (some of which could be past utilities) etc they may want that customer to pay a deposit rather than just turning on the utilities.
8 years 9 months ago #2

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Replied by wmarat on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

I do know what are you going through. I myself came over here 4 years ago and unlike you, English is not my mother tongue and I have never worked for financial institution. Nevertheless, my scores are in mid 700, my total available revolving credit more than $400k, my car loan is at 2.99% APR and I have just refinanced my mortgage getting 4.5%.

I list all this not to boast but to show that all what I am going to advise worked for me.

1. The magic word is CREDIT UNION. I would advise to check out Pentagon Federal, Addison Avenue, Lake Michigan, Fort Knox, Affinity. All those CU's are open for public to join via different associations.

2.I have frozen all 4 credit files and all utility companies were able to open account for me and verify my identity without making hard pull.

3. When I bought my first car, I was offered auto loan at 20%. I told them that the only way I am buying car from them if they provide me with reasonable financing which is equal to their best rate at that time. It has taken about 3 hours of phone calls but they approved it (4.99%).
8 years 9 months ago #3

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Replied by Joeyman on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

I assume that Credit Unions don't offer interest free periods on purchases?



I was given six months no intrests when I opened my credit union card. My favorite part about the card is instant payments, it's basically like transfering money from a savings to checking account. :cool:
8 years 9 months ago #4

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Replied by Wanderer on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

Thanks Colo & Joey,

My plan is to join a Credit Union - I was with one in Australia and I loved it. I'm just trying to work out which have the best deal - I live in Los Angeles, if that helps.

I assume that Credit Unions don't offer interest free periods on purchases?

So that leaves me with trying to work which bank or store card will give me the best credit terms and/or deal on a TV.

Oh also, the apartment application & Time Warner connection does result in a hard-pull on your credit... As does opening a checking and/or savings account at some banks. I know that it does at Wells Fargo. I also get my credit report every month and see the inquiries slowly move from "High" to "Moderate" to "Low" impact as time goes by... I could rant about this all day - Why does something effect your credit score if you're not in credit?!


My credit union had a twenty-five day grace period on purchases unless you revolved the balance from the previous month. As to cash advances, they are interest immediately and usually include a fee of 3 to 5%.
8 years 9 months ago #5

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Replied by Benny on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

Thanks Colo & Joey,

My plan is to join a Credit Union - I was with one in Australia and I loved it. I'm just trying to work out which have the best deal - I live in Los Angeles, if that helps.

I assume that Credit Unions don't offer interest free periods on purchases?

So that leaves me with trying to work which bank or store card will give me the best credit terms and/or deal on a TV.

Oh also, the apartment application & Time Warner connection does result in a hard-pull on your credit... As does opening a checking and/or savings account at some banks. I know that it does at Wells Fargo. I also get my credit report every month and see the inquiries slowly move from "High" to "Moderate" to "Low" impact as time goes by... I could rant about this all day - Why does something effect your credit score if you're not in credit?!
8 years 9 months ago #6

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Replied by Joeyman on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

Go Colo!!!

BOTH[/B] his new auto loan and credit card.[/quote]Before joining[/B] ask if they can use the same inquiry for opening a new checking and savings (required by all credit unions, costs $5), the auto loan, and a Visa...! My credit union, Units Community Credit Union based here in Oregon will use a credit report for up to 1 month![/quote]here[/URL].[/quote]

I may also suggest looking through some of our old posts regarding credit unions. The biggest myth about a credit union is that they're not convenient. This is NOT true because most are apart of a shared branching system where you get to use other credit unions branches. They all teamed up and built a computer system. Not all credit unions are apart of this, check this site to see a list. That's over 6,500 credit unions participating! :cool:
8 years 9 months ago #7

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Replied by Joeyman on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

Do you belong to any credit unions? You will likley get a better rate and better service through a credit union.


Go Colo!!![/quote]BOTH[/B] his new auto loan and credit card.[/quote]Before joining[/B] ask if they can use the same inquiry for opening a new checking and savings (required by all credit unions, costs $5), the auto loan, and a Visa...! My credit union, Units Community Credit Union based here in Oregon will use a credit report for up to 1 month![/quote]here[/URL].
8 years 9 months ago #8

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Replied by ColoNative on topic Re: Recent Arrival to the USA

I moved from Australia to the US early last year and have been working on my credit score since July '09. At that time, I managed to get a Wells Fargo Student Credit Card with a limit of $700 and by December of '09 Capital One had sent me a pre-approval offer letter to which I accepted and was given a credit limit of $500. This is a little annoying because I have 2 Australian credit cards with $10,000 limits and a Gold Amex. In September 09. I applied for a car loan through Carmax and was accepted for a $8,200 loan with an interest rate of 16.95%!

After the fantastic service I was offered at Wells Fargo, my Personal Banker managed to convince me to apply for a job at the bank. I worked there for 6-months before returning to my "real" career. The benefit of time at Wells Fargo was learning how the banking system works in the US and to this end I attended a 5-day internal credit training course. So I'm probably armed with a little more credit and banking knowledge than your average immigrant.

Now to my next steps. Both Wells Fargo and Capital One have increased my CL so they are $1,000 and $750, respectively. I called Capital One up the other day to see if they'd increase my CL again but I got rejected - without a credit pull.

So now what do I do? I want to do things in the immediate future - Buy a TV and refinance my ridiculously high car loan. Last month my Experian Score was 716 but has dropped to 700 as I've put $250 & $50 on each of the credit cards. This will be paid off by the end of the month - I always pay off my full balance every month. I also pay double the minimum payment against my car loan so that is also in very good order.

I'd like to take advantage of an interest free period for the purchase of a TV but I'm concerned I will get rejected for having too many recent inquiries - I've had 3 in the past 12-months on Experian. 2 of these have been for a rental property applications and other was for Time Warner. Both of which I don't understand because I pay both my rent and Time Warner in advance so I'm never in "credit" with either but that's another philosophical issue.

So my question will be what happens if I apply for both a new credit card and refinance my auto loan within a 1-3 month period? That will bring my inquiries up to 5 for the year - which I'm worried about getting rejected so is there any particular credit card I should be looking at? I'm considering staying with one of the major banks or possibly a Best Buy card.

Any help on a strategy will be very much appreciated.

Regards,
Benny


Both Bank of America and American Express have features on their websites that allow you to see if you are pre-approved for one of their cards. This results in a soft inquiry-meaning only you will see it. This gives you a good indication on your chances for approval.

I would re-finance your car (with the steering wheel on the correct side of the car, of course!) first before you get another credit card. Do you belong to any credit unions? You will likley get a better rate and better service through a credit union.

As far as inquiries-the rent and utility (Time Warner) should not really impact your score because the inquiry was not for new credit. Experian is the mothership of all credit reports, so if you can find a bank/credit union that pulls from TU or Equifax even better. I do not know which banks pull what-and they can vary from what part of the country you are in. So hopefully some others can chime in on that.
8 years 9 months ago #9

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was created by Benny

I moved from Australia to the US early last year and have been working on my credit score since July '09. At that time, I managed to get a Wells Fargo Student Credit Card with a limit of $700 and by December of '09 Capital One had sent me a pre-approval offer letter to which I accepted and was given a credit limit of $500. This is a little annoying because I have 2 Australian credit cards with $10,000 limits and a Gold Amex. In September 09. I applied for a car loan through Carmax and was accepted for a $8,200 loan with an interest rate of 16.95%!

After the fantastic service I was offered at Wells Fargo, my Personal Banker managed to convince me to apply for a job at the bank. I worked there for 6-months before returning to my "real" career. The benefit of time at Wells Fargo was learning how the banking system works in the US and to this end I attended a 5-day internal credit training course. So I'm probably armed with a little more credit and banking knowledge than your average immigrant.

Now to my next steps. Both Wells Fargo and Capital One have increased my CL so they are $1,000 and $750, respectively. I called Capital One up the other day to see if they'd increase my CL again but I got rejected - without a credit pull.

So now what do I do? I want to do things in the immediate future - Buy a TV and refinance my ridiculously high car loan. Last month my Experian Score was 716 but has dropped to 700 as I've put $250 & $50 on each of the credit cards. This will be paid off by the end of the month - I always pay off my full balance every month. I also pay double the minimum payment against my car loan so that is also in very good order.

I'd like to take advantage of an interest free period for the purchase of a TV but I'm concerned I will get rejected for having too many recent inquiries - I've had 3 in the past 12-months on Experian. 2 of these have been for a rental property applications and other was for Time Warner. Both of which I don't understand because I pay both my rent and Time Warner in advance so I'm never in "credit" with either but that's another philosophical issue.

So my question will be what happens if I apply for both a new credit card and refinance my auto loan within a 1-3 month period? That will bring my inquiries up to 5 for the year - which I'm worried about getting rejected so is there any particular credit card I should be looking at? I'm considering staying with one of the major banks or possibly a Best Buy card.

Any help on a strategy will be very much appreciated.

Regards,
Benny
8 years 9 months ago #10

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