One new challenge that's presented itself during my emigration has been the loss of my UK credit rating - it counts for nothing in Canada apparently. Since they don't take cash on the net, this was a pain.
Luckily there are a few things you can do to give your credit rating a kick start when arriving in a new land.
- Get a bank account (well, duh). Initially you may not easily get a checking account, but a savings account is available to anyone with a buck and ID.
- Get a prepaid Visa card. Not only does this get you spending on the net straight away, but if you get a card with a reloadable balance, and therefore an ongoing relationship with a financial institution, it sometimes counts positively towards your credit rating.
- Before emigrating, get an American Express account in your native land. Annoyingly rarely accepted though they are, Amex are the one credit company I know that take your overseas credit rating into account when deciding whether to grant you a card in your new home. Aside from some niggles with ID I was instantly approved for a Canadian card.
- Lastly, once you've got these accounts, make sure you run all your spending through them. Use the cards whenever possible, and pay your bills on time. After two or three months you should have no problems at all getting a proper Visa and a checking account.
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