So here’s the deal. I arrived in the USA a little over 4 years ago. I was married to an American and had savings and job prospects so was in a decent position. Unfortunately when I first arrived here I had no credit rating. This is an issue for most people arriving in the US as until you have a decent credit rating, according to any sensible company that gives you a loan you are persona non grata.
Thankfully, I had one huge advantage. My American wife has had a bank account here for half of her life. Additionally her credit rating is awesome partially because she has had a credit card since before she was born. To explain that last bit, her mother has her as an authorized user on a card she’s had since well before J’s birth so it shows up in her credit report. How AWESOME is that!?
For advice on how to do this… seriously get a credit card and get into debt THEN PAY OFF THAT DEBT, and repeat this regularly over a long time. That’s pretty much it. Each time this happens it’ll ping to say “Hey, this guy knows how to spend truckloads of money… but eventually he pays it off. He’s the kind of guy we want to give more truckloads of money to!”. Seriously, that’s the key. Any debts you know you can get into AND OUT OF are things you should do if you need to the credit rating up.
So yes. It took four years of careful card management to ensure that our credit was slowly built up… an iPad on a credit plan here to check availability… a lease car to check we’re good for large credit approval…. but when we finally went to the bank a few months ago we actually had close to the top credit score (and yes, Juliann beat mine by a few dozen points but nothing crazy). The agent seemed surprised that the amount we wanted was so low (but you know, we’d like to sort of be able to pay it and all).
End result, we had the loan and all was happy in the world. The end. And the cat turned into a princess.