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Singapore to the US.

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RimBlock
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Singapore to the US.

Post by RimBlock » Mon, 26 Aug 2019 2:36 pm

Whilst this is around the other way, there is clearly a wealth of knowledge here which I hope people would be willing to share.

As some may know from my National Service thread, I am looking to relocate with my Singaporean family to the US for 5-6 years (I am British but the rest of the family inc the kids are Singaporean).

There are two areas I would appreciate any advice people are willing to share on.

Building a credit score, if possible, relevant to US banks before moving to the US.

My local credit score is good and I would prefer not to go to nothing. With various banks having operations in the US I was hoping that having an account with them in Singapore would lead to some sort of credit score I could take over to the US but so far I have had a no from both Citibank and Standard Chartered.

Are there any banks that offer this facility or any other legal way of starting to build a credit score relevant to organisations in the US from Singapore ?.

Home loans for Expats who have just moved to the US.

I have heard that home loans for people moving to the US with no credit score is likely to require a 30% initial payment. Are there any organisations people are aware of which would be able to offer home loans without such a high initial down payment. Monthlies are not likely to be a problem but with my wife keeping her CPF in SG we are left with only 50% of our home buying power in regards to the down payment (minus moving costs etc).

Please also let me know if there is a better place to ask these sort of questions.

Many thanks
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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Singapore to the US.

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 26 Aug 2019 5:46 pm

I'm afraid I'm of no use in that regard, maybe Strong Eagle or PNGMK would input their wealth of knowledge. (I've got US credit cards that I've kept since 1979 for the specific purpose of the off chance I did return to the US eventually.)

RobSg
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Re: Singapore to the US.

Post by RobSg » Mon, 26 Aug 2019 10:18 pm

I visited the US about 2 years before I finally returned to the US to retire in early 2014. I had lived in Singapore for 25 years. On my visit to the US in 2012, I had no credit score. However, the American Express card from Singapore is easily transferable to the US, and so I immediately was able to get a US American Express card. I decided to use my brother's home address as my mailing address, and applied for VISA and Mastercard. I got them both based on my American Express card. Using them in Singapore for two years allowed me to build up a credit score.

Having the American Express card was the key to building up a credit score. Best of luck.

Rob

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Singapore to the US.

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 27 Aug 2019 12:01 am

RobSG has an excellent idea with Amex.

I kept my US credit cards when I came over so building credit was not an issue. However, I would expand on what RobSG has said and immediately open a checking/savings account with Chase. Why Chase? Credit cards, mortgages, and in my view, very helpful people to be able to establish some sort of relationship banking.

With a checking and reasonable amount of savings account, Chase will probably issue you well above sub prime credit cards, and I don't think it will take long to build a credit history with them to check out a mortgage. The key is to build a relationship, and unless you are wealthy enough to be into private banking, in which case you wouldn't be posting, developing an integrated financial relationship with a bigger bank will be the quickest way to build overall credit.

Sidenote: I have no relationship with Chase except as a customer. I have held the same checking account for some 25 years as it has passed through at least three bank purchases. Chase has been by far the best.

RimBlock
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Re: Singapore to the US.

Post by RimBlock » Thu, 29 Aug 2019 11:00 am

Would anyone know if a Transferwise account would qualify for credit score (I suspect not) ?.

Had a look at the AMEX cards and nothing jumps out as being particularly good compared to other offerings in SG (don't see ourselves using SGAirways too much). Don't live central so the dining etc percs are not really of too much interest either. My wife does have a person AMEX card though and I may look for the cash back one and pay the bills etc through it to build up the usage.
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PNGMK
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Re: Singapore to the US.

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 30 Aug 2019 9:31 am

Rim - Amex sucks but it's one of the few tools to get credit. Use the cash back one as you mention. TF won't do a thing for your credit as they don't participate in credit bureau activities to my knowledge.
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RimBlock
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Re: Singapore to the US.

Post by RimBlock » Fri, 30 Aug 2019 9:50 am

Great, will do.

Thanks for the info everyone.
Without dialogues, if you tell them you want something real bad, you will get it real bad.

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