Remember I said I have no Credit?
Well, things just changed
Back in February, I wrote an article, Random Thoughts about the Move.
Since that time, I have applied for two credit cards. The first one that I applied for denied my application. It was an online application and I had the decision that took less than 2 minutes. I was not surprised, because I was aware that my credit report really had no history on it. At that time, I decided not to apply for any other cards until I figured out a strategy.
I wanted to build up some credit because used responsibly, credit is something that can make life easier here in the USA.
Message from a friend
After my “random thoughts” article I got a message from a friend. This friend has some experience assisting people in the process of building up credit. He told me that he would be willing to help me as well.
I was very grateful to this friend for his offer of help. A week or so later, we got in touch and I told him I was ready to move forward with his assistance.
The first thing that my friend advised me was to go online to Credit Karma and register for an account there. They would run my credit report and have it ready for me to review in minutes.
After this advice, we talked about some other things that he could do to help me build some credit. Being out of the USA for 20 years had left me with no credit at all. That makes it difficult to get started!
The assistance that my friend was offering was great, but it would take a few weeks to kick in and affect my credit report in a way that would help me out.
My Report from Credit Karma
After I ran my credit report on Credit Karma, I was surprised at what my report showed. It showed reports from two of the Credit Reporting agencies:
What surprised me on my credit report? Well, the Transunion report actually had some credit activity on it!
My Equifax Report
My Equifax report was totally blank. No credit score at all. No activity at all on the report. That is what I expected to see on all of my credit reports.
But, I had a surprise coming.
My Transunion Report
My Transunion report had a credit score on it! That credit score was in the “Good” range.
I wondered, how could I have any credit score, I have not had US credit for 2 decades? Well, I looked closer and found something.
There was a single credit account on the report. It was still on the report because it was an account that was closed in 2012.
This one account still on the report is a department store credit card. We had used it a few times in the 90s and always paid on time, never missed a payment. In 2012, the department store closed the account because we had not used it in 13 or 14 years. But, the report of ontime payments was still reporting on our report!
Credit Karma Recommendation
After running my credit, Credit Karma gave me a list of recommendations on how I could improve my credit score. They listed a number of credit cards I could apply for and ranked them on the odds that I would be approved for the card.
I decided to apply for one, a PNC Cash Rewards card. Credit Karma said that I had a good chance of being approved.
A hitch on my application
Two days after I applied for the Credit Card, I got a call. The bank said, “we have your credit card application, but we can’t verify that you live at the address you listed on the application”.
I explained to them that I had been living out of the USA for 2 decades and had just moved back, and was living at the address I listed on the application. They asked me if I could provide a utility bill showing my name and the address that I put on the application. I provided what they asked.
So, I just got an email
Just a while ago an email came in. It was from PNC bank. I was approved!
I was pretty happy to get that information! Now I can use that credit card to build up my creditworthiness. It is kind of the first step on my way to building our life here in the USA.
Although my friend’s help has not kicked in yet, that will only help me more, and I thank him for that! I am excited to be able to check off one of the worries of having moved back to the States!