Once you’re living in the U.S., it’s important to create a credit history to show lenders that you are financially responsible. Your credit history at home does not follow you to America.
A strong U.S. credit record can help you rent an apartment, qualify for a low-interest loan and get favorable rates on car insurance. Some employers will also look at the credit of a prospective employee.
Upon your arrival, you may have no credit history in the U.S., making it hard to get a conventional credit card. An alternative is to apply for a secured credit card. This card works like a regular credit card–and helps to build your credit history–except that you would deposit money into an account as collateral.
One of the best ways to create a favorable credit history is to use that card and pay off the balance each month. After a few months of making payments on time, you can qualify for a traditional credit card.
Note that irresponsible use, such as making payments late, will negatively affect your credit score. It’s worse to have a bad credit history than to have no credit history.