Foreigners moving to a new country have a lot of concerns. Will you be able to find a job? Are you going to be able to learn a new language? How do you rent a flat or purchase a home? There’s a lot to worry about.
But one thing that often goes overlooked is a person’s credit score.
Your credit score demonstrates your worthiness as a borrower. If you have poor credit, you might not be able to get an auto loan or purchase a home. If you move to a new country, as I did, will your credit score follow you?
Visa Concerns and Credit
Countries have their own way of judging the creditworthiness of a potential borrower. When moving to a new country from the United States, your visa application will be scrutinized. During the application process, you may be denied if it looks like you’re trying to escape your debt.
And if you have bad debt but aren’t trying to avoid paying your debt by moving to a new country, credit repair may help. Everyone has debt, so small debts won’t be under the same scrutiny as someone that has $25,000 in debt and is delinquent on their payments.
If you have been paying off your debts, move to a new country and return to the States in the future, you’ll still have your U.S. credit score.
You may want to maintain your score if you ever plan on moving back to the States.
One suggestion is to use your credit card when traveling to visit friends and family. The goal is to make purchases, pay them off and remain in a good credit standing. You can also make purchases digitally if you don’t have plans to go back to the States in the near future.
Make a purchase on Amazon, buy an eBook or sign up for a subscription using your credit card.
Israeli Credit and U.S. Credit Scores
If you’re moving from the U.S. to Israel or vice-versa, you can’t transfer your “credit score.” Lenders have, at their own discretion, the ability to use your Israeli credit history as a form of alternative credit.
But you won’t be able to transfer your scores.
Israel’s banking is also very different from the U.S. Credit card balances are debited automatically from your checking account, so missing a payment is more difficult. Lenders can take money out of your account much easier in Israel, so you need to make sure you’re diligent with your payments.
Lenders in Israel will want to have a clear picture of your current financial situation.
Down payments on a mortgage can be 25% or higher, and the lender will want to see your past three months’ worth of pay stubs. Transactions in your bank account will also be examined.
The financial world is a lot different in Israel than it is in the United States. Some points better, some points worse, but for a foreigner moving to Israel or any other country, knowing that credit scores don’t follow you is very important.