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I moved to the UK a bit more than a year ago. Until now, I have been using my payment cards and bank accounts I brought from abroad which a) worked fine and b) I did not have a lot of choice as I was unable to get anything off UK financial instituions. I shall add that I am self-employed, which might not make the process easier.

To cut a long story short, as I was unable to even get a UK prepaid card (except Monese, which doesn't count here) I found that the UK credit agencies did not know me. Fair enough, how should they? But this is a chicken and egg problem to me. Credit card issuer says: We cannot find any credit report from you, so we cannot give you an account / a card. But I'd need one to build up a score.

So I found LOQBOX, which claims it's the solution. So I saved 12 x 20 GBP. Now one year later, I did not go anywhere. The credit agencies still don't know me.

Is there a misunderstanding on my end?

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I did this in reverse, so UK to Canada. This is what you do.

  1. Open a current bank account with a UK bank (current account means checking account if you are from North America). This is the hardest part, and you may need a reference from your employer and lots of ID to do it. But a current account is low risk for a bank and they should do it. It's not like they are giving you credit after all. Get your UK salary paid into it and use it for day to day banking. Almost certainly this will come with a Visa or MasterCard debit card, which means you can do most things, just up to the limit of what you have in your account. In any case keep using your non-UK credit cards where you need to. Don't go overdrawn.
  2. Once you have been doing this for a few months ask the same bank for a credit card. They will probably give you one with a low limit. Use this where you can and use your foreign one where you need a higher limit.
  3. Now you are up and running. You have a credit record and a salary. If you pay off your card bills people will fight to give you credit cards with ever-increasing limits.

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