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I'm a French National married to a US citizen, and we're looking into buying a house in Florida. Does anybody out there knows of a anything akin to an international credit report for a French national? I know the UK has such a system now, maybe others too in the EU, but I have never heard of any such thing in France. We have no debt and never had any in the past, we pay everything cash (if we can't pay cash, we don't buy it!), I have a decent income but it is neither generated nor paid in the US, and therefore it would seem as though my creditworthiness is not even worth peanuts here, thus making lenders not capable/willing to work with us, even if we plan on putting 40 to 50% down for a house purchase. Can anyone think of some creative way around this issue???

Thanks!

  • Your income isn't useless at all. It would contribute to your credit worthiness, as most credit agencies do track down your financial means, if you provide them the details. It did for me, I am not in US though. – DumbCoder Oct 25 '13 at 15:40
  • Thank you for the info. I realize that my income would eventually be of interest to the lender, but not until they can get their hands some sort of credit history. Since I have never borrowed $ to anyone, seems as though the rest of my story is irrelevant... Penalized for being financially healthy and responsible, how about that!!! – Olivier Oct 25 '13 at 16:31
  • @Olivier You can check if there are any French Banks in the US, and you can have an account there, since they might know the way it takes place in France. Just a thought. – JNL Oct 25 '13 at 19:45
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I'm not aware that any US bank has any way to access your credit rating in France (especially as you basically don't have one!).

In the US, banks are not the only way to get finance for a home. In many regions, there are plenty of "owner financed" or "Owner will carry" homes. For these, the previous owner will provide a private mortgage for the balance if you have a large (25%+) downpayment. No strict lending rules, no fancy credit scoring systems, just a large enough downpayment so they know they'll get their money back if they have to foreclose. For the seller, it's a way to shift a house that is hard to sell plus get a regular income.

Often this mortgage is for only 3-10 years, but that gives you the time to establish more credit and then refinance. Maybe the interest rate is a little higher also, but again it's just until you can refinance to something better (or sell other assets then pay the loan off quick).

For new homes, the builders/developers may offer similar finance. For both owner-will-carry and developer finance, a large deposit will trump any credit rating concerns. There is usually a simplified foreclosure process, so they're not really taking much of a risk, so can afford to be flexible.

Make sure the owner mortgage is via a title company, trust company, or escrow company, so that there's a third party involved to ensure each party lives up to their obligations.

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    (+1) Note that there is simply no credit rating in France, it's not just a matter of having access to it or how the OP lived until now, it does not exist. – Relaxed Dec 16 '16 at 19:54

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