I am a UK citizen who has been living in US for the last year. About 6 months ago (although maybe less) I got a Social Security Number for the first time.

I have been renting an apartment under my name, and 3 months ago I transferred a mobile phone contract to my name too. Strangely, when I tried to transfer the contract to my name they were unable to do a credit check on my SSN saying that "Credit is not enabled for this number" and suggested I had to call some "Credit Bureau" to "enable it" or something. I can't remember, and it didn't make any sense to me at the time.

  1. Is there anything I have to do to start building credit against my SSN? I don't want to be paying and my SSN not be tracking things.

  2. Any suggestions for how to build credit other than keep paying my rent and phone bill? I would like a credit card with a small limit, but my UK credit isn't ideal either. I have a Chase account here and a HSBC account is still active and in use back home, so maybe one of them can help me?

  • Was your credit "not enabled" or "not there"? I don't know about how it works, and I could see either being the case.
    – MrChrister
    Nov 5, 2013 at 4:21
  • I believe the lady at AT&T was saying that credit was "not enabled" but I have no idea what this means. Dec 2, 2013 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


Get a credit card and start using it, over a period it would start building your score.

If you already have been Banking in UK with HSBC, you can request the HSBC here to give a card with nominal limits. Similarly you can request Chase Bank based on the DDA account to give you a card with basic limit. Once you start using and paying on time, periodically request for limit raise.

  • But how does a UK citizen living in the US get such a card?
    – MrChrister
    Nov 5, 2013 at 4:23
  • @MrChrister: He already has SSN, so he is as good as any other American trying to get his first credit card.
    – Dheer
    Nov 5, 2013 at 4:31
  • 1
    Excellent. I was just prompting for more of an answer; you are normally so thorough. One sentence wasn't your normal standard =)
    – MrChrister
    Nov 5, 2013 at 5:40
  • @MrChrister: Thanks for the prompt. Got a bit lazy :)
    – Dheer
    Nov 5, 2013 at 5:46
  • I have applied for a credit card with Chase multiple times through their website but been turned down. I have not tried with HSBC US but I don't see them being any more eager. This "credit not enabled" situation AT&T mentioned has me concerned. Dec 2, 2013 at 21:26

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