I'm starting work in the US, and I'm wondering if my credit history will transfer. If not, is there a way for me to gain an "international" credit history, or equivalent, in expectation of other future moves?

  • 1
    Normally no, but if the bank decided to check your credit history in your previous country, you cannot stop it from doing so. And if the previous report is adverse then the bank would consider your previous credit history and certainly not overlook it.
    – DumbCoder
    Dec 13, 2010 at 10:05
  • Similar: money.stackexchange.com/questions/2953/… Dec 13, 2010 at 12:52

4 Answers 4


Currently the credit history are not International but are local.
Many countries don't have a concept of credit history yet.

Having said that, if you are moving to US, depending on your history in your country, you can ask the same bank to provide you with a card and then start building history. For example in India I had a card with Citi Bank and when I moved to US for a short period, I was given a card based on my India Card, with equivalent credit in USD.

If you are moving often internationally, it would make sense to Bank with a leading bank that provide services in geographies of your interest [Citi, HSBC, etc] and then in a new country approach these institutions to get you some starting credit for you to build a history.

  • Isn't this system very easy to abuse, then? I could move to a country, build up a bit of credit rating, then, when I move back home, fill up all my credit and take my money with me. Dec 13, 2010 at 15:51
  • Not exactly because you dont get the same credit rating or limits. India is developing economy and typical credit on card is around $1000 - $2000 in eq Indian Rupees which is large from Indian prespective. However is someone was holding a card in US with say $10,000 credit limit, he wont automatically get a card in India with a eq limit of $10,000 in INR as this would be an austronomical sum, one could buy an good 1200 sq ft house in Mumbai with that money.
    – Dheer
    Dec 14, 2010 at 5:51
  • But, you could come from India to the US, work for 2 years, get a 10k credit card, and then run back to India with the money Dec 14, 2010 at 7:23
  • 4
    Agree. If you are comming back to your country for good ... you can if the amount is small compared to cost of recovery, as the efforts to chase you in other country are more. However if you are planning to goback, you can get arrested. I know of a chase where a person while comming back from Singapore forgot[on purpose?] to settle utility bills worth SGD 150. 7 years later when he became a top notch executive and flew to Singapore for a short business visit, he was taken straight to police station from Airport :)
    – Dheer
    Dec 15, 2010 at 12:23
  • 1
    lol! Don't these bills eventually expire? Dec 15, 2010 at 14:17

It's not just that credit history is local; it's that it's a private business run for profit.

The "big three" credit bureaus in the US are Experian, Equifax and Transunion. They collect information on debt usage and abuse from various companies in the US, and charge a fee to provide that information (and their judgement of you) to companies interested in offering you further credit. But there's nothing stopping a company from collecting international credit histories, or specialized credit histories either (for instance, there's a company called ChexSystems which focuses on retail purchase financing (mostly auto) and checking account abuse, while ignoring other types of lending).

That being said, I don't know of any companies which currently collect international credit histories. Perhaps in Europe, with more nations in close geographic proximity, there would be, but not in North America.


Credit history is local, so when you move to the US you start with the blank slate. Credit history length is a huge factor, so in the first year expect that nobody would trust you and you may be refused credit or asked for deposits. I was asked for deposits at cell phone company and refused for store cards couple of times. My advice - get a secured credit card (that means you put certain sum of money as a deposit in the bank and you get credit equal to that sum of money) and if you have something like a car loan that helps too (of course, you shouldn't buy a car just for that ;) but if you're buying anyway, just know it's not only hurting but also helping when you pay). Once you have a year or two of the history and you've kept with all the payments, you credit score would be OK and everybody would be happy to work with you. In 4-5 years you can have excellent credit record if you pay on time and don't do anything bad.

If you are working it the US, a lot of help at first would be to take a letter from your company on an official letterhead saying that you are employed by this and that company and are getting salary of this and that. That can serve as an assurance for some merchants that otherwise would be reluctant to work with you because of the absence of credit history. If you have any assets overseas, especially if they are held in a branch of international bank in US dollars, that could help too.

In general, don't count too much on credit for first 1-2 years (though you'd probably could get a car loan, for example, but rates would be exorbitant - easily 10 percentage points higher than with good credit), but it will get better soon.


Some countries in European Union are starting to implement credit history sharing, for example now history from polish bureau BIK and German Schufa are mutually available.

Similar agreements are planned between polish BIK and bureaus in the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

  • When I wanted to rent a flat in Switzerland (because I was starting work in Zürich), after living in Germany, the estate agent (realtor/Makler) wanted a credit report from Schufa (so Europeans understand about foriegn credit reports). Aug 14, 2017 at 10:57

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