When Moving Abroad: How to Build Credit in a New Country?

Dec 24, 2022 By Susan Kelly


Moving abroad can be an exciting adventure. But it can also be a daunting experience, especially when building your credit in a new country. Your credit score is important when applying for loans and other financial products, so building your credit correctly is essential to ensure you get the best deals available. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to build your credit in a new country when moving abroad. In this blog, we'll share our top tips on building a good credit score in a new country.

Understanding Credit and Credit Reports

Before we dive into the specifics of building credit in a new country, it's important to understand what credit is and how it works.

  • Credit is an agreement between you and a lender where the lender provides you with funds, goods, or services in exchange for repayment at a later date. Your credit score is based on your ability to pay back this loan and other factors such as your payment history, amount of debt, and types of credit.
  • Credit reports are the documents used to track your credit activity and performance. It's important to remember that when you move abroad, you'll need to build a new credit history from scratch. To do this, you'll need to know what measures you can take to build your credit in a new country.

How Does It Work?

Establish Residency

Establishing residency is the first step to building a credit history in a new country. To do this, you'll need to register with the local government or financial institutions and obtain tax records, employment documents, and other evidence that proves you are living in the new county. This can be lengthy, so it's important to start the process as soon as possible.

Research Credit Services and Products

Once you have established residency in your new country, the next step is to research credit services and products available. Different countries will offer different types of financial services, so it's important to familiarise yourself with what is available in the country you are moving to.

Take Out a Credit Card

One of the most common ways to build credit in a new country is by issuing a credit card. Most countries will offer various credit cards, so it's important to research and find one that best suits your needs. When choosing a credit card, it's important to note the interest rate and fees associated with each card.

Pay Your Bills on Time

You must pay your bills on time to build a good credit score in a new country. Late payments can damage your credit score, so make sure you pay your bills before the due date. Keeping track of your spending is also important, as overspending can hurt your credit score.

Check Your Credit Report Regularly

Once you have established a good credit history in your new country, you must check your credit report regularly. Checking your report will help you identify any discrepancies or errors affecting your score, so you can take the necessary steps to rectify them.

Why Build Credit in a New Country When Moving Abroad?

When you move to a new country, building credit can be challenging. Good credit is important for accessing financial products such as mortgages, loans, and lines of credit. It also impacts your ability to get favorable insurance rates and even rental agreements for housing. Thankfully, there are several ways you can build credit in a new country.

Create a Local Bank Account

The first step to building credit in a new country is to open a local bank account. Most financial services require local accounts and transactions to assess your creditworthiness. A local bank account is essential even if the bank does not offer loans or credit products.

Set Up Direct Debits

Once you have opened a local bank account, setting up direct debits for recurring payments can help build your credit history in the new country. When lenders check your creditworthiness, they look at the regularity of payments on financial products such as mortgages, loans, and even utility bills. Setting up direct debits for these payments is a good way to build credit and demonstrate your ability to make regular payments.

Get a Credit Card

Credit cards are a great way to build credit in a new country, as long as you use them responsibly. Look into different cards available in the market and compare interest rates, fees, and other features. The most popular credit cards are usually secured cards, which require a deposit as collateral against the card's spending limit.

Apply for Loans

Once you have established a banking history and paid off some of your debts, you can apply for personal loans and other financial products to build more credit. Make sure you carefully research all loan products and read the fine print before signing up.


Building credit in a new country is not easy, but it can be done if you follow the right steps. Establishing residency first and then building your history by taking out a credit card and paying your bills on time is important. Finally, check your credit report regularly to ensure everything is accurate. You can build a good credit score in your new country with patience and discipline. Good luck!

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