Imagine being a successful professional from outside the United States who is recruited to a high-profile U.S. company. Think Apple or Google or another name that suggests a prestigious new gig. You’d feel pretty important, right?
Now imagine applying for a new credit card to help you smooth the financial transition. Should be a cinch, right? You’ve got a great new job, plus you had a good track record in your home country.
But… no. Without a credit history in the United States, that shiny new job and healthy salary mean little. You’ll have to put down a security deposit to get any credit, or maybe pay a big fee just to get a minuscule credit line.
Seems wrong, doesn’t it?
Well, you’re not the only one that thinks so. That’s why a company called CreditStacks is rolling out a Mastercard credit card especially for those new to the country — people who have impressive career profiles but no U.S. credit history. Instead of treating them like newbies, CreditStacks bypasses the traditional credit scoring model to offer substantial credit lines to those with backgrounds that suggest they can be trusted from Day One in the U.S.
The founders of CreditStacks empathize with the credit plight of those new to the United States because they themselves had difficulty establishing credit when new to the country.
While CreditStacks doesn’t divulge exactly how they decide who gets approved, one thing that doesn’t matter is an applicant’s lack of a FICO credit score. (Actually, they don’t even need a Social Security number to apply, although cardholders will have to supply it when available.) What seems to matter most is what common sense would tell you should matter: a person’s prospects for repayment based on his or her job and track record as a professional.
The CreditStacks Mastercard is a basic credit card with no annual fee, no security deposit, and a reasonable interest rate (currently just under 17%). CreditStacks says credit lines may be as high as $5000. Perhaps even better, this credit card can help its customers establish a traditional credit score by reporting their payment history to the major credit bureaus. In time, this should open up a wider world of credit opportunities to them (assuming they make their payments, of course).
Interested cardholders can apply for the CreditStacks Mastercard online, though there is currently a waiting list for approval. However, potential cardholders can apply even before coming to the U.S., which hopefully will allow approval to coincide with their arrival.