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GFBaxter

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How does a wealthy immigrant without an income build up a credit score?
I have recently moved to the US from South Africa (October 2015). I am financially well off, but most of my money remains in South Africa due to an unfavorable exchange rate. I am currently not working as my wife is expecting a baby in a two months - I am planning to only start working in July. We have bought a house which is registered in both of our names and for which I have made a substantial down payment. The mortgage is in my wife name only as she has a proper credit history being a US citizen.

How do I build up a credit history without having a current income? Today I thought I would apply for a credit card in Home Depot as the card is for use in Home Depot only and I thought it should be relatively easy to get that card approved - a previous application via my bank was refused (I assume because I don't have an income). Now the Home Depot card was refused - and it seems it is due to the fact that my credit history is "thin". I don't want to apply for another card because of that gets rejected as well, it will have a negative impact on my credit score.

Is it at all worthwhile to try and apply for a credit card (secure credit card seems best option) or must I just wait until I start working?

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You definitely want to apply for a secured credit card. Keep it perfect for 6 months and then you'll see a credit score for yourself. Also if you wife has a few credit cards, see if she could add you as an authorized user. This will give you a slight boost in credit file.

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