5 things you should know about Nova Credit


    A big move to the US can be challenging for newcomers, but it’s even harder when you can’t get credit. Up until the last few years, this has been a long-standing impediment for immigrants, and Nova Credit is one of the financial technology companies that has paved the way.

    Nova Credit offers immigrants from certain countries the opportunity to use theirs credit history from their home country to apply for credit cards or a car loan in the United States. The Company may convert data from your country of origin into a US equivalent score and report that can be used to determine eligibility for various financial products.

    It can be useful, especially for those who need to buy new furniture, appliances or a number of essentials for their move. Access to credit can make it easier to put down roots in a new country, whether you need a car to get to your job or a credit card to buy some time while paying for some important purchases.

    Here’s what you need to know about Nova Credit.

    1. Nova Credit shares your credit history

    «Nova Credit makes its money through its partners. In some cases applicants have to pay fees.

    Nova Credit may share your overseas credit history with certain US-based lenders. It translates your credit report into a credit passport that lenders can use to assess your creditworthiness for some types of credit cards or a car loan. Nova Credit currently only offers a Credit Passport to newcomers from certain countries, but availability in your region depends on individual US creditors.

    Which financial products you can qualify for also depends on your country of origin. Each time you agree to share your Credit Passport to qualify for a product, the lender pays the company for that information.

    2. It is possible to qualify for AmEx credit cards and more

    Beginner credit cards don’t usually offer healthy bonuses or introductory offers, but they do qualify for one American Express card through Nova Credit can provide you with this access. For AmEx cards, you can apply through the AmEx or Nova Credit website. You can also use the latter to apply for other credit cards or a car loan.

    The application process for a American Express credit card is similar to most credit cards, but you must check a box confirming that you have a credit history in another country. You can find this field under the section requesting a social security number. AmEx will then request information to get your credit history from your country to make a decision.

    Nerdy tip: A social security number is not required, but adding a number will make it easier to verify your identity and process your application. If you later receive a social security number, you can call the issuer and ask for the number to be added to your account.

    Getting your credit report from another country is usually a gentle request with no impact on your credit score, but there are exceptions. For example, if you are from Brazil, Kenya, Mexico or Nigeria, this will have a temporary impact on your creditworthiness in your home country. In the United States, applying for a financial product will not temporarily affect your credit score if you do not have a credit file in the country.

    3. Proof of identity may be requested

    You don’t need a social security number to qualify, but depending on the creditor’s policies, you may be required to provide proof of identity. For example, when applying for an AmEx card, you may be able to verify your U.S. home address through a bank account, driver’s license, utility bill, phone bill, or other official document like a government-issued ID. You may also need to answer questions about your foreign credit history.

    4. Good or very good credit in your home country may be required

    ONE good or very good creditworthiness in your home country is generally required to qualify for Nova Credit’s card offerings. Try checking your credit score on your home country’s credit bureau websites to see where you stand.

    If you are from Australia, Kenya or South Korea, you can use Ellis by Nova Credit to check your creditworthiness in your home country for free. Ellis is a financial marketplace that allows newcomers to the United States to apply for credit cards they are likely to qualify for based on their country’s credit report. These recommendations are based on your NovaScore, a US equivalent credit score based on your credit report from your country of origin.

    5. A US credit file older than six months disqualifies an international credit report

    You may have created a credit file if you opened a credit account elsewhere. If you’ve already started borrowing during your short time in the US, a credit file longer than six months will get in the way of using your home-from-home credit history. If you’re not sure where your credit history is, you can visit AnnualCreditReport.com for a free US credit report check.

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