How to keep your credit profile active from outside the US
It takes years to build up a good credit record and score. So, why will you close it if you have to live outside the country for a few years?
It may also happen that you have stayed in VISA in the USA for a few years and you’re moving out. However, you have a plan to come back again.
In both these situations, if you keep your credit record active, then you’d be able to enjoy the benefits of having a good score once you come back.
So, let’s see how you can maintain your credit record even from living outside the USA.
What you need to do to keep your credit profile activeCheck out these points:
Keep your credit card accounts active
This you would have to do to keep your credit records open and active. You will have to do transactions using US credit cards.
There are 2 ways to do it. You can use whenever you’re coming back to the USA; or, if you’re not visiting the US at all during the tenure, you can use your card from time to time while making transactions outside the country where you’re living/visiting. And never forget to pay the outstanding amount on time.
You may have to pay a little extra, the foreign transaction fees. Make yourself aware of the amount before swiping your cards internationally.
Doing so, you can enjoy the cashback and travel rewards too.
Another thing you need to know in this aspect. You can use your US credit card for purchasing things online. However, when you’re purchasing with your US credit card, it will be converted to US dollars and the amount will increase or decrease depending on the value of the US dollar vs. the value of the currency of that country.
Maintain your account in the USA
Though it requires no mention, yet in relation to the previous point, let me tell you that it’s better to maintain a US bank account to make your credit card payments. You can also opt for automatic payments to avoid being late.
Along with it, you’ll also have to keep your US phone for the security verification codes. However, you can opt for receiving the notifications in your e-mail if you don't want to continue with your US phone abroad.
Try to keep a US address
You can sign up for an account at a mail forwarding service to have a physical address for all mail correspondence. It is not a P.O. Box. Before leaving the country, change your address to this one for all your financial accounts.
Alternatively, you can request one of your relatives to use his/her address for your mail correspondence.
Concerning this, also change your paper mail notifications to e-mail notifications so that you can check them from anywhere.
A word of caution!
While using your credit card abroad to keep your credit profile active, make sure you keep a check on credit card fraud. Yes, it’s required especially if you’re using multiple US credit cards to keep the accounts active.
Monitor your major credit reports regularly online from time to time. Some bureaus may offer you the facility to receive updated credit reports and scores at regular intervals. You can opt for Experian credit profile report along with reports from other major bureaus like Equifax and TransUnion.
You can opt for a free credit profile number or against a fee to access your credit reports with ease.
If required, pay for the credit monitoring service to be stress-free about becoming a victim of fraud.
You can also opt for the credit freeze option if needs arise.
So, check out these things with the required financial institutions before you leave the country.
while staying outside the country, know that the credit history of our country will usually not help you outside. Every country has its own credit scoring models.
However, you’ll be able to have a good score if you manage your finances well. So, the basic skill of managing finances helps in every country.
Also check out: Is it ok to leave the country with unpaid debt?