Use credit score from a different country?

Hi Leasehackr forum! I think I already know the answer to this question, but like a fool… I’ll ask it anyway.

Recently moved to Southern California - LA and with a fresh clean California license, thoughts now turn to purchasing a car rather than continuing to burn through my Hertz points. I have great credit in both Canada and the UK but as a new immigrant here my credit is limited. I’m currently on 670, that’s only because I have a US Amex which I opened by using my UK credit history. It’s building up nicely, but slowly.

Soooo, I’d like to lease a new car as that’s what I’ve usually done but I’m guessing my lack of credit will mean I’ll have to just bite the bullet and buy a used Highlander whilst I wait for my credit numbers to tick up/ or is there any way I can leverage good credit in other markets? Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!

You can find co-signer with car history on his/her credit and good credit score. They will require down payment because you won’t have enough history but you get approved with co-signer. `The best in this case is to go to BMW or Lexus.

hi Bjam, most of them have special programs for foreign business professionals. If you’ve a job and they can provide employment letter, everything should be fine. I was in a same situation, moved to US 3 yrs ago with no credit history and leased a Jeep with the base MF and everything.

VW, Audi and Chrysler are the ones i remember but looks like almost all of them have similar programs. See below for couple brands I found with a quick google search.

some manufacturers help you out and let you put a “security deposit” or allow a lease but at a lower tier. Costs a little extra but if you do a 24 mo lease and pay a little extra to establish your credit but know that after 2 years you won’t have any issues then I think it’s worth it. Once you have a lease on your record and it was paid on time things get a lot easier. Another option can be a 1-pay lease where you make all the payments at once. So there’s little risk from the car company.

I was in the same situation when I moved 3 years ago. Honda refused to provide me any deal as I was not on H1B visa and has no credit history in US. I got a Nissan leased without any issues when I showed them my employment letter. I think apart from some brands or dealers, you should not have any issues. Don’t disclose at the start as you may not get a good deal. First negotiate the price then during final step, they will find out a way to make a deal. Good Luck !!

Also check with Volvo. They have a program for international students, so I am sure they would have something for new immigrants.

We just went through this. I had a credit score of 702, just 2 secured credit cards for about 6 months. We went through Mercedes and did a one pay lease. The dealer said there was no way we would get approved but I pushed on it, when they finally sent to Mercedes it was approved right away. I have done a Bentley before, which was through Porsche so they would also do this, they will go off your Canadian credit even with no American credit on file.

All I can say is that some dealerships will make it hard but if you have a good job, and will do either one pay or multiple security deposits then you should be ok.

Thanks for all the useful tips! I wasn’t aware of the ‘foreign business’ programmes so I’ll have to get researching.

Since others have answered the original question, I have a quick off-topic one — I’m curious how Hertz loyalty works. How do you earn points, and what are the redemptions like?

It’s not particularly great tbh. I haven’t had a car for the last 18months so i’ve been renting through Hertz quite a lot. I racked up quite a lot of points as I was renting almost each week. The amount of points you get depends on the cost of the rental usually. I’ve never really understood how they calculate it. For example I had a one week paid rental back in the UK recently and got 526 points. However another one week paid rental back in LA recently only earned 193. It’s a mystery to me but they seem to stack up quite quickly.

The points redemption changes dependent on if its busy or not, for example its 2750 Hertz points for one free weekly rental from LAX right now. You can sometimes get it less than this.

Annoyingly you can only book up to a week on a points redemption which has meant i’ve been changing my car weekly. Apart from the time wasted it’s actually been quite fun as I’ve ended up with some pretty nice rentals as you can just chose whatever car you want a from a selection in a ‘presidents circle’ section. It’s been fun, but now I need a car to call mine own.

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I was in a similar situation moving from the UK to US last year. AMEX tracked our credit history from the UK as well which I think helps accelerate credit building from other institutions. Audi, Volvo, Mercedes, Porsche and BMW all have programs to help get you credit here, although you might get better rates from your credit union or bank.

I went into a Dodge dealer and they wouldn’t even let me test drive a car with only a UK license let alone have lease products, the Euro brands seem better setup for expats.

Hmm maybe I can upgrade my expectations from a Highlander to an XC60 or a Q5 instead then!

Am having problems leasing from Volvo due to my limited credit history. Moved to US in Jan. Have Green Card and full time job. My credit score is actually OK at 720ish(mostly because Amex lets customers open cards in new countries based on their record with Amex in the country they move from).

Dealer said Volvo requires one prior auto loan and 2 other lines of credit. So basically I can’t get the loan with Volvo because I have never had an auto loan before. He said people don’t usually get a Volvo as their first car…

Anyone able to help with this?

That sounds really strange as it’s all about credit ratings. We moved to US in March 2017 and got 1 lease from Audi Financial and 1 from Mercedes Financial with no issue within 6 weeks. Did they actually run a credit application or did they just say it wasn’t possible?

I would say it’s likely an issue with the dealer or salesperson, not with you.

They ran my credit. They were not expecting it to be a problem. Dealer is small so very possibly down to lack of experience with this scenario.

They are going to try and sort it tomorrow… but they didn’t sound too hopeful.

Yeah, I ran into issues with smaller dealers or dealers not used to expats. When was the last time you checked your credit rating, I would double check to make sure nothing crazy has happened that you haven’t been alerted to just to rule it out. If it’s still the same then the problem is on there end, but probably means you’d need to go elsewhere.

Look in today’s posts from this thread. If enigma367 satisfies the requirements, Volvo doesn’t even need to pull a score. And all the rates are Tier1. All Volvo leases only have one Tier.