You’re getting ready for an exciting move to the United States! But that move comes with plenty of confusing logistical challenges. You’ll need to make sure your new financial situation is under control, but how? Don’t worry – we’re here to walk you through the steps to get a bank account and credit card when moving to the US.
What do I need to do to open a bank account if I’m moving to the US?
Before you rush to sign up, make sure you understand your options. Start with some research. Explore different banks, both online and in-person if possible, to find one that matches your preferences. Do you want to have a local branch near your new address? Compare factors like fees, offered services, and accessibility. Some banks even specialize in helping international clients, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, that could be a great choice.
Once you’ve chosen a bank, gather your documentation. This typically includes a valid passport or other photo identification, proof of address, and, if applicable, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). You’ll need these documents to open an account.
Who do I get in touch with to open a bank account?
Any bank you choose will have representatives ready to help you set up your new account and learn how it works. Depending on the bank, you may be able to open it online and work with virtual assistants if you have any questions. You could also talk to a financial advisor if you need help with tax implications or other unique financial situations.
How do I get a credit card after moving to the US?
When used responsibly, credit cards are a fantastic way to build your US credit history. While most credit card companies will want to check your existing credit score when you apply, there are still ways to get a card, even when you’re starting from scratch.
- Apply for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards are the easiest to qualify for, even if you don’t have a credit history, but they require a cash deposit upfront. As you make on-time payments, you can build credit and expand your options.
- Explore options for unsecured credit cards. Unsecured credit cards don’t require a deposit. While they may be harder to apply for, many companies offer cards for students or people with limited credit history. Store credit cards issued by retailers may also be easier to qualify for.
- Become an authorized user. If you have a family member or close friend with an American credit card, you could ask for their permission to become an authorized user. You’ll have access to their account. With their help, you can begin to grow your credit history. The primary cardholder is still responsible for paying the balance every month, though, so you’ll need to coordinate. Missed payments will impact both of you, so only work with someone you trust.
When you apply, you’ll usually either need your Social Security Number (SSN) or ITIN, pay stubs or other proof of income, and proof of address.
What is an NRE/NRO account?
For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), or Indian citizens living abroad, you’ll want to pay attention to two special types of accounts: an NRE account and an NRO account.
NRE accounts allow NRIs to manage their earnings in India easily. The money you deposit in an NRE account is in Indian Rupees, but you can convert it to any foreign currency whenever you want. It’s a flexible account designed for your overseas income, allowing you to move your money in and out of India freely.
On the other hand, an NRO account is designed for money that can’t be easily moved – like rental income, investments, or other funds generated within the country. It’s still in Rupees, and your interest on this account is usually exempt from Indian income tax.
In simpler terms, if you’re earning money outside of India, go for an NRE account; if you’re making money within India and want some tax benefits, consider an NRO account. These accounts help NRIs manage their finances to fit their unique situations.
Where can I learn more about moving to the US?
Moving to the US involves much more than your finances. As you get ready for your move, explore resources for newcomers. Read guides, watch Youtube videos, or ask questions on online forums such as Reddit. Government resources, particularly the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provide essential information about living in the US.
And if you need help, you can always turn to Surround Insurance to navigate the logistics. For example, if you plan on getting car insurance with an international drivers license, you’ll want to read more about the process here.
Best of luck on your adventure!