You’ve got the job in London that you always dreamed about and your employer is going to pay for a London relocation services company to help you move. With planning and determination your relocation to London will go off without a hitch. You can even get your London relocation agents to open a bank account for you before you arrive. Sounds idyllic right?
What about when you want to make a purchase of a cell phone contract, open a store account or buy something on credit? It is important to start establishing a good credit record as soon as possible after you have arrived in London. It’s not enough to show that you have a good credit rating in your country of origin; if you’re moving to London you’ll have to start over. Getting credit at a store for hire purchase purchases or a cell phone contract is difficult for foreigners and you’ll want to get established as soon as possible if your relocation to London is going to be for more than a year.
Opening a UK bank account is the all important first step. If you’re going to be using a relocation services company to help you find accommodation then ask them to help you set up your banking before you arrive. A record of paying bills regularly is the fastest way to establish a sound credit record in the UK. Council taxes, television licenses, rental agreements. Use them all to establish your reputation as a creditworthy person.
Maintain your bank account extremely cautiously for at least six months if you want to apply for credit. Many companies will ask for copies of your bank statements for at least three months and you don’t want to show that you’ve dipped into your overdraft facility. Try to keep a minimum balance of at least £100 in your account at all times. This will show your bank and potential lenders that you are a responsible and acceptable credit risk.
Without a credit history you may even struggle to find a rental when you arrive. Using reputable relocation agents to negotiate a lease agreement for your new rental is the fastest way of establishing credit in the eyes of your new bank.