This could be one of the things that is last on your list when you’re preparing for your relocation to London. It is important however 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.
The global recession has meant that many banks in the UK have tightened their lending belts immensely and it is much harder to get credit cards and loans. Getting credit at a store for hire purchase purchases or a cell phone contract is difficult for foreigners. You’ll want to get established as soon as possible if your relocation to London is going to be for more than a year.
Relocation UK will have you opening a UK bank account, and it is the all important first step. If you’re going to be using a London relocation services company to help you find accommodation then ask them to help you set up your banking before you arrive.
Get as many bills as possible! This might sound strange, but having a record of paying bills regularly and on time 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. If you’re intending on staying in the UK for a number of years, your bank balance could even affect your Visa application down the road, so keep it in the black!
Without a credit history you may even struggle to find a rental when you arrive. Using a reputable relocation agent to negotiate a lease agreement for your new rental is the fastest way of establishing credit in the eyes of the British bankers.