Many Americans live outside the United States for an extended time. Some are in the military or have spouses in the military stationed abroad, while others may work for international businesses, requiring them to live in other countries. Either way, when leaving the U.S., many change their banking and credit cards over to their new country of residence, especially if they do not plan to move back for some time.
When returning to the U.S., however, these consumers may be surprised to see that the credit history and credit score they cultivated while living in the country has now gone. Lenders will see a large blank space on the consumer's credit history, and without any sort of information, they do not know what kind of borrower they are evaluating. In many ways, it is as if these consumers are young adults again, building their credit from the ground up.
The first step is for consumers to check their credit report to see if they have any accounts still active, and to make certain their identity has not been stolen. The next step is to apply for a secured credit card. While it will need a security deposit, this will help consumers build up their credit score and history.
Read some other MoneyTips articles to learn more about how to increase your credit score. If you would like to monitor your credit to prevent identity theft and see your credit reports and scores, check out our credit monitoring service.