How to Get a Premium Credit Card as an International Student in the U.S.

    Updated on: 11 Sep 2023

     

    Why do credit scores matter in the U.S.?

    Having a good credit score in the U.S. is important for everyday life - to get a postpaid mobile phone plan, rent a house, get insurance, buy a car, and sometimes even apply for a job! If you do not have a good U.S. credit score, you may have to pay a high-security deposit to access these services - for example, your landlord or your insurance company may ask you to pay a security deposit as high as $1,500. Sometimes, you may even be denied access to these services, if you do not have a credit score. Having a good credit score could also help you get more financial opportunities in the future, including lower interest rates and higher loan amounts. 

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    How to start building your U.S. credit score?

    To start building a credit history in the U.S., you could take a credit card, student loan, car loan, mortgage, or other credit product. Typically, the easiest way to build a good credit score is to get a credit card and responsibly manage it. This includes things like making timely payments, utilizing a low percentage of your credit limit, maintaining credit cards for a long time period, etc. 

    However, usually, credit card providers ask for a U.S. credit score to give you a credit card. International students are therefore stuck in this chicken-or-the-egg problem! Students end up having to wait for several months and sometimes even a few years to get a high-quality credit card. Till then, they pay high-security deposits to access financial services.

    Credit card options for international students

    Thankfully, you have some options to get a credit card without having a U.S. credit score:

    1. A secured credit card: Put down a security deposit with your bank to get a credit card. These cards typically have no or limited rewards
    2. A beginner unsecured card: These cards typically have some rewards, but not many, and are usually suited for those who have no or limited credit history in India
    3. A premium unsecured card: If you have a good credit score in India, your first U.S. credit card could be a premium unsecured card, just like your American peers have! 

    Companies like Nova Credit help students with good Indian credit scores apply for premium U.S. credit cards, using their Indian credit history! That means you don’t have to pay a security deposit or settle for a beginner unsecured card with limited rewards.

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    How to choose the right card for you?

    If you do not have a prior Indian credit history, your best bet could be beginner unsecured cards, to help you get started with building a credit history in the U.S. Over time, as you responsibly manage your card, you could become eligible for more premium cards. If you are open to paying a security deposit, asking your bank for a secured credit card could also be an option. 

    If you do have a good Indian credit history, your best bet could be using that credit history to apply for premium U.S. cards through Nova Credit. They give you personalized recommendations based on your Indian credit score and help you apply for premium cards using that score. 

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    How to apply for a premium U.S. credit card with your Indian credit history?

    To apply for premium U.S. cards using your Indian credit history, you could use Nova Credit. They’ve partnered with Indian credit bureaus and premium credit card providers in the U.S. to help international students.

    Before you move:

    Check your eligibility and explore personalized recommendations - when you provide your personal information, Nova Credit can retrieve your Indian credit file, show you your U.S.-equivalent credit score, and provide you with personalized credit card recommendations based on your score

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    After you move:

    1. Once you’ve settled in, make sure you get proof of your U.S. residential address (usually through a U.S. bank account, government-issued ID, phone bill, or utility bill), and you have proof of identity (usually a passport or a U.S. ID)
    2. Choose a premium credit card from your personalized list of recommendations
    3. Apply for your chosen card, using your Indian credit history - no security deposit needed.

    View step-by-step instructions to apply

    Nova Credit has partnered with premium U.S. credit card providers to help them evaluate Indian applicants, using their Indian credit scores. Nova uses your Indian credit report to generate a ‘U.S.-equivalent credit report’ that is then used by its credit card partners to evaluate your application.  

    How can GyanDhan help you apply?

    GyanDhan has partnered with Nova Credit to help Indian students like you, start their financial journey in the U.S. on the right foot. If you have a good Indian credit score, GyanDhan will help you apply for your premium U.S. credit card. 

    First published date: 24 Apr 2021


Photo aman jain

About author

Aman Jain
Aman Jain graduated from IIT Kanpur, and currently functions as the VP of Marketing & Operations. He is deeply passionate about creating equality in higher education and has directly interacted with 2000+ students in his year-long journey.

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