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3/16/13

US Credit and Living Abroad

Credit Cards and dollars

Being a Philippine credit Ghost is not all that fun.


When I first moved to the Philippines I had a few debts and few credit cards.  Which were all paid off and left my credit in ok condition prior to my departure.  That was February of 2007 and though I had ok credit and nothing to scream about I was able to get loans and credit cards.  At that time I also closed my bank accounts and opened a prepaid Master Card from Western Union.   I did this because of the fees they charged for overseas transactions and it was convenient.   These fees can be extremely high as much as 40 dollars per 1,000 dollars you take out.  So read this tip to save money.  Click Here.    So lets flash forward to present day March of 2013.    I am currently in the process of taking my wife and children back to the US.   I have two children and a wife so some of the expenses to this process listed below.

The wife and children need:
NBI and CFO - $160.00
Philippine Passports - $190.00
Certificate Birth Abroad Children - $225.00
US Passports Children  - $240.00
US Visa Process Wife - $850.00
Air Fare for Family - $3500.00

So as you can see this is a situation that would strain many a budgets.  This is not to include the nickle and dime expenses that happen and they seem to happen at every turn.  So getting a line of credit to help cover the expense that come up is important.   Yet here I am the Ghost of Christmas past.   I managed in the last 6 years of zero credit have nothing on my credit report.  I had no Bank reporting and zero updates to my income or my address.   At this point I am Casper and no one would consider me for a credit card or loan.  Mostly it was establish some credit and we will give you some credit.   Now that is an oxymoron.   Plus then you must complicate it I am not living in the US.  So combined all those situations I am a credit risk.   In addition on my return to the US I would also have problems reestablishing credit for housing or other needs that revolve around credit.

So as a warning to others as you move your life overseas.   You should keep some form of revolving credit and always keep a US bank account.  You never know what the future may hold.  I have solved this issue with a line of credit but I must reestablish and relevance to credit worthiness. 

Living off the grid can be fun.  Yet when that sudden emergency or when you need those extras in life it is always necessary to maintain a plan.  When I first came here I never thought I would be here this long.  Nor did I give much creedence to needing of credit cards or banking accounts.

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