For those who are new to this country and the Grand Canyon State, here are a few tips on how to establish your credit score as an immigrant in Arizona.

Unfortunately, consumers who immigrate to Arizona from outside of the U.S. must typically leave their old credit scores behind. As an immigrant, you’ll need to establish a new credit history, and, eventually, you’ll build a new credit score. This is often a frustrating reality for consumers who had good credit scores in their previous countries. However, if you had a good credit rating before moving to Arizona, your good credit habits will help you build a positive credit history in a relatively short amount of time.

Tips for Immigrants Working to Build a Good Credit Score in Arizona

In order to take advantage of good interest rates, lower car insurance premiums, and other benefits, Arizona immigrants should establish good credit histories. This often seems like a difficult task because, normally, it takes credit to get credit. Yet, building good credit from scratch is entirely possible. You just need the right plan and a willingness to see it through to completion. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.

Apply for a secured credit card.

While it isn’t a sure thing, most Arizona consumers can get a secured credit card as long as they have a source of income and a cash deposit. This cash deposit normally serves as your initial credit limit and insurance for the credit card issuer against default. Look online to find the secured credit card that best fits your needs, gather your deposit, and apply. If, for some reason, you cannot get a secured credit card, ask a family member or close friend if you can become an authorized user on one of their cards.

Use your secured credit card sparingly and responsibly.

Once you have a secured credit card, it’s important to know how to use it as a credit building tool. First and foremost, Arizona immigrants must understand that their credit utilization ratios matter. In fact, about 30% of consumer credit scores are based on credit utilization. This is because lenders believe that using too much of your available credit makes you a risky borrower. So, keep your credit card balance at or below 30% of your spending limit. You should also pay your balance off every month instead of rolling it over. This helps your utilization ratio and eliminates interest charges.

Pay all of your other bills on time, every time.

Even though paying utility bills, cell phone bills, and rent won’t necessarily help your credit score, falling behind on these obligations can damage your credit rating. When Arizona consumers are excessively and habitually late with payments, service providers report these delinquencies to the credit bureaus. Then, tardy payments show up as negative items on credit reports and bring credit scores down.

Take out a small personal loan to improve your credit mix.

Once Arizona immigrants establish their revolving credit with secured credit cards – or unsecured cards – they should consider taking out small personal loans. Your credit mix accounts for about 10% of your credit score, so it is best to have both credit cards and installment loans listed on your credit reports. Keep in mind that, when it comes to personal loans, there are many, many options available. Therefore, you should shop around in order to find a lender that offers good terms and competitive interest rates.

Check your credit reports regularly.

Finally, while establishing and maintaining good credit scores, Arizona immigrants should keep close tabs on their credit reports. Many Arizona consumers don’t know this, but about 80% of U.S. credit reports contain errors of some type. These errors result from mistakes made by creditors and the credit bureaus, and they frequently harm credit scores.

Luckily, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles consumers in Arizona to accurate credit reports. However, in order to report and demand the removal of credit report inaccuracies, you must find them first. This is why you should check your credit reports at least once every twelve months. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) gives you the right to request a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Just go to to access your current credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

Then, while looking through your credit reports, if you find credit score damaging errors and mistakes, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Arizona. Instead of trying to navigate the dispute process on your own, let our team of credit pros do the work for you. We’ll also connect you with an experienced credit attorney who will do whatever it takes to get you clean credit reports for FREE.

How to Get Better Credit Legally and for Free in Arizona

Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (480) 771-6001 or contact us on our contact page.

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