Immigrants moving to Flushing, Queens can often feel lost when it comes to their new life in America.
Many new immigrants don’t have credit to borrow money from a bank, or from a credit card.
Here are four tips that Chinese immigrants can follow to build credit over time.
Start Building Credit as a New Immigrant
If you want to establish credit, the most important thing you need is a Social Security Number. Without it, you can’t get credit.
A job is also another factor in determining who will get credit. The more income you build over time and the more time you spend employed, the better your credit score. A higher credit score is always better when it comes to building trust with banks that lend money.
The best way to build credit is to begin with only one credit card. Make sure you are never late with your monthly payments. If you choose to pay off your entire loan balance every month, creditors will see you as a safer risk and raise your credit rating.
Financial Programs for New Immigrants
There are many programs available for immigrants who find themselves in need of financial assistance.
Food expenses often make up a large portion of a budget, especially for immigrants with little cash reliability. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are available for certain immigrants as defined by the USDA.
For those specifically in Flushing, adults may be eligible for Medicaid coverage. This will reduce medical costs for emergency visits that often come out of pocket. A full list of medical benefits available to new immigrants can be found in the NYC Human Resource Association’s Public Benefits for Immigrants guide.
Other Resources for those with Immigration Status
If you come from another country, whether you are documented or undocumented, there are many resources in New York City that can help improve your quality of life.
For example, if you want to grow personally, there are education grants available to new immigrants. You can apply for college through financial aid through outlets such as the Goddard Riverside Options Center.
The City of New York also has links to many financial programs that you can read here.
NYC also has many benefits for health insurance and housing. The most recent edition of the NYC Immigrant Services Manual offers options and directions on how to best find these resources.
How Provident Loan Society helps New Immigrants
You don’t need credit to borrow money from Provident Loan Society. Anyone with jewelry, gold, watches, diamonds, silverware or other precious metals can borrow money for instant cash.
Provident Loan Society is a not-for-profit so rates are typically half the cost of commercial pawn shops. Interest rates at Provident Loan Society are 26 percent. Traditional pawn shops charge 48 percent. This can be a great source of income for immigrants who find themselves in financial need.
How the Loan Process Works
Immigrants can bring their collateral item to their Flushing location, or four other NYC branches. All you have to do is tell the clerk how much money you need and when you can pay it back. An appraiser will review your item and discuss what is possible.
About the Author
Sean Vichinsky is a writer specializing in technology and financial topics. His writing has appeared in USA Today.