Building Credit History in a Post-Brexit UK

by | Apr 20, 2017 | Financial Featured

Following the unprecedented decision to leave the European Union (EU) in what was popularly known as ‘Brexit,’ during the summer of 2016, the United Kingdom (U.K.) has seen its credit rating plummet to alarming figures. Standard & Poor (S&P) and Fitch downgraded the U.K.’s credit rating from ‘AAA,’ to ‘AA,’ shortly after the Brexit announcement was first reported. This in turn affects many individuals who have already moved to the U.K. or are in the process of building their credit history.

Because of the Brexit vote, various financial analysts believe it will lead to a less stable, predictable, and efficient policy framework in the U.K.  Fitch also expressed concern saying that “uncertainty following the referendum outcome will induce an abrupt slowdown in short-term GDP growth, as businesses defer investment and consider changes to the legal and regulatory environment.” Additionally the agency revised its prediction of the U.K.’s real GDP growth to 0.9 percent from 2 percent for 2017 and 2018. There is also a possibility that further downgrades could take place now that British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 on March 29, 2017; which means Britain should officially leave the EU no later than April 2019.

This leaves U.K. migrants in a difficult position as they try to begin their lives in their new home. Since credit history can’t be transferred from country to country, it puts lenders in a precarious situation of determining whether you are responsible with your credit or not. Fortunately, even in a post-Brexit world there are still ways of building up your credit rating all the while carving a place for yourself in the U.K.

One option is to obtain a Secured Card from any globally recognized bank (Capital One for instance). By having a secured card, you initially pay creditors all the money upfront that is then transferred over on the card issued to you. You must be able to cover the maximum credit limit on the card, so if you desire a limit of 1000 GBP or more, then you write your creditor a cheque for that amount. This will enable you to use the card every month and gradually build up a credit history.

Another way of building credit history is finding employment and a place of residence. Having both help tremendously in building credit as you can then use this information to open a bank account. However, it is advised people don’t jump from residence to residence, but instead try to remain in one place.

Now not everyone has a job or place to stay lined up as soon as they arrive which is fine. People have various reasons for moving to a new country such as studies, work, social, political, etc. Moving to a new country with little to no prospects can be intimidating. However, like getting a secured card, a loan from a guarantor would also be a viable option.

Essentially a guarantor loan is someone you know personally be it a friend, relative, or work associate that lends you a specified amount that you pay back over the course of months or years, depending on the loan. It can be a great help to those just starting out as they can rely on the guarantor loan to serve as a surrogate when first dealing with creditors. Organizations like Buddy Loans offer expertise and guidance, reviewing you and your guarantor’s loan to ensure your application meets U.K. creditor standards.

In times of economic uncertainty it may be best to rely on someone until you find your footing. Building credit history is a tough process, but with the suggestions listed above it doesn’t have to be.


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