An Expats Guide to Getting Setup in The UK

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

When you’re heading to the Queen’s country you have to have your finances in order. This includes understanding how to establish and build credit as a new expat in the UK.

Your credit score is a statistical tool to predict the likelihood of you defaulting on your credit obligation. There are a dozen different credit scores built with algorithms to predict the likelihood of default on a particular type of credit (credit card, car loan, car lease, etcetera). The credit score is a tool to allow increased retail consumption.

Credit in the United Kingdom is handled by three agencies cleverly called Credit Referencing Agencies (CRA’s). TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian are the three most commonly used. Experian and Equifax give you a credit score that can range between 300 to 850 and TransUnion gives a rating between 1-5, depending on their specific criteria and system tracking.

Credit Score Table for TransUnion, Equifax and Experian Read more…

Building Credit

The Expats Guide to Building Credit in Germany

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Having a good credit score is very important to your finances. You may not realize it now but it affects many things in your life: Your credit score can determine whether a landlord will rent to you or not; it can affect your ability to get a mobile phone or a mortgage on a house; it can even prevent a bank from loaning you money to buy everyday things (which means no credit cards since those are basically loans). So what do you do as an expat in a new country with no credit?

Our guide below will help outline the steps needed to establish yourself in Germany as an expat so you can begin building credit (and test your pronunciation abilities because German government terminology is not known for its brevity).

Let’s start with a brief education of the German credit system as it can be confusing for many.

The Schufa

Germany’s sophisticated credit system is called the SCHUFA (shorthand for Schutzgemeinschaft für Allgemeine Kreditsicherung).  As a resident of Germany, this system immediately begins collecting data on your financial history in order to calculate a score. This score will then stay with you for the duration of your residency in Germany.

The Schufa is based on a 100-point scale and gets “dinged” when you are delinquent on payments.  Beyond that, exactly how this score is calculated continues to be a mystery. We do know that scores around 90 are considered positive and should not negatively impact you with lenders.

Every resident is entitled to one free copy of their report per year. Should you need to request an additional copy the Meineschufa website is a great resource to check out.
Meineschufa- Schufa

Building credit in a new country takes time. So be diligent about paying bills in full on time.
Read more…

Building Credit in the United States – An Expats Guide

Michael Boateng @GoodMigrations

What’s all this talk about Credit?

There are so many things to think about when getting ready to move to the United States:  where to live, how to get there, making friends and what you’ll need to buy. Have you thought about how you will get a local cell phone or open up a U.S. bank account? These are just a couple of things that require you to have credit.

When moving to the US, learning about the credit system can eat away at the excitement of your amazing journey. We get it: it’s a boring and confusing topic. While learning how to get credit, you may experience the following side effects: anger, fear, hope, and calm. If it makes you feel better, even many individuals born in the States are still confused about their own system.
wallet with credit cards for GoodMigrations

What is Credit?

Your Credit Score is a statistical tool to predict the likelihood of you defaulting on your credit obligation. There are a dozen different Credit Scores built with algorithms to predict the likelihood of default on a particular type of credit (credit card, car loan, car lease, etcetera). The Credit Score is a tool to allow increased retail consumption.

It allows you to rent an apartment, get credit cards, and purchase a mobile phone by showing that you’ve borrowed before and paid it back consistently. Read more…

Moving Quotes: Binding vs Non-Binding

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Getting ready to move? Whether its an inter-state, domestic or overseas move, you will want to request quotes from a few moving companies. Getting moving estimates is an important part of the process. Read our 6 Steps in Hiring an International Mover before you begin this process. One of the biggest misconceptions that customers make during the quoting process is thinking that their quote is “binding.” In other words, the price estimate you get before the move is the amount you will pay after the move. This is not true! Why? You may ask? Because some quotes are binding but most, like 90%, are non-binding.

It’s important we understand these terms and understand how they can help or hurt us during our moving process and avoid extra costs on moving day.

BINDING QUOTES

This type of quote is not very common, especially with overseas moves, but it is simple and straight forward. A Binding moving estimate states that the price you are quoted will be the amount you pay on delivery. Regardless if weight or volume increase or decrease. Another good name for this is “fixed priced.” This agreement works out to be the most “fair” agreement if all parties are honest.

A few things to note if you do come across a binding quote.

  • The quote must accurately detail what will be shipped, and the services offered. If you need “extra” services that aren’t included, then you must be billed separately for these.  Long carry charges and shuttle fees are usually not included in a binding quote.
  • For an estimate to be binding a copy of the quote must be provided to the customer prior to the move and it must state it is binding.
  • A copy of your binding agreement must be included with your bill of landing.
  • Ensure everything you want to ship is clearly listed on your inventory sheet. Avoid adding additional items after the agreement has been set. If on moving day, the mover feels you have added items not included then they can refuse service. Typically, a mover won’t make a stink over something small but that is not a guarantee.
    Moving Estimate Image

Read more…

Expat Life as a Millennial LGBTQ

Michael Boateng @GoodMigrations

Hi, my name is Michael Kwadjo (Qweh-joe) Kyei Boateng. I am a first-generation Ghanaian immigrant who feels like an expat of the world.

I was born in New York (shout out to the Bronx!) and raised by my mother. She would send me to live with family around the world while she worked a full-time job as a live-in nurse.

I’ve had the privilege of living in Ghana, England, the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, and the United States. As an openly Queer African American who rose up from a low-income childhood, I have had several different experiences on how my identity relates to different countries, cities, and communities. Each place I’ve lived abroad has helped teach me something about my own identity and how I can find peace and support to thrive and just be.

I’ve enjoyed learning about all the amazing LGBTQ leaders such as Marsha P. Johnson, Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, and more that have opened new frontiers for our community. In honor of Pride Month, I want to reflect on my expat experiences and share a bit so that my fellow LGBTQ community members can find new places around the world to explore and uncover the love and joy of being LGTBQ.

(*Disclaimer, the experiences and insights I plan to share are based on places I’ve lived or visited abroad. I still have a lot to learn about being Queer and the many intricate and intimate forms in which it shows itself. Also, to keep things simple: “Queer”, a term which has several roots and connotations, is how I identify currently. I use Queer predominately as a verb – for me, it means to radically disrupt systems and preconceived notions of gender, sex, and identity. I know, I know, a bit wordy, but truly the term is loaded. If you want to know more, I recommend reading, Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker or A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski.)

The purpose of this guide is to help future LGBTQ members find cities around the world where they can enjoy living and be themselves. Okay, let’s get started! Read more…

Expat Life Guest Posts

© 2019 GoodMigrations LLC. All rights reserved.

The GoodMigrations logo and the Cost/Time/Condition metric are service marks of GoodMigrations LLC. Terms  Privacy Policy