Post # 1
Background: DH is from Canada and moved here and got his Green Card last December. He still works in Canada (only 10 minutes from our house). He owns his own business and does really well. When he moved to the US and we went to buy our house, we were told we couldn’t use his income to get financed because 1) he had never filed a US tax return and 2) he has no US credit. We were able to get financed on just my salary, but BARELY. So when he moved here, one of the first thing I asked him to do was to get a US credit card and link it for automatic payment. I asked him to put 1 monthly bill on the card which will automatically get paid every month, hence building some good credit without much effort.
So what does DH do? He opens the card, doesn’t sign up for automatic payment, buys 1 subway sandwich, forgets about the card, and throws out all mail from the card company because he assumes it’s junk mail. So yesterday, I see he got a statement from the card, so I open it and find that he has a 6 month old charge for $8 from Subway and $140 in finance charges and late penalties!!! Plus, they were sending him to collections!!
So now he doesn’t just have NO US credit, he has BAD US credit!!!!! And somehow it is my fault because he didn’t want to open the card to begin with. Um, excuse me, you’re the one who always talks about buying a bigger house when we have kids. How exactly are we going to get a mortgage on just my salary???
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! Thanks, vent over.
Post # 3
That is actually ridiculous, you DH is a grown man and should know to take his credit seriously. With that said, I think it would be best if you just took control of that card since he can’t seem to remember he has it in the first place.
Post # 4
@Koala Bear:That’s exactly what I said to him! The crazy part is that he has always been extremely responsible with his finances in Canada. He owned a house, owns a business, and always paid his bill on time. But it’s like he has a mental block when it comes to his new “US” responsibilities. For example, he has yet to get a US drivers license even though he’s lived here for 10 months. His Canadian one expires in 2 weeks and I told him if he doesn’t get a US one by then, he’s sleeping on the porch. It’s just frustrating because I know that he’s able, I guess he’s just not willing.
Post # 5
That sounds like my brother except that he’s been irresponsible his whole life. Well maybe not irresponsible but he lives in his own world.
That’s just annoying, hopefully he learned his lesson.
Post # 6
Wow didnt he ever have a credit card in Canada? I really dont see how this is your fault. Getting a credit card is a good way to build up credit, so it was a good suggestion on your part, he has no one to blame for forgetting to pay the bill. I think he should sign up for online bill pay and that way you log in to check on it too.
Post # 7
Its time to take full frontal assault on his credit card score!
He doesnt have a long history so start building that and since its a small chunk of change to pay off, oay it off. You may be surprised with how quick he can begin to fix it.
As ohers have said set him up on automatic payment. Yes he is an adult and should have done this, but it does effect you. Have some bill automatically be paid and then the CC paid everymonth. Then tell him to use it for gas and set him up with email alerts to log on and pay it.
After a few months, if you own a car free and clear, have him get a small title loan on the car. (even if you just sock the money away for 6 months then pay the balance off then) (most banks provide them)
And then a year from now tell the bank you want to build his credit and that you want a secured loan, but are willing to pay the cost of a personal loan. Make it small, and again sock the money away and use that to pay it off. You will have to pay % on interest, but it will be worth the good credit score.
Post # 8
While the bad credit sucks, I would be more concerned about the lack of a US driver’s license.
If he is a resident in the US, but does not have a US license, then technically, he is driving around without a valid license. The Canadian license does not count if his primary residence is in the US. If he gets into an accident, that might cause a lot of problems.
Post # 9
Holy crap. I’m shocked at how careless he could be.. sorry I have no advice, just sorry you have to deal with it. Hopefully his credit can be fixed quickly.
Post # 10
@pinkshoes:I think a big part of it is that he resents having to “start over” with all of this stuff in the US because he has spent so long establishing everything in Canada. Everytime he is encountered with a situation where he is isn’t treated as he would have been in Canada, he immediately shuts off.
For instance, he has a great relationship with his Bank in Canada. He has gone there for 12 years and he can basically walk in and they treat him like gold. Little things like clearing large checks immediately and getting loans are non-issues. Here, he’s treated like everyone else (which he views as being treated poorly), and he really resents it.
I can kinda understand where he’s coming from, but I have to keep reminding him that everyone had to start somewhere. Yes, some of us got to start at 18 and he’s having to start over at 30, but eventually it will lead to a good place.
Post # 11
@AprilJo2011: this! I’m not sure about the States, but in Canada you have 30 days OR permanent residency (whichever comes first) to change your licence over before it’s rendered invalid, along with your insurance.
I can see how it is really difficult for him to start over in the States, especially when he is already so established in Canada and still has major ties there.
His carelessness and unwillingness to commit to his life in the States though suggests to me he doesn’t see the US as his perm home. I could be totally off here, but I was the exact same way when I moved countries. I kept everything Canadian in case I changed my mind and moved home. It wasn’t until I really realised where I was making ‘my home’ that I started changing my documents and closing down bank accounts, etc. Do you have any plans to move to Canada? If you have decided that the US is going to be your home, I would suggest having a serious talk to him (if you haven’t already) about what he sees for your future.
Post # 12
@peacheslea: I thought the same thing… maybe he’s not committed to living in the US?
I hear him on the frustration of starting over with the banks, but how serious is he about building a life in the states? I’m so sorry about the credit card! God, that has to be infuriating!
Post # 13
@peacheslea: @jjmomma: I appreciate your feedback. I think you’re partially right. It was a long, difficult decision for him to move to the US instead of me moving to Canada, even though it is only 15 minutes from his old house/family/business…etc. Part of the problem and part of the solution is that he is in Canada everyday for work. He still remains close with his family and friends, but it doesn’t really allow for a clean “break”. He is constantly comparing the way things are done in Canada to the way they are done in the US, and it is a constant source of frustration for him. He sees everything from our banking, to our healthcare, to our driving, to our fast food customer service as sub-par (which admittedly, some of it is), and there’s nothing I can really do to change his opinion.
We have no plans to move to Canada anytime in the near future. There is simply not as much opportunity there for me or our future children. He understands this, but it is still a difficult pill for him to swallow because he had to make all of the changes and sacrifices.
Post # 14
@CanAmBride: He sounds like a solid guy in every other way, so being passive-aggresive about the credit card is just temporary insanity…lol Especially with his “old life” only 15 minutes away! A 140 dollar sandwich bites the big one (ha) but I’m betting he won’t continue the behavior. PP advice about paying it off and setting up automatic payments (which you handle until he adjusts to life with us Americans) sounds practical. Hang in there!! 🙂
Post # 15
All he can do now is pay it off and start over. This time make sure he pays his bills!
Post # 16
I suppose coming from someone who relocated, it does get better. The English way of doing things is absolutely CRAP compared to Canada. Apparently customer service does not exist in this country at all … (one of many many MANY things that I think is ‘wrong’ with England).
But you get used to it. My poor DH put up with months and months of me ranting and venting about how ‘stupid’ this country was, and how everything is so much simpler/easier/nicer in Canada. Although I do bring it out every now and again, I have gotten a lot better! I can’t tell you exactly what it was that clicked or when it was, but in order to live a functional life without constantly getting angry and up in arms about everything I just had to learn to NOT compare the two, and get on with my new life
Hopefully your DH will have that revelation soon … although it might be a bit trickier since the cut isn’t as clear and defined as if he moved completely to a new country.