Cross-border credit reporting is at last becoming a reality

THE WINDOW to submit applications for an H1B visa, a golden ticket for foreigners wishing to work in America, closed on April 5th. Soon the 85,000 winners will take up new jobs in the land of fresh starts. But those lucky few, most of them highly qualified, and many handsomely paid, will leave their credit histories at home, rendering them invisible to financial institutions. They will find it almost impossible to get a credit card, mortgage or any other type of loan.

It is a difficulty that affects millions worldwide. In 2017 immigrants made up 17% of America’s civilian workforce. Despite having free movement of labour as one of its core principles, the European Union has no system for transferring credit records across its internal borders. Banks suffer, too, missing out on potentially lucrative customers.

Building a new credit profile from scratch takes time. But what if you could use a credit report from your home country when applying for a loan abroad? That is the idea behind Nova Credit, a financial-technology startup in San Francisco. It requests data from international credit bureaus such as Experian and Equifax (with the individual’s consent), paying a fee for the service. It then packages the information to be usable by American banks and landlords. Mpower, a student-loan company, is already using Nova Credit...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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