How to Find and Rent your first New York Apartment without a Credit History

Australians living in New York

Possibly the greatest expat challenge for Australians moving to New York is finding their first home: Until now!

The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) public charity who provides assistance to  Australians moving to America.  For Australians moving to New York, finding an apartment or buying a home, without a credit history, can be their greatest challenge.

Recent changes to New York law now prohibits Landlords asking for six or twelve months of rent in advance as a security deposit, in lieu of a good credit score.  As a result, many Australian executives in a strong cash position are no longer able to leverage this strategy when negotiating a lease with a Landlord.

The Challenge:

Finding the perfect New York apartment in your price range is a dream for many Australians moving to New York. However, unless you can meet the Landlord's strict financial and credit score prerequisites, your lease application will be rejected.

To add insult to injury, each rejected lease application comes with a hard credit enquiry against your Social Security Number.  Too many credit enquiries will negatively effect your overall credit score.

Often Australian executives are left with no other choice than a sublet, sometimes without the Landlord's knowledge, finding a friend to act as a Guarantor, or an expensive short term rental.

Moreover, many Real Estate Brokers do not want to work with newly arrived expats due to the additional overhead, and perceived risk that they many not qualify for a lease.

The Solution:

The Australian Community, working with a team of New York Real Estate professionals, Lease Guarantee companies and HSBC's expat banking solutions can offer a three part solution: 

  1. Finding an apartment,
  2. Securing a lease, and
  3. Quickly building a credit history for your lease renewal.

Building good credit in the twelve months before your lease renews eliminates the need for a second lease guarantee policy.  It is also essential before leasing your second apartment, or buying your first U.S. home. 

Lease Guarantor companies eliminate the need of finding a suitable co-signer as they act as the Guarantor.  The cost of the policy is dependent on an individual's financial circumstances; i.e. income, cash on hand, assets etc.. The cost of a 12 month policy can vary between c.80% and c.120% of the monthly rent.

Approval is generally within an hour or so.  The Guaranty is normally issued to the Landlord within a day.

Before your first lease is up for renewal in 12 months, you can use this period to build your credit score and meet the Landlord's credit requirement.  It is also possible to take a second lease guarantee if required.

If you are looking to purchase a property in the U.S. immediately after you arrive, and you do not have a credit history, HSBC's expat mortgage services are geared to assisting Australian expats get a home loan.

Ultimately we can connect you to the right professionals to assist your due diligence process in finding your first home in New York, whether it is a rental or a purchase.

Before you Arrive:

Assisting our members overcome the challenges for Australians living in the USA is core to our Mission.  This has, and always will be a priority for our non-profit organization

Step 1: Open a Bank Account.

Through HSBC, Australians arriving in the U.S. can immediately open Bank accounts.  Equally important, they can access credit cards without a credit score, or social security number.

You can use the form below to be contacted by a HSBC Senior Relationship Manager.

Step 2: Sign Up for a Preferred Rate on FOREX.

Most Australians after opening a bank account, will transfer some amount of money from Australia.  Paying a bank upwards of 3.5% commission can equate to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Our members transfer millions of dollars each year and based on that rate we have negotiated a preferred rate with OFX. The Australian Community's preferred rate outperforms Australian Banks and the leading online FOREX service.

Click here to access the Australian Community's Preferred FOREX Rate.

Step 3: Connect with a Real Estate Professional

Under this member offering, you can be connected with a Real Estate Professional who will begin your search for an apartment, and in some circumstances, you may also be pre-approved for a lease before you arrive in New York!

This solution is only possible through our Australian professional network, and the trust we have built as an organization working with Global financial institutions since our inception in 2011.

Please complete the form below to be contacted by an "Australian Friendly" Real Estate Professional in New York who is familiar with this initiative and the expat needs of Australians.

Your Privacy is our Priority.  You can read our privacy policy here before submitting the form.

Find out how much you could be saving through The Australian Community’s Preferred FOREX Rate.

"If there is a better rate on exchanging AUD to USD or USD to AUD, we have not seen it!"

Members of The Australian Community transfer millions of dollars every year for business and personal needs.  Based on this volume, a preferred rate on International wire transfers has been negotiated with OFX, including AUD to USD and USD to AUD.

Foreign Exchange (FOREX) is confusing.  There is the Interbank or Market Rate and then there is the rate that your FOREX service offers you when you exchange money.

The bottom line is - the less money you receive, the more the Banks and FOREX services are charging you in fees and hidden in the exchange rate.

There is a lot of noise about which company has the best rate so we have been comparing The Australian Community's preferred rate on AUD to USD and USD to AUD through OFX, with TransferWise, a company that many Australians currently use - and falsely believe are getting the best rate.

For more than a year, we have been comparing the final amounts that each service was offering when transferring AUD to USD and USD to AUD, and each time The Australian Community's preferred rate was better!

Find out how much money you could be saving!

Click here to register and access The Australian Community's Preferred Rate with OFX.  Your registration will automatically associate with the Preferred Rate.

10 Reasons to Connect with our Yammer Private Enterprise Social Network

The challenges that face Australians living in New York and the broader U.S., are constantly evolving.  The Australian Community Yammer private enterprise social network is the perfect platform to access, and share knowledge with other Australians no matter where they are living in America!

The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) registered public charity whose mission is to connect Australians through social, professional and charitable initiatives.  Since its inception in 2011, we have assisted tens of thousands of Australians overcome the challenges of living in New York and other states across America. Continue reading “10 Reasons to Connect with our Yammer Private Enterprise Social Network”

How to open a Bank Account and Access U.S. Credit – Even before you arrive in the U.S.!

It is a known fact that thousands of Australians obtain Green Cards and U.S. work visas every year.  Most have a credit card, and some have mortgages on their Australian property.

However, one of the main challenges facing these Australian expats every year is how to open a Bank account, let alone access U.S. credit without a U.S. Credit Score.

Solution: Members of The Australian Community can access HSBC's expat banking solutions for opening bank accounts, credit cards and event expat home loans!

Bank Accounts and Credit Cards:

Some credit card companies will issue Australians with a U.S. credit card, to assist them build a credit score.  However, credit cards are only half of the banking equation: You also need a U.S. bank account for money transfers and day to day banking needs.

The Australian Community recognized this challenge and in 2012 introduced a program where Australians arriving in the U.S. can open bank accounts and obtain a U.S. credit card through HSBC's Premier and Advance expat platforms, even if they were not existing customers and without a Social Security Number.

For members in Australia who are on the way, they can open a local account with HSBC and then receive a U.S. credit card to use, and build a credit history, before they arrive in the United States.

This is a unique program to access a U.S. credit card and start building a U.S. credit score.

Home Mortgages:

Under this program our members can also access US Home Loans even if they do not have the 2 year work or credit history or a Social Security Number!.

  • HSBC may finance up to 75% for a primary home, cash out up to 70%
  • HSBC may finance up to 70%, as a second home, condo, co-op, one family etc, cash out up to 65%
  • HSBC may finance up to 60% on an investment property

For those members who have not yet left Australia, you can obtain a US credit card before you arrive in the US and thereby build a US credit score through your daily purchases in Australia!

These programs are being managed by our HSBC Relationship Managers in New York.  You can use the form below to have a Senior Relationship Manager or Mortgage Consultant contact you with all of the details.

Assisting our members overcome the challenges of living in the US is core our Mission.  Providing a way for our members to not only access credit in the US, but to build a US credit score whilst still in Australia makes perfect sense, and is an added value to joining our organization.

Building a credit score while still in Oz is a convenient credit offering from HSBC. Also if you are looking to purchase a property in the U.S. and you do not have a credit history, HSBC is geared to help expats get a mortgage.

At the end of the day it is personal choice and which bank offers you the best service, interest rate etc. is best decided by doing your own due diligence.

Foreign Exchange (FOREX):

If you are transferring money between Australia and the U.S. (or any of more than 30 countries), check out the preferred rate that The Australian Community has negotiated with OFX (formerly OzForex).  Click here to see how much money you could be saving over your existing Bank or online FOREX service.

Please complete the form below to be contacted by a HSBC representative to discuss your credit needs. 

10 Questions asked by Australians Living in New York

On Wednesday June 14, 2017 The Australian Community held a private networking event at Bluestone Lane’s DUMBO location in New York to record a video of the Top 10 Questions asked of The Australian Community.

Some of the answers captured in the thirty minute video revealed a number of common mistakes (and incorrect assumptions) made by Australian expats living in New York and the broader US. Continue reading “10 Questions asked by Australians Living in New York”

10 Reasons to Connect with The Australian Community

Diving into the deepest end of the most shark infested pool on the planet may be a risky decision when it comes to taking your career to the next level.  However, without a social or professional lifeline, Aussies living in the USA are going to face some serious challenges.

The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to connect Australians living in the U.S. through social, professional and charitable initiatives.

Below are the Top 10 reasons why more than 6,000 Australians living in the United States have connected with The Australian Community.

Continue reading “10 Reasons to Connect with The Australian Community”

Announcing The Australian Community Mentoring Initiative

Finding better ways to connect Australians living in the US is core to our Mission. Therefore, we are very pleased to announce our latest initiative: The Australian Community Mentoring Initiative.

The Australian Community already has programs to assist our members with overcoming many of the challenges of living in the US.  The Australian Community Mentoring Initiative is the next step in assisting our members accelerate their careers to the next level.

Continue reading “Announcing The Australian Community Mentoring Initiative”

Announcing The Australian Community Corporate Sponsorships!

In response to companies wishing to better connect with The Australian Community’s events, and expat services for their Australian employees, we have good news!

Our Corporate Membership classes promote closer engagement between sponsors and thousands of Australians in the US.  We also provide bespoke in-house seminars to educate Australian employees on overcoming the challenges facing expats living in the US.

Sponsors also receive benefits including access to our private Yammer social network, professional introductions, and complimentary tickets to our member-only events. Continue reading “Announcing The Australian Community Corporate Sponsorships!”