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

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.

Community Job Fair v2.8: Now Accepting Applicants!

If you are an Australian in New York, and you are seeking full time employment, we may have good news!

Our Community Job Fair has seen its first upgrade for 2020: From v2.5 to v2.8. This is part of the twelve point plan outlined in our recent article. The article highlights the new challenges facing Australian Job Seekers when Congress passes Legislation that will remove Australia’s exclusive access to the E-3 visa.

The goal of our Community Job Fair is to increase the number of Australians who successfully apply for E-3 visas. The more Australians taking up unused E-3 visas, the less impact the new Legislation will have on Australians.

By extending components of our Community Job Fair, we can raise the number of Australians who successfully find work. In doing so, we reduce the number of E-3 visas that go unused.

Continue reading “Community Job Fair v2.8: Now Accepting Applicants!”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 18

The E-3Dad

More and more we are seeing Australians relocating their families to New York and other major U.S. cities, where the wife is the E-3 visa holder. As a result, The Australian Community has observed a growing demographic:The E-3Dad.

Many E-3D visa holders are Dads who suddenly find themselves as the primary caregiver to young children and infants. Whether it is a temporary, part-time or more permanent arrangement, the E-3Dad faces a unique set of challenges.

The challenges for the E-3Dad such as finding time for the job hunt are less if the children are in school. However, for those with children under four years of age, there are some short to medium term challenges that need to be understood.

The Economic Reality:

What seems to be the catalyst in this equation, are the career opportunities for female Australian executives. The lure of $US six figure salaries (boosted by a weak $AU) is often the incentive for Australian families to make the decision to uproot the family and transplant to a major U.S. city.

What comes as a shock to many Australian families, in New York especially, is the cost of child care. A Nanny can cost on average US$20 to US$25 per hour, and a Nanny (or Manny) working 8:00AM to 6:00PM, Monday to Friday is upwards of $1,200 per week.

Additional considerations include, ensuring the legal work status of the Nanny, liability Insurance, tax withholding and other paperwork that needs to be in place before you effectively hand over your child to a stranger. Day Care centers simplify much of the paperwork, but can cost upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 per child for just the school year!

Therefore the decision is often made that Dad has to at least initially for economic reasons, become the primary care giver. Even if employment is found, it still may be economically prohibitive if Dad’s after tax wages are about the same as the cost of child care.

Notwithstanding the economic considerations, it is currently taking up to six months wait time for the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to be processed. Therefore, the E-3Dad is going to find a considerable amount of time at home looking after the kids while Mum is working.

Isolation is Real:

It will become obvious to any Australian parent that organizing a Play Date often has little to do with children, especially new mothers. The Play Date is often an opportunity for mothers to get together socially with someone who understands the challenges of being a mother. Unfortunately E-3Dads do not possess the credentials to gain admission to this club.

Albeit Australians have a reputation for being friendly, approaching a female in a public place and staring up a friendly conversation is often misinterpreted – even if both your children are playing together just a few feet away. The E-3Dad will often find himself on the outside at the local playground for no other reason than being male.

The rookie mistake is thinking that you have a better shot striking up a conversation with a third party: The Nanny.  Often you will see groups of these caregivers at public playgrounds, but don’t think that you can just walk up and start a conversation.  The Nanny Club is more exclusive than you think, and they literally circle the wagons (strollers), to keep others at bay.

Even if you were able to be accepted by your local playground mothers after weeks of showing up and being a perfect parent, do not expect a Play Date invitation.

For members of our private Yammer Network, you can always find a sympathetic Australian parent in our Family Friendly group. You may not immediately find an invitation for a champagne Play Date, but you are guaranteed to connect with others who understand your situation.

Be Prepared to be Judged:

Aside from the risk being viewed as a philanderer should you attempt a casual conversation with another parent who just happens to be female, be prepared to have your parenting skills under constant scrutiny.

Unless your child is impeccably dressed, face free of any organic material, and your child has perfected his or her social skills as soon as they can walk, be prepared to be judged. In a society that prides itself on tolerance and equality, the simple reality is that men are not considered equal when it comes to parenting.

The prejudging is not limited to males’ parenting skills, the assumption is often that if you are male, you do not need assistance. If you find yourself on a subway holding a screaming child, there is little chance of a passenger offering a seat to a woman, let alone a man. Similarly, if you are staring at a set of stairs on the subway, do not expect that someone is going to offer help with your stroller.

For any parent living in New York who has experienced the luxury of an Australian shopping center change room, be prepared to be disappointed. Finding a fold down table in the Ladies bathroom can be hit and miss at best, and you can forget finding a change table in the men’s room.

Dads, you are going to need a strategy to gain access to the Ladies bathroom, or at least be proficient at changing a daiper in a stroller if you are goint to venture any distance outside of your apartment.

Texting while strolling is going to have you judged in a New York minute – and is dangerous. There is always a rabid Citi Bike rider running late for an appointment, or a skate board rider doing a Crazy Ivan directly in front of you that will test your reflexes, so be constantly aware of your surroundings.

Remain Disciplined when Looking for Work:

They say that finding work can be a full time job in itself. Adding baby to the mix and your organizational skill are going to be tested. Children are not the only ones who need to be on a strict routine. It is often a cliché, but caring for a baby may be the most challenging role of your life. Not only do you have to help get your spouse out the door, but once junior wakes, your day is completely absorbed until nap time.

Hopefully nap time runs somewhere between 11:00am and 1:00pm, because this short window must be spent on the job hunt. Having a check list is essential. Time needs to be spent sending off resumes, following up with recruiters and making coffee appointments with sponsors who can assist with introductions to key company personnel.

Being outside on a walk can be a productive time for follow up calls. Armed with the latest earbud technology, you can be an effective multitasker, speaking on a phone “while walking to your next appointment”. That meeting may be at the local playground, but the sounds of New York in the background are not going to raise suspicion, even the sounds of a baby!

Many executives go online or log into their LinkedIn accounts after dinner. So, after children are asleep, or your spouse has taken over parenting duties, rather than relax, spend the hours between 7:30pm and 9:30pm being productive with follow up emails and messaging.

Keep Healthy

In your new role as an E-3Dad, you can be so focussed on looking after the health of others and finding work, that you can forget your own health. Food, Exercise and Sleep are essential to a healthy lifestyle. Strolling baby twenty blocks to your favorite fast food restaurant may be a compromise, but sleep deparavation is going to be a roadblock in the interview process. Be sure to get as much sleep as possible.

Also focus on the health of your relationship. Finding the time to let you spouse know that they are loved is going to relieve many of the pressures of living in a large U.S. city, especially for a family in New York.

So the next time you are strolling past your local Bodega selling a dozen roses for $10, make the investment. It will surely pay dividends in what can be an uncertain market for the E-3Dad.

About The Australian Community

The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity and its Mission is to connect Australian living in the United States through social, professional and charitable initiatives.

All contributions are fully tax deductible under Section 170 of the IRS Code. The Australian Community is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.

Is the “E-3 Hopeful” Australian Job Seeker an Endangered Species?

In 2018, Legislation that would allow citizens of Ireland to take up any unused E-3 visas was unanimously passed by the United States House of Representatives. However, it failed by only one vote in the Senate.  In 2019 the Legislation was reintroduced as H.R. 2877

When this Legislation becomes law, it will be a major blow to any E-3 Hopeful Australian considering a career move to the United States.

Pundits argue that the legislation preserves the annual 10,500 E-3 visas for Australians, therefore there is no downside to Aussies.  However, a deeper analysis of Immigration data reveals that like Neanderthal, the Australian E-3 Hopeful may be facing extinction, displaced by a more sophisticated species who is better adapted to finding work.

Continue reading “Is the “E-3 Hopeful” Australian Job Seeker an Endangered Species?”

Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Joe Bananas

There are literally dozens of Australian businesses who have opened shop in New York.  Some we know well, and others not so well.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with owner and designer Evan Sturrock, to learn more about the Joe Bananas’ 943 Madison Avenue location. Continue reading “Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Joe Bananas”

A Coffee and a Conversation with an Australian living in New York: Nathan Subramaniam

The Australian Community has always recognized the unique challenges faced by Australian living and working in New York, so it has recorded a Podcast series where our members discuss their personal experiences.

Below are excerpts from our conversation with Nathan.

Continue reading “A Coffee and a Conversation with an Australian living in New York: Nathan Subramaniam”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 17

Explaining the E-3 Visa to an Employer.

In any given year there are more than 200,000 applications for 65,000 available H-1B visas. For many employers this lengthy and expensive process fails to produce a work visa. As most employers’ experience when hiring non U.S. citizens is the H-1B visa, explaining why the E-3 visa is vastly different is best explained by an Immigration professional.

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 17”

Newsletter

Our expat banking and credit services with HSBC has been extended to include Home Loans.

In addition to Banking and Credit Card services, under this new program our members can finance up to 75% for a primary home, up to 70% on a second home, condo, co-op, one family etc. or finance up to 60% on an investment property – without a Social Security Number or two years of US tax returns to qualify!

This may come as good news to many Australians who have been on the fence about selling their Australian homes and purchasing US properties prior to the proposed changes to Australian Capital Gains Tax for non-residents effective June 30, 2019.

New and existing members anywhere in the US can qualify for credit and Home Loans under this HSBC program. To read more, or have a HSBC credit specialist reach out, details are on our website.

Read the latest data from the Department of Homeland Security on Australian non-immigrant visas including E-3 approvals – and denials.

For a number of years we have been publishing data on Australian visas from the Department of Homeland Security. The information is released at different times of the year, and some remarkable data has recently come to light.  Read More:

Access a better deal on FOREX through The Australian Community’s Preferred FOREX Rate.


For those members who transfer money internationally, you may not be aware of our preferred rate negotiated with OFX (OzForex). Under this referred rate, which is better than the best rate offered by TransferWise, members can transfer 36 major currencies internationally, and there is also an App.

Whether you transfer $500 or $50,000, you always get the Preferred Rate.

Many members around the US who have had to begin repaying their student loans can now access this rate to transfer payments to Australia. There is no fee to sign up, and you can immediately compare your existing FOREX service with our preferred rate to see how much you can save.  Click here to learn more and sign up is free.

ANZAC Day “Bonds of Mateship” Drinks on April 25 at Beckett’s NYC from 6:30PM to 10:00PM

ANZAC Day is just around the corner and for those who wish to attend the Dawn Service hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Consulate-Generals, you can find the information here.

The Australian Community will also be hosting an informal gathering at Beckett’s in the Historic Stone Street District from 6:30PM on ANZAC Day. Bringing together Australians in the “Bonds of Mateship” is core to our organization, and a great way to celebrate the ANZAC spirit in the US.

There will be a cash bar, food will be available to order and there is no cover.

Please reach out if our organization can assist you with any of your social, professional and charitable goals here in the US.

Where in the World are Australians (re)Applying for an E-3 Visa?

For a number of years we have been publishing data from the Department of Homeland Security on Australian visas approvals including the E-3 visa.  This article answers a persistent questions on social media:  “Has anyone recently applied for an E-3 at [INSERT CONSULTE NAME]?”.

Digging into the data we have found a report with the latest data (February 2019) showing the number and types of E-3 visas broken down by US Consulates from around the World. Continue reading “Where in the World are Australians (re)Applying for an E-3 Visa?”

How Many Australians are Living and Working in the US? V 4.5

For a number of years we have been publishing data on Australian visas from the Department of Homeland Security. This report shows data from the DHS on exactly how many Australians are living and working in the U.S..

Given the past growth in the number of Australians in New York and other large cities, a persistent question is how many Aussies are living and working in the US, and how many are just visiting?

The Data

The latest data from the DHS indicates that for the first time in a decade, the number of Australians on non-immigrant visas dropped by more than 3.5%, driven by a significant drop in the number of E-3 visa approvals in 2018.  We also saw a drop of 16.5% in Australians entering the U.S. on a B-1,2 visa.
Continue reading “How Many Australians are Living and Working in the US? V 4.5”

A Coffee and a Conversation with an Australian living in New York: Kathleen Simmonds

The Australian community has always recognized the unique challenges faced by our women members, and has recorded a Podcast series discussing some of those challenges. 

Below are excerpts from our conversation with Kathleen.

Kathleen Simmonds is an Actor and Producer, and joins us for a coffee and a conversation in New York.
Continue reading “A Coffee and a Conversation with an Australian living in New York: Kathleen Simmonds”

#KoalaGiving: Spreading the #SlipSlopSlap Message

The latest published CDC data shows that 8,882 new Melanoma cases were reported in NYC and Long Island, of whom, 1,015 died.  In 2019 The Australian Community is working to encourage New Yorkers to get screened for Skin Cancer.

#KoalaGiving is The Australian Community’s charitable initiative where Australians have the opportunity to give back to the broader New York community.  Since its inception, it has help raise thousands of dollars for other charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Bowery Mission and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

For the past four years #KoalaGiving has raised money for MSKCC through Cycle for Survival.  C4S has also served as a platform for The Australian Community to raise awareness of skin cancer.   However, as C4S now focusses on funding rare cancers, and skin cancer is not a rare cancer, in 2019 we are raising money to directly fund our own #SlipSlopSlap campaign.

May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month and major Hospitals and clinics including MSKCC, Cornell, Columbia and Presbyterian Hospitals are providing free skin cancer screenings to the public. The more people who know of these free screenings, and the need to get screened, the more lives that potentially can be saved.

According to the CDC, there were a total of 8,882 annual new cases of Melanoma diagnosed in NYC and Long Island, of whom, 1,015 died.

Continue reading “#KoalaGiving: Spreading the #SlipSlopSlap Message”

Aussie Cafés in NY – and where to find them: Village Coffee and Goods

Visitors to this site will know that since 2017 we have featured a number of Australian cafés in our posts. Most are located in the City, but one Aussie Café is located in Upstate New York.

Considering this is the time of year when New Yorkers are preparing to head north on 87 to visit a tree farm or embark on a ski trip, we spoke with Anthea and Mark who opened Village Coffee and Goods in Kingston, NY.

Anthea White and Mark Palmer are accomplished musicians from Sydney, Australia, who have moved to Kingston by way of Brooklyn.

Continue reading “Aussie Cafés in NY – and where to find them: Village Coffee and Goods”

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 teh exchange rate.

There is a lot of noise about which company has the best rate so we decided to compare 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.

The most recent comparisons from December 11, 2019 are in the tables below.

USD to AUDOFXTransferWise Difference
$10,000$14,479.00$14,426.08$52.92
$1,000$1,448.00$1,441.31$6.69
$500$724.00$719.82$4.18

AUD to USDOFXTransferWise Difference
$10,000$6,846.006,843.04$2.96
$1,000$684.50$683.09$0.91
$500$342.25$340.92$1.33

The numbers tell us that if you use TransferWise, you are paying more in fees than if you use our Member Preferred Rate through OFX, especially when transferring USD to AUD!

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

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 16

How to get your New York State Driver License

According to New York State Law, once an Australian expat becomes a New York State resident, they have only 30 days to obtain a New York State driver license, as their Australian license is no longer valid.

At this point there are those reading this chapter who will be arguing “How will the Police know?” or “I can still rent a car with my Aussie license so why bother?” Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 16”

Purchase Tickets for the University of Queensland Rugby Benefit Dinner featuring Mark, Gary and Glen Ella

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the University of Queensland Benefit Dinner,  and they have a special rugby treat…the amazing Ella brothers. Yes, all three…Mark, Gary and Glen will be amongst the featured legends!

During the 80s, the Ellas’ mesmerizing combination of skill and ability was arguably the most exciting thing to ever come to club, state and international rugby.  Mark, Gary and Glen had honed their years of backyard footy in the inner suburbs of Sydney into a magical formula that saw them all represent Australia at both schoolboy and senior Wallaby level. Continue reading “Purchase Tickets for the University of Queensland Rugby Benefit Dinner featuring Mark, Gary and Glen Ella”

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”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 15

Are you Smarter than an Immigration Attorney?

There is no shortage of people on Social Media who think they are smarter than an Immigration attorney.  They are regular contributors to Facebook groups, and are quick to offer legal advice on visa applications, and other Immigration issues.  Unfortunately, not all of this advice is current, and in some instances, completely incorrect.

Our Yammer Private Enterprise Social Network was created to give our membership access to ethical, professional advice, content and connections.  It has become an important resource for overcoming many of the challenges facing Australian expats living and working in the US. Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 15”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 14

What an Expecting Expat should Expect.

Starting a family is a big step for any prospective Australian parent.  Starting a family whilst living in the US, is going to add an additional layer of complexity – emotionally, legally and financially.

Before we drill down on this article, the topics covered clearly do not cover every scenario when it comes to starting a family in the US.  There are a plethora of needs and wants when it comes to having a child.  This article covers some of the basics, and is intended to frame some of the challenges you will face, as well as the conversations you need to discuss with your spouse and close family. Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 14”

Cheer for Australia in the Dodgeball World Cup in NYC!

The Australian Dodgeroos will be playing at Madison Square Garden on Saturday August 4, in the 2018 World Dodgeball Cup.  Watch the Australia Women’s team defend their World Cup title!

The Australian Dodgeroos will be competing in the Men’s, Mixed and Women’s Divisions. The Men’s and Mixed Dodgeroos teams will be competing for the top spot.  Games start at 10:30 AM.

Continue reading “Cheer for Australia in the Dodgeball World Cup in NYC!”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 13

Measuring the Australian Expat Continuum

In Chapter 3, we speak of the Expat Continuum.  This is a similar model to one used by corporations to measure their Capability Maturity.

The Expat Continuum has five stages:

  1. Basic
  2. Reactive
  3. Planned
  4. Aligned
  5. Integrated

A question was recently asked in a Facebook group that highlights the difference between an expat operating at Level 2 (Reactive) and another expat operating at  Level 3 (Planned). Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 13”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 12

The Top 5 Differences Australians Notice about New York.

One very famous Australian was quoted as saying “Imagine seven million people all wanting to live together. Yeah, New York must be the friendliest place on earth.”

Pre-conceptions notwithstanding, Australians who move to New York are constantly reminded of the multi faceted differences that separates Australia, and the city that never sleeps.   Here are just five of those difference Australians quickly notice.

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 12”

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. 

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 11

Top 10 Expat Mistakes + What NOT to post on Social Media

We all make mistakes and most of them you can walk away from with the knowledge of what not to do next time.  However, there are some Expat mistakes that you simply cannot just chalk up to experience.

The saying “She’ll be right Mate” may be endearing in Australia, but here in the US, ignorance is not an excuse.

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 11”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 10

Everything you wanted to know about Expat Filing Requirements – but were afraid to ask!

Many Australians are still coming to grips with the US Tax Code as well as Expat filing requirements.  You may feel confident in filing your first E-3 visa, but first time tax filers should seek an “Australian Friendly” US accountant to make sure you have all of your bases covered.

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 10”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 9

NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette 

New York can be an intimidating city for any tourist.  As with any metropolis, there are certain tips and unwritten etiquette that if not followed, can leave even the most seasoned traveler suffering the ire of a New Yorker, or worse, victim of a scam.

Illustrator and New Yorker a Nathan Pyle has released a book NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette that could be very helpful to Aussies arriving in New York.  Below are just a few of the animated gifs contained in the e-book and available  on Amazon and iTunes.

Definitely worth the investment!

survive nyc cover-1

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 9”

New York in the Rear View Mirror:  An Australian’s Perspective.  (Part 3)

Over the past seven years, The Australian Community has connected over 5,800 Australians living in New York.  We reached out to members who have returned home, and asked them to share their perspective on living in NYC and their transition back to Australia.

What advice would you give to Aussies contemplating the move to NYC?

Continue reading “New York in the Rear View Mirror:  An Australian’s Perspective.  (Part 3)”

New York in the Rear View Mirror:  An Australian’s Perspective.  (Part 2)

Over the past seven years, The Australian Community has connected over 5,800 Australians living in New York.  We reached out to members who have returned home, and asked them to share their perspective on living in NYC and their transition back to Australia.

How did NYC change you professionally? Continue reading “New York in the Rear View Mirror:  An Australian’s Perspective.  (Part 2)”

New York in the Rear View Mirror:  An Australian’s Perspective.  (Part 1)

Over the past seven years, The Australian Community has connected over 5,800 Australians living in New York.  We reached out to members who have returned home, and asked them to share their perspective on living in NYC and the transition back to Australia.

What is it like transitioning back to Oz?

Continue reading “New York in the Rear View Mirror:  An Australian’s Perspective.  (Part 1)”

Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen

There are dozens of Australian businesses who have opened shop in New York.  Some we know well, and others not so well.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with Peter Godhard, the Founder of Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen – an Aussie café located at 428 Hudson Street in New York City. Continue reading “Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 7

Finding Work

The fact is that finding work in one of the most competitive cities on the planet is going to be a challenge for most Australians.  Landing in a US city with a freshly minted EAD or Green Card is only a ticket to the big league.

If you go into the game without understanding the rules or having a game plan, you will quickly start to accumulate some very unnecessary scar tissue.

Members of the Australian Community have access to resources inside our Private Social Network to assist in the job hunt.  They include our Employment and Mentoring Groups where they can make professional connections, access job resources and learn from the experience of other Australians.

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 7”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 6

Local Language 101

In 1887 Oscar Wilde wrote: “We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.” This observation is very true for Australians who move to the US.

Firstly, Americans have a very different Language of Friendship which can be puzzling to an Australian.  For example when two American women first meet they may positively remark on the other’s clothing, shoes or a pocket book (hand bag) to start a conversation.

“I have that exact same Birkin.  Did you buy that here or Hermès in Paris?”  

This does not necessarily reflect materialism, rather Americans will lead with visual cues in an attempt to create an instant connection with the other person on a socioeconomic level.

Australians on the other hand will look for common personal interests to connect.  This requires conversation, and some Americans are not so comfortable in sharing personal information with a stranger. Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 6”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 5

Decoding US Health Insurance

Several times in this book, we have suggested that priority should be given to overcoming challenges that effect your, Health, Liberty and Finances.  This chapter addresses the first: Health Insurance.

Whether you are accessing Health Insurance through your employer, or through your State’s Health Care Exchange (Obamacare), understanding which plan is right for your needs is dependent on your understanding a very different Health Care system.

To enlighten the reader, and demystify some of the nomenclature, the following are important terms and concepts that will make navigating the US healthcare system less complicated. Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 5”

Meet our 2018 Cycle for Survival Team

We have all read articles on the success of Aussie businesses and how they are changing the way Americans exercise, dress, eat and even drink coffee.  One Australian charity is raising money for rare cancer research and in the process changing the way Americans view the sun and skin cancer.

Every year since becoming a US Public Charity, The Australian Community has participated in Cycle for Survival – a National fundraiser hosted by Equinox to raise money for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to fight rare cancers.

The Australian Community 2018 Cycle for Survival Team: Rebecca Donev, Vanessa Mickan, Marika Aubrey and Robert Schlederer
Continue reading “Meet our 2018 Cycle for Survival Team”

Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Wattle Café

There are literally dozens of Australian businesses who have opened shop in New York.  Some we know well, and others not so well.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with Ana Ivkosic, the Founder of Wattle Café – an Aussie café located on Third Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets in New York City. Continue reading “Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Wattle Café”

Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Wellbuilt

There are literally dozens of Australian businesses who have opened shop in New York.  Some we know well, and others not so well.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with Mitch Kidd, one half of WellBuilt Co – an Australian Construction and Development company making waves in New York and the Tri State Area.

Continue reading “Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Wellbuilt”

Wrap up of #OzDayNYC 2018 – aka “The Joeys”

It was a sold out, star-studded, Black Tie event at Pier A that recognized the contributions of Australian performing artists Amanda Bishop, Marika Aubrey, Ben McHugh, Kaye Tuckerman, Nick Hardcastle and Jeremy Youett.  Our Honorees were Stella Pulo and Sullivan Stapleton.

It was also great to see fellow Blindspot actor Luke Mitchell and his wife Rebecca Breeds stop by with Sully.  World renowned Australian Classical Guitarist Rupert Boyd added a special touch to the evening with a live performance.

The guest list read like a who’s who of Australian performing artists!

Continue reading “Wrap up of #OzDayNYC 2018 – aka “The Joeys””

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 4

The Inconvenient Truth

Australians have a capacity to be direct, and a book written by Australians should be nothing less.  Think of this chapter as your friends dishing out some tough love.  They just want to be sure that you can separate fact from fiction.

Let’s first address the Elephant in the room

For those who move to the US with the support of their employer, the machinations of relocating to a new city is for the most part transparent.  They arrive to a job, an apartment, and their greatest challenge may be finding their new favorite restaurant.

However, the plight of the Aussie who lands in NYC looking for work, is a very different story.  They must start from nothing and rely on savings to sustain them throughout their job search.  Their hope is that they will be gainfully employed in their sunny new apartment in six to eight weeks because they read on social media that US employers are lining up to hire Aussies.

For most, the harsh reality is that finding work takes between three to six months, and their savings run out well before a second interview.  This is the inconvenient truth for many Australians. Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 4”

Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Boundless Plains Espresso

There are literally dozens of Australian businesses who have opened shop in New York.  Some we know well, and others not so well.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with Jo Black, the Founder of Boundless Plains– a new Aussie café located on Rector Street in the Financial District of New York City. Continue reading “Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Boundless Plains Espresso”

Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Scanlan Theodore

There are literally dozens of Australian businesses who have opened shop in New York.  Some we know well, and others not so well.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with Melinda Robertson and Sarah Blank to learn more about their business Scanlan Theodore located at 117 Prince Street in SoHo. Continue reading “Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Scanlan Theodore”

Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Save Your Sole

There are literally dozens of Australian businesses who have opened shop in New York.  Some we know well, and others not so well.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with Amanda Collins to learn more about her business Save Your Sole located at 1 Little West 12th St in NYC. Continue reading “Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Save Your Sole”

Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Three Seat Espresso & Barber

After a very positive response to our series of articles featuring Aussie Cafés in NYC, we are posting a series featuring Australian small businesses operating in New York.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with Aaron Cook, the Founder of Three Seat Espresso & Barber – a Barber Shop AND Café – located on Avenue A in New York City.

Continue reading “Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Three Seat Espresso & Barber”

Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Sweat Yoga

After a very positive response following a series of articles featuring Aussie Cafés in NYC, we will be posting a series featuring Australian small businesses operating in New York.

We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.

We spoke with Wade Helliwell, the 6’11’ Australian professional Basketball player at his studio Sweat Yoga in New York City. Continue reading “Aussie Businesses in NYC – and where to find them: Sweat Yoga”

Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Southern Cross Coffee

There has been a ton of recent press featuring Aussie cafés in NYC.  Most feature either the highly successful coffee chains or those found only in NoLIta.

To highlight some of the other Aussie businesses in NYC, here is the third in a series of articles featuring Australian Cafépreneurs.

We want our readers to learn more about their Aussie owners, and what is unique about their businesses.   We spoke with Adam Sobol who with his partner Sergio D’Auria opened Southern Cross Coffee located at 300 E 5th Street between 2nd and 1st Avenues.

Continue reading “Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Southern Cross Coffee”

Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Hutch & Waldo.

There has been a ton of recent press featuring Aussie cafés in NYC.  Most feature either the highly successful coffee chains or those found only in NoLIta.

To highlight some of the other Aussie businesses in NYC, here is the second in a series of articles featuring Australian Cafépreneurs.

We want our readers to learn more about their Aussie owners, and what is unique about their businesses.   We spoke with Alastair McFarland who has recently opened Hutch and Waldo located at 347 E 81st @ 2nd Avenue.

Continue reading “Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Hutch & Waldo.”

Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Saltwater

There has been a ton of recent press featuring Aussie cafés in NYC.  Most feature either the highly successful coffee chains or those found only in NoLIta.

To highlight some of the other Aussie businesses in NYC, here is the first in a series of articles featuring Australian Cafépreneurs. 

We want our readers to learn more about their Aussie owners, and what is unique about their businesses.   For our first location we sat down with Lee and Sid Chitnis, the owners and operators of Saltwater located at 345 E 12th Street between 2nd and 1st Avenues.

Continue reading “Aussie Cafés in NYC – and where to find them: Saltwater”