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.

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. 

#OzDayNYC Black Tie Awards 2018

2018 #OzDayNYC Black Tie Gala


It was a star studded #OzDayNYC Black Tie Awards on Friday January 26th 2018 to recognize Australians who have donated their time and talent to assisting our non profit in its charitable mission.

#OzDayNYC is a re-envisioning of an Australia Day Black Tie Gala:  It is a modern celebration of Australian philanthropy and culture.  It is an opportunity for our Community to come together and celebrate being an Australian living in New York.

The format of the evening is an opportunity to mix and socialize throughout the event - and into the early hours at the After Party in the Long Hall Bar on the ground floor!




In addition to our Honorees, the evening included an awards ceremony to recognize Australians Artists who have assisted The Australian Community in 2017.

The Australian Community recognized Amanda Bishop, Ben McHugh, Marika Aubrey, Nick Hardcastle, Kaye Tuckerman and Jeremy Youett.


Internationally acclaimed Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd gave a special performance.

The Australian Community's Top 100 Playlist featured throughout the evening.

We appreciate the support of our Sponsors and donors who have made this event possible.  If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to support our organization, click here.

100% of donations go directly to assisting our programs in 2018.


#OzDayNYC 2018








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The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) public charity and is qualified to receive tax deductible donations, bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Sections 170, 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the IRS Code.

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