Do Credit Reports Follow You Internationally?

Written by russell huebsch
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Moving to another country can prove tempting if you are in debt or have a poor credit history. Two to four per cent of student loan debt is held overseas, presumably to avoid repayment, according to CNN. No international credit reporting agency exists, but moving out of the country does not guarantee that you can start anew.

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Identification

Your credit information can follow you across borders if your home country and new residence share information. Two of the major credit reporting agencies in the U.S. -- TransUnion and Equifax -- also have offices in Canada. Europe, however, does not use credit scores and instead relies on your current salary and situation, such as other debt obligations and family history, according to Credit Report Sort.

Considerations

You cannot always flee a bad credit history by moving to another country. When applying for citizenship in your new homeland, the immigration office will review your past. If it appears as though you are fleeing your home country due to debt or poor financial management, they could reject your application for naturalisation, according to FreeScore.com.

Function

As of 2010, your score cannot translate from one country to another because each country has its own standards for calculating a credit score, according to CreditFamily.com. Also, each country uses its own identification number. The U.S., for instance, uses a Social Security number, while Canada has a Social Insurance number. If your credit history transfers abroad, the new credit agency will calculate their score based on information from your home country.

Warning

Moving out of the country with good or bad credit can hamper your financial freedom in your new country. If your credit report does not follow you, you will need to start from scratch. You will most likely have to take out a secured credit card -- one where you use collateral against the line of credit. Keep in mind that if you decide to return to your country, you will still come back to your old credit score.

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