How to Build Credit History When You Have Insufficient Credit History

Moving to the US after living my entire life overseas presented certain unexpected challenges.

One of them was credit issues – I had specifically opened a credit card over a year earlier to start building credit, and my credit score was actually excellent.

However, when I actually landed and started applying for credit, I kept getting rejected on the grounds of “insufficient credit history”. Basically, one credit card is not enough, nor is one year really enough. Banks want to see lots of lines of credit running for a long time.

So I became kind of an expert on working to build my credit, while getting screwed over with bad interest rates along the way. In this post, I hope to transfer some of this experience on to you to help you avoid some of the mistakes and heartache I experienced along the way.

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My Journey: The First Deal

Years ago, like everybody, I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and got turned on to real estate. I knew that one day I was going to own a rental portfolio, I just didn’t know when or how it would happen.

Discovering Bigger Pockets

I was still living in Israel at the time, where I was born and raised. I knew nothing about real estate investing, and there is virtually no community of investors to talk with. I finally heard of a virtual group that would meet via conference call.

I joined the call, and ended up being the only one on it, along with the group leader. I picked his brain for half an hour, and his biggest recommendation was that I check out Bigger Pockets.

I was hooked.

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How to Invest in Real Estate | Basics of Real Estate Investing

I wanted to, as concisely as possible, summarize an overview of real estate investing as I have internalized it so far.

In general, a lot of real estate is not particularly complicated – just difficult. It’s not rockets science, but it takes persistence and creativity to achieve success. The usual economic principles apply – buy low, sell high, minimize your risks and expenses.

Leverage

There are some unique benefits that come with investing in real estate, that differ from other entrepreneurial ventures, like starting a business. The biggest of these is the concept of leverage, where a bank will hand you a lot of money to invest in your “venture” just because they believe the tangibility of real estate protects them from risk.

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Baltimore Neighborhood Maps

This map was presented at a Dominion Mentoring meetup, and they are worth their weight in gold.

Neighborhood Map

This one identifies each block in Baltimore city by its quality – better neighborhoods are ranked higher and distressed neighborhoods are lower down. You thus have an instant picture of the quality of the property you are assessing.

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