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Hi , this is my scenario . I just have a few specific questions but i am not sensitive to HONEST opinions on my plan .

I am moving to the US on an e2 Visa . It has not yet been granted but my business investment of a Restaurant is presently being done and the build out is taking place as we speak . The delay in granting e2 Visa has set me back. Restaurant will more than likely wont open until  October 2017.
BUT i need to settle the Kids into school in August . So i am proceeding to make the move pending the Visa change of status . Not ideal but it should be any day now.
I would only have my Social , 30 Days after applying after Visa is granted . So i am looking at at least approx 2 months before i can start to build credit . BUT in the mean time i need to acquire basic assets.
Namely 2 used Vehicles . Furniture etc ...

PLAN .
MAKE MOVE NOW - Await Visa
RENT for 1 year and then take time to purchase house after .

QUESTIONS :

1) I can afford cash purchase for both vehicles . Should i just buy Cash ? A few of the dealers are offering part financing . I DONT have a problem with financing 50% but will only consider financing IF i can build credit . Other than that i and just not seeing the benefit of paying an interest on the purchase . Not sure if after Social is granted that it can be applied to the purchases .

2) Health Care . Under the business i can be covered but until then i was wondering what my options will be .

3) Any comments on my plan ? 

Any advice or comments WILL BE appreciated.

Thanks

I don't think your children can enroll in school without being on E2 Visa for family members.

They could be in school with F1 Visa, but I have a feeling you'll not have enough time for this coming term. 

Also, if your children are going to attend elementary schools, it will have to be private ones since F1 students are prohibited from attending public elementary schools.

If they're teenagers (high school ages), you'll have to pay the school system for the full, unsubsidised, per capita cost of their education.

They are US Citizens .

Ah, that's easy then.

I would say enroll the children immediately if you can find someone (you or your relatives) with whom they can stay until your visa and business paperwork is done.  Your health care can wait.  If it's a requirement for your Visa, you can just get any inexpensive insurance coverage while waiting to be covered under your business.

And yes, rent first, purchase later.  You'll want to live in an area with good schools, and that'll take time to find.

What do you mean by "after Social is granted that it can be applied to the purchases "?

Good credit takes time to build. A long time. The purchase of two vehicles is a good first step, but your rating will still be very low even with that.  Vehicles, furniture, credit cards, plus store cards, all of them financed and paid off quickly, would be better together than just the cars. Don't expect to see a good score within the first two years or so, although once you have your business up and running, it may take off quickly.

If you don't want to owe money but still wish for a good credit history, then finance your cars or apply for credit cards that come with free interest for a certain amount of time.  Many credit cards offer up to 21 months interest free (all of my cards did -- Amex, MasterCard, and Visa.)  Auto manufacturers's own finance companies offer up to 24 months free of interest for new cars, or extremely low interest (I've seen several adverts showing 1.9%.)  One of our last cars, a Mini, was purchased under that program -- we paid it off in 24 months in 0% interest.

Sorry, I think I now understand what you meant by "after Social is granted that it can be applied to the purchases."  You mean your Social Security card, right?  No, nothing is retroactive when it comes to financing a purchase and earning credit points.

Hi , thanks for taking time to respond. Much appreciated.
i understand what you have said and is basically all consistent with my plans.

Your advice with the car purchase. Would that also apply to Used car purchase ?

Remember my MAIN issue is that i wont have my social for the first two months BUT i need to get the two cars immediately .

Used cars do not come with interest-free finance.

In regards to building up credit history without SSN, it would still work if you have an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) -- that is, if you've paid federal income tax before and acquired an ITIN.  All the activities under ITIN will later be automatically transferred to a permanent file under your SSN.

If you don't have an ITIN, *plus* not being able to get a low interest or interest free finance, then I would say to buy the cars in cash.

Just read this post on myFICO.com forum.  It may apply to you:

"I'm not a US resident so I do not have SSN nor ITIN. Both Amex and Citi just approved my application.

Citibank - I opened a checking account with Citi mid 2014 and have been getting some direct deposits. Tried to apply for a secured card early 2015 but was denied.

I went back to the US last month (Mar 16) and visited the branch. The banker said it was possible to get a credit card, not a secured card without SSN/ITIN. I applied for Simplicity. The banker was a bit worried as I didn't have many direct deposits past 3 months. Balance was around 20k.

A week later I received SMS from Citi wanting to discuss my app but I was in the meeting so I called a bit later and the reference number was not valid anymore. I checked my  email and found Citi approved Thankyou Preferred with a CL of $7500.

Citi only wanted my ID and proof of income, in my case, a bank statement.

Amex - I applied using 'Go to shorter application' and enter my Australian Amex number there. I believe it is called a global transfer program. The next day I called Amex asking if they need any document. A lovely lady asked for my passport details. Then we did a 3-way call with Citi to verify my US address. Premier Gold Reward card was aprroved on the spot. Amex only wanted my passport details and address verification."

If that works, then what I would do, if I were in your shoes, is to purchase the cars with the credit cards, then pay it off quickly (not all at once) to avoid a prolonged high interest charge.  That case, my payment activities would be part of my credit history, providing a better outcome to me than financing without anything to show for afterwards.

Hi Ciambella,
Great idea about the credit card car payment but don't you pay penalties for early settlement?

tc58 :

Hi Ciambella,
Great idea about the credit card car payment but don't you pay penalties for early settlement?

No, most states don't allow for prepayment penalties.

If the OP uses credit cards to buy the cars, he'll not be involved with the automobile finance company, meaning there won't be any loan to pay.  His creditors are the banks that issue the credit cards.  Credit cards offer the consumers a revolving line of credit (you pay down the debts in order to borrow again) so there isn't a prepayment per se.

The problem with using credit cards for very large purchases is that one doesn't feel the pressure to pay off the debts quickly.  If one pays only the minimum requirement each month, it would take one a decade or more to pay off such large debts, and credit card interest is horrible.  I only mentioned that option because the OP said he has enough fund to buy the cars in cash, but wants to build up credit history.  For him, buying the cars outright with credit cards and paying the credit cards off quickly is a good idea, but I wouldn't recommend that option to most people.

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