Unfortunately (or fortunately for some), our credit score in our home country doesn’t do anything for us in Colombia, no matter how high it is. If you are planning on staying in Colombia for good (or even just long term), having a high credit score is essential. You need a good credit rating when applying for a mortgage, car loan, or even more simple services like cable and internet. Also, having a good credit score will give you opportunities to avail of better interest rates for your loans. But how can you build a credit score in Colombia?
What you need
- First and foremost, you need your cedula extranjeria.
- Enlarge and photocopy your cedula and take it to Data Credito. Address: Carrera 43A No. 1 A sur – 29 Of. 705, Edificio Colmena, Barrio El Poblado
- Data Credito (Experian) is a company that records your credit score. You can check your credit rating using MiDataCredito. The first month is free.
Ways to Build Your Credit Score
- Enroll services, such as phone, under your name and pay them on time. This will help build credit over time.
- Open a debit card account in a local bank and regularly deposit money in that account. The key is your account should reflect income entering your account from known entities monthly. It doesn’t matter if the money comes from your business or the company where you work as long as the money comes in regularly.
- Apply for a credit card from a Colombian bank. According to fellow expats, Bancolombia is the most accessible. You can request and choose a Bancolombian credit card here. Another recommended bank is Banco Falabella.
- Enroll for store cards. Typically, you just need a passport and/or your ID to apply for these.
A lot of people do not see a reason to build credit in Colombia due to the high interest rates that banks offer. However, do note that higher credit rating can also mean lower interest rates, depending on the bank. Some who do not want to go through the hassle of building credit advise taking a loan from your home country and paying whatever you need in Colombia in cash.
Why do you want to build your credit score in Colombia? Tell us in the comments!