Will my Canadian credit history transfer to the USA?
Unfortunately, your Canadian credit history cannot follow you to the United States. While credit reporting companies like Experian have operations in multiple countries, the information they maintain in the individual nations cannot be transferred across national boundaries for several reasons.
The first is simply a matter of law. Laws governing credit reporting differ from nation to nation. In some instances the laws prohibit the transfer of information across borders or have restrictions on such transfers that effectively prohibit them.
Another complication related to the law is that if the information is transferred, the companies reporting information would have to comply with the laws governing credit reports in the nation to which you moved. A Canadian company could find it very difficult, if not impossible, to meet the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements governing the reporting of credit history information, for example.
The second issue is that credit reporting itself is often very different from one nation to another. For example, information included in credit reports in one country may not be included in the one to which you move. In some nations, credit reports may be linked to more than one person. For instance, the credit histories of everyone who shares a common household address may be tied together, whereas in the U.S., each individual has their own unique credit report.
Third, technologies used in credit reporting may differ from one country to another. The software and systems used to collect and maintain credit history information may simply not be compatible, and so impede the ability to transfer credit history information.
For these reasons, credit histories do not follow you when you move to the U.S. from Canada or other countries.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team