A credit history is very much necessary in order to go about daily life in the United States of America. But there are many instances in which one might not have a credit score or a credit history. It can be because the said person has just emigrated from a foreign country or it can also be due to the fact that the person was not in the country for a long period of time and hence has not been able to build on his or her credit history. In any case, a lack of a credit history can give rise to multiple problems when one wants to establish ones financial footprint in the country.
The main problems that one can face would be being denied a credit account itself. You will also be denied loans, grants and financial assistance of any sort. You cannot even get a mobile phone connection if you do not have a credit history. You will end up shelling out a huge amount as an initial deposit if you do not have a credit history.
The first thing to do when you do not have a credit history is to start opening bank accounts. Every bank would be willing to give you an account if you are able to provide identification proof and are able to make an initial deposit. Start applying for the right kind of cards. Foreign nationals and international students must and should start applying for card which they are sure of getting. If you are rejected by a certain bank, you will end up being rejected by more. The faster you get an approval the better for your case. And terms and conditions will also be far better if you can get an approval on the first try itself.
You can make a sacrifice and opt for higher rates of interest while applying for credit cards. There are a lot of banks that will offer cards with a very high rate of interest. Such cards can be used for general day to day transactions rather than as a means to borrow money. They are more of a convenience than a necessity in the beginning. You can also start building your credit history by making purchases and paying back on them as and when you get the bills at the end of the month.