Moving to the USA: housing, credit history (Get Accepted to Your Dream University Part #14)

Moving to the USA: housing, credit history (Get Accepted to Your Dream University Part #14)

– Hello my dear friends,
welcome to my channel. It’s a hot day in San Francisco, so I’ll be drinking my lemonade and I’m gonna be telling you about settling in the United States. I’m gonna be telling my story and I hope it’s gonna help
you in the nearest future when you come here to study
or do whatever you want, ’cause there are some
things that I didn’t know before I arrived here. So if you’re interested,
continue watching. (energetic music) Okay, the first thing
that I’m gonna talk about is actually one of the
most important ones, it’s your accommodation,
where are you staying? If you’ve been accepted to a university, they should have sent you an email with accommodations options that you have. Sometimes they will have
student residences on campus, and if it’s a rural campus,
if it’s not in the city, that will be probably the best option. But one thing that I always
recommend is actually comparing prices, ’cause
what I’ve noticed is that student residences are
always a little more expensive and sometimes twice as expensive as renting a room on your own. But they are a lot more convenient ’cause they are on campus,
you’re with other students, sometimes they have a
canteen on the first floor, they have a gym, they
have a swimming pool, so you have everything walking distance and you don’t need to travel,
drive a car, or whatever. But sometimes if you’re in a tough budget, the difference in price can
make a lot of difference to your budget. Just to give you some comparison, sometimes a room on
student campus costs like $1,000 a month, and if
you just rent a bedroom in an apartment which is like
20 minutes away from campus you can get it for like $250 or $500. But there are different things to consider when deciding where to live. First is, of course, your budget. Second is your safety, ’cause
don’t try to rent a room on Craigslist, and
Craigslist is this platform where you can find anything in the U.S., starting from rooms to rent to cars, to makeup, like whatever,
and everything is there. But there is also a lot of scam. We had this story when we
were back at 500 Startups, when we just arrived, everyone
was looking for an apartment ’cause our batch was
like 50% international, and there were people
who arrived from London and they were looking for an apartment. They found this ad on
Craigslist which said it was a really good price,
it was like $1,600 per month for a one bedroom
apartment in Silicon Valley in Mountain View, which is
like a ridiculously low price ’cause normally you pay
like $2,000, $2,500. They were like oh, we want
to get this apartment. What do we need to do,
can we come and see it? And the guy was like oh no, you need to pay the deposit first ’cause there are so many people
who actually want to get it, and you need to Venmo it to me, and Venmo is an app that
everybody uses in the U.S. to send each other money, which
has basically no security. You send it and then, you
know, the person disappears and it’s very hard to
claim your money back. And they were like,
that sounds suspicious, and they started checking
that person on Facebook and they realized the
profile was completely new, so that was a 100% scam. So never rent something before you see it. Also, there are so many stories when people come to see the apartment, and it looks completely different
than what’s in the photos ’cause you know you can
do a lot of Photoshop, you can do a lot of extra lighting, you can do a lot of
different stuff on Photoshop to make an apartment look a lot better. Sometimes you come to an apartment, and this is another problem
with American apartments, a lot of them the older ones have carpets and sometimes carpets smell like crazy, and you just feel the smell,
especially in the cities that are close to the ocean
like San Francisco, Miami, this is a huge problem so be careful. My best advice is to rent
something like a hotel or maybe a short-term student residence for the first two or three weeks, and then once you’re there you do all of the orientation stuff, you meet other people, you ask around, and then you rent an apartment. It’s been like this in our
case, we rented a hotel. It was really expensive to rent a hotel for like two or three weeks. But what we did, we realized
where our office was and we just walked
around, we just went into every single building
that had a for lease sign, and you would always see them. In the U.S., if somebody
is renting something like a building, they would have a sign. And we just walked into
every single building, asked them if they had any apartments, if they had, we asked them whether they would rent them to us, ’cause problem number two, you don’t have credit history in the U.S. and a lot of the apartment complexes want to check your credit history before renting something out to you. Especially if you are
renting from a private person through an agent, they would
do rigorous background checkup. Why? Because in some states there are laws that prevent you from being
kicked out of your apartment if you stop paying. So if you stop paying in
the state of California, they might want to sue you,
they can use collectors, but they cannot call the police and ask them to drag
you out of the apartment because you are not paying, ’cause this is your primary
residences, blah blah blah. So there are some laws, and this is why a lot of people are really, really careful about renting apartments to other people and they do these background checks. But some apartment complexes, especially that are close to universities, especially where the
prices are a little higher, they would be okay with
maybe like a bank statement from your own country, or
maybe like a new bank statement from your new bank account in America and I’m gonna talk about that as well. They’re gonna be fine with that. So this is just another
difficulty to consider, this is something that you
would have to deal with. And again, it’s all about attitude. When I came to the U.S. I knew there were gonna be a lot of difficulties, ’cause I would need to get a work visa, I would need to get a green card, I would need to get all
of my documents sorted out because I didn’t have anything. But my attitude to that was like, I want to go through this process, I want to try and do things, I’m excited, I like that I’m doing stuff in English. So it’s all about attitude, and yes, you’re gonna deal with a
lot of papers, so be ready. Some websites to consider
when looking for an apartment. Well Craigslist, yes you can consider it but always check everything in person and double check, do the
background check on the guy who is placing an ad,
’cause he can be a scammer. My favorite app is HotPads. It gives you a map of what’s around, and you can click on things
and see how much they are and what it actually is. And I think a lot of those are verified so there are not that
many scammers on HotPads. is a huge website where you can find all of the rentals. So these are three primary
resources I would use. And as I mentioned, just
walking down the street and looking for the lease
signs is a good alternative. And of course, ask your university what are the accommodation
options they are working with. Bank accounts. Now, you need to start
building your credit history, and none of the banks will
give you a credit card just a week after you arrive. You can start a debit card, and what I did when I first came in, I made a debit card in
the Bank of America, then I got my SSN, Social Security number, and I was able to apply
for a secured credit card. Sometimes you’re even able
to get it without an SSN. What is a secured credit card? You pay $300 to a bank and
you get a $300 credit limit, and then they would just
raise your credit limit. But the thing is, you start
building your credit history and credit history is linked to your SSN, so there is actually no point
in creating a credit card without your SSN. Once you get it, start
building your credit history because who knows? If you’re gonna spend
four years in America, it’s gonna matter a lot. If you’re gonna work later
and decide to get a house. Even for getting some
plans for your mobile phone you would sometimes need an
SSN and a credit history. So this is extremely important in the U.S. My credit history is still in progress, but I was able to get my car financed. And basically what you would
end up doing in the U.S. is taking loans for everything, just because having loans
and paying them on time improves your credit history. If you’re getting a car,
even if you have money, later on I would recommend to finance it, meaning that you would
take a loan from a bank and finance your car. The next thing, actually getting a car, and if you are coming
to study in a big city like New York or San
Francisco, you should probably be fine without a car. If you’re going to a huge city like L.A., L.A. is impossible without a car. At first you would be like oh,
I will be fine with a bike, and I used to bike a lot in Mountain View. I used to bike the first four weeks, and then I realized I cannot
actually go grocery shopping ’cause I don’t want to go
grocery shopping every day, I want to do it once a week
but I cannot carry everything just on my back and bike. You would want to do some weekend getaways with your friends, you would
want to travel somewhere. I know it’s a pricey option to get a car, but it’s even pricier to Uber all the time ’cause Uber will cost like $10, $20. So there is no good public transport, which is true for L.A. and
true for a lot of big cities in the U.S., unfortunately,
and smaller cities as well. It’s not like Europe or
like I remember U.K., London, you can get anywhere
with public transport. In the U.S. the situation is different, and I find that a lot of students end up getting a car for themselves just because it gives more freedom. We got our first car from Craigslist. It was a retired police Interceptor, something you might want to consider ’cause they’re really cheap,
and they’re really good cars ’cause they are made for police, police doesn’t normally
use them for too long. Ours was like a seven-year-old car, it was 2008, we got it in 2015, so it was a seven-year-old
car, and we paid $2,700 for it. It was in amazing condition,
it had air conditioning, it had very nice, soft seats. I drove it and it was
comfortable and nice, and for $2,700 I think
it’s value for money. But if you’re not a fan
of weird looking cars, ’cause it actually looks like
a police car, black and white, you can always look for
other cheaper options. They wouldn’t be as cheap. Maybe you can find a car
for like $4,000, $4,500. Again Craigslist, eBay is a good resource, but if you’re getting something
off Craigslist or eBay I would have a friend
who is an expert in cars so he can check stuff for you, ’cause again there are some scammers. We were once buying a car, so we were looking for a second car, and we found an ad on
Craigslist in Sacramento, we went there and they were like oh, the car is in perfect
condition, yeah, we love it, it was a Mercedes E-class
for, it was $4,000 and we were like why are
you selling it so cheap? They were like oh, we
don’t need it anymore, we just want to sell it faster. And then they started the engine and smoke just starts coming
from the front of the car, and we’re like, oh. And those two guys were
talking to each other, and they were like oh my God, I hoped that it wouldn’t do it once again. So basically they already had this problem where the smoke just comes out of the car, and they just wanted to sell it to us and they were hoping that we wouldn’t be that careful testing or whatever. So they were hoping that
we wouldn’t notice that, or I don’t know what their hopes were, but they were so confused and of course we didn’t get that car. But having a friend who
would help you choose a car is a good thing to do. The next expensive thing
about your U.S. education is your health insurance, and it really depends on where you study. I’ve seen plans starting from $40 a month up to $550 a month, but if
they come from your university they should be on the cheaper side. I’m paying for my insurance
myself, my company pays for it but because I own the
company it’s me paying, so my insurance costs $600 a month which is a huge amount of money, but also U.S. health care is crazy. So something you could
do, like a life hack, for example in my country
traveler’s insurance is like $100 a month
and it covers accidents. So I would just get that insurance for the first year if you
really want to save money, if your university only
offers $500 a month plans. So the travel insurance would
help you cover accidents, but if you would need
just to visit a doctor for some non-urgent stuff
it wouldn’t cover that. So if I were you, I would do my research. I would reach out to the university, I would do the research
in your own country regarding the travel insurance. But yeah, it costs a lot,
and try to stay healthy in the U.S. if you don’t have insurance, ’cause it costs thousands of
dollars if something happens. And I know it’s crazy,
and I know it’s unfair, but this is something that
this country still has to fix. And last but not least, just some advice on where to shop. If you are a fan of getting
a lot of stuff in bulk, Costco is a very effective place, especially if you live with roommates. If there are five of
you and you need water, rice, or whatever, you
can just go to Costco. Everything is huge and it’s a lot cheaper than just going to a local grocery store. If you don’t like buying in bulk, ’cause you end up getting
a lot of stuff in Costco and you need membership
which is like $60 a year; you can go to Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s is one of the shops that provides quality
food but for lower prices. It used to be one of my favorite shops. I no longer have it in
the place where I live, we have an extremely
expensive shop near my house, but Trader Joe’s saved my
life when we just moved here. If you want to buy cheaper clothes, I would recommend going to
Marshall’s, Ross, or T.J. Maxx. They’re a lot of last year’s collections, and sometimes you can
get really good deals, especially if you’re getting
good brands like Nikes, you can get them with 90% off. These shops are also
good for home decoration, buying plates and stuff. There’s always Ikea,
but with Ikea be careful with the smelly furniture. I just got a dresser that I’m returning ’cause it smells so badly. Again, furniture, what
happens in the U.S. sometimes, you just walk and you see furniture standing on the street for free, beware of the bugs, bedbugs, ’cause it’s another
problem here in the U.S. San Francisco, there are
so many places with bedbugs and I wouldn’t advise
just taking mattresses from the street or sofas, ’cause then you’re gonna infect your place and they’re really hard to get rid of. But tables, chairs, especially
if you disinfect them after getting them from the
street, might be a good option. Garage sales, look for them. Like you can Google garage sales plus the place where you’re living, and you just walk into
a house and basically when people move they sell everything. There’s a price tag on everything starting with the table and
then a bag and then a mic, you can get anything
and it’s really cheap. I got all of my kitchen utensils, small tables, chairs,
on those garage sales. We just went around and
I kept buying things and it saved me a lot of money. The only thing that I
recommend getting new, pillows, mattresses, and blankets, ’cause bedbugs, again, is a problem. My favorite resource
to buy stuff right now is, everything is delivered within a day or two days
straight into your place, especially if you don’t have time to go shopping, and I don’t have time, I just order everything,
everything comes in. There is a membership fee, but
then you get free delivery, you get access to millions
of products online. That was it from me, guys. If you’re already in the U.S. and you have a life hack for newcomers, please share it down in comments below. Like maybe your favorite shop, your favorite place to
get furniture or whatever. I’m getting new furniture, so any advice is highly appreciated. Thank you so much for watching this video, I hope it was useful for you, I hope you are coming to the U.S. soon. And if you have not yet subscribed,
subscribe to my channel. My Instagram is linguamarina,
I share daily stories and posts from Silicon
Valley, San Francisco. And if you enjoyed this
content, likes, likes, likes, click the like button, and
I will see you soon, bye.

100 thoughts on “Moving to the USA: housing, credit history (Get Accepted to Your Dream University Part #14)

  1. Your so cool ,I live in the USA on the east coast . I bought m. Furniture from furniture-land south in North Carolina.they make most furniture there and deliver I saved over 50% buying high end furniture..anyway just thought I,d share. I love your Chanel and your country 😎🤪

  2. Your channel is best ever I seen.I want to Know how to go America for job.And how to get H1B visa.

  3. You can speak english very weel, but you have no russian accentt? why? for now, i find my accent not good or beautiful! 🙁

  4. Marina, you are awesome! It is great that you brought up the health insurance topic. I am a a health insurance expert in California. Would love to collaborate with you.

  5. U r awesome!how can u think of such smart different topics every day and elaborate on them??!!!wow!😊

  6. Big cities such as boston new york san francisco chicago etc studio apartments are super expensive over 25000 dollars per year including living costs

  7. Coming to usa in february silicon valley for 1 week as part of my mba elective course for entrepreneurship. Hope to meet you there

  8. Hello teacher how are you? Hello teacher excellent video in English, thanks for sharing this video you have very nice voice congratulations

  9. what's the meaning of dummy? I cannot find a good explanation from the dictionary to fit the 'dummy' in the title.

  10. I want to be software engineer in USA. i'm a foreign English student. the best way is study English a lot and pass in the TOEFL test than join in a software engineer/computer science community college and get my opt and try to get hired by some company?

  11. 🔥🔥🔥
    Are there people who want to improve their SPEAKING english? Let is do it together 😉👍🏻

  12. I would recommend Burlington clothing store as a best shop for buying boots/ new models of sneakers

  13. Happy to see u pretty gal💐….. When ever I feel like asking you something….. There comes your video…. LOVE you sooo much Dr Marina!❤…. From SHRUTHI

  14. Marina, it would be great if you could make some videos about references people make in their conversation that you won't understand even if you know English very well cause you need cultural context. For example, phrases from movies like 'show me the money'. Would be also great to see 20 movies you need to watch that every American watched!

  15. Actually I had no idea what I've to do because I'm the only one kid in my family so sometime I think I can't leave my family alone here in Indonesia but I have plan for next couple of years after I graduated from my college probably I want to work for a while in my country and after that I go to America and looking for some experiences like a jobs, vacation, etc

  16. Marina, first of all thank you very much for your useful videos. Which test is preferred for an MBA program- GRE or GMAT?

  17. What a perfect video. You completely covered everything for a starter. I hope this would be a little bit earlier so it would help me to figure out all the stuff covered here. Altough I am in US for a while and I highly recommend to follow her advice.

  18. Привет) Спасибо большое за твои влоги, мне они очень помогают в изучении английского
    Вы с Веней делали не одно видео про времена и у меня вопрос. Что если попробовать обьяснить именно русским зрителям времена на примере одного предложения? То есть написать его во всех 12 временах с подробным переводом на русский, если это возможно. Мне кажется такая аналогия очень поможет разобраться и больше никогда не путаться какое время когда использовать) буду благодарна за ответ, ты лучшая 🙂

  19. Marina, you are wonderful!! thanks for this English videos . I would like to watch your russian channel but I cannot understand nothing , greetings from Nicaragua

  20. Actually mam I hope u read it actually I am an intermediate second year student.actually, I want to prepare for my IELTS to move to Australia but I just didn't have confidence in me to attend it because I am lack in my speaking writing everything and I didn't have any experience in communication with unknown people so I think u understood my problem I need a video on it or just send me a reply mam plss

  21. Hey everyone!
    I guess, the best way to improve English is to practice and have conversation with someone. Isn't it?
    Talk to me @skype. My skype id is shubhamptw. Hope to see you there.

  22. Hi, I liked that you’re sharing useful tips in some way. However; I thing you generalized some of the US facts. I’m from New Jersey and I’ve lived the New York life and for me, this city actually gives you the opportunity to get to everywhere by using the public transportation or by bicycle (they have their own space on the roads). Maybe, NY doesn’t have grocery stores at every corner but I’m still thinking that get a car in NY would be useless. On the other hand, the health insurance is needed but not all of them are extremely expensive. There are some that costs around $50 a month and still give you the necessary benefits.
    There are a couple of things I personally disagree from this video, even though I fully respect your opinion and everyone’s else, and that’s why we should listen to several opinions before judging.

  23. Hello Maam …Thank u so much..your thinking power is very good ….Your sessions always help in my study …love from India

  24. Я не знаю английский ну тебя очень хочу понимать на нем,ты очень мотивируешь спасибо тебе учу медленно

  25. Good evening, Marina, your lessons are awesome and superb, but, can you write what a song do you use at origin of video?) TVM

  26. Marina I’m new to your channel and let me tell you that your videos are amazing thanks for your help I’m a Spanish speaker learning English and for me is easy to understand everything in your videos because your accent is so cool and easy to understand greetings from Texas.

  27. Hey mam can pls tell at 2:40 you use word ridiculous , what does that 🅷🅴🆈 🅼🅰🅼 🅲🅰🅽 🅿🅻🆂 🆃🅴🅻🅻 🅰🆃 2:40 🆈🅾🆄 🆄🆂🅴 🆆🅾🆁🅳 🆁🅸🅳🅸🅲🆄🅻🅾🆄🆂 , 🆆🅷🅰🆃 🅳🅾🅴🆂 🆃🅷🅰🆃 🅼🅴🅰🅽

  28. Thank you so much Marina you're amazing …thanks a lot for your help…i want to ask about something …I'm from Algeria ..i'm first year student of electronics and electrical engineering ..i study in english …our institute is the only one in algeria that teaches in english because all other institutes and universities teaches in french…do you think that i can be accepted because i have this advantage plus my academic work and projects in my first year …tofel and other diplomas…do you think i have a chance ?? because sometimes i back off and say i will never be accepted ..

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