Moving to a different country can be an expensive process, because finding a new home and transportation for yourself and your belongings, amongst many other things, can all add up. If you’ve just moved to the UK and need financial support, you might therefore be considering taking out a loan. And the good news is that unsecured personal loans are a great option as they allow you to borrow money without offering up your assets (such as property) as security.

But where do you start? To borrow money in the UK, you usually need a credit score, regardless of whether you’re a UK resident or have just arrived, because they are used by most lenders to help assess your ability to repay a loan.

Unfortunately, even if you had a credit score where you previously lived, it won’t travel with you. As such, you may have to start from scratch, even if you had an excellent credit score back home. You’ll need to build a credit score in the UK to prove to lenders that you can borrow and repay loans reliably.

Having a blank credit score, often referred to as a ‘thin credit file’, can often lead to a loan application being rejected because there’s not enough information to prove how well or badly you borrow money. Without this credit history, many lenders aren’t willing to take the risk and lend to you.

Lenders who do approve a loan on this basis are likely to charge extremely high interest rates or additional fees. This is particularly the case with unsecured personal loans for poor or thin credit, as there will be no collateral.