You may wonder how to obtain a credit report without having a credit file already established in your name. In most cases, you will have a credit report but it may be blank for the most part.
If you have recently reached legal age you may be required to send some information to the credit bureaus to establish a credit file.
What Information Might Be Required to Establish Your Credit File?
You may be asked to submit information to begin your credit file if you have never used credit or made payments before in your name. Information requested might include:
Your Social Security number
Your home address
Your employer’s name and address
Bank account information
What Will Your Credit Report Contain If You Have No Credit?
You may get a free report on your credit and find your employer listed and perhaps your bank accounts listed. Often that information alone will lead to a credit file being created in your name.
In addition, there might be a list of “checks” conducted by various businesses. If you have filled out a credit card application that was denied, that information will be in your file.
If you have applied for car insurance or life insurance, those companies check your credit rating when they issue a policy and recheck the rating on a regular basis.
You may find that your landlord ran a credit check or your employer might have run a credit check before you were hired. Today almost anything you do or apply for may result in a request being issued for your credit rating.
If you have used one of the prepaid debit cards that are currently popular as a payment instrument, you may expect to find a payment record on your credit rating. You will be disappointed as prepaid debit cards do not report to credit rating agencies.
3 Digit Credit Score
Most credit applications are approved or denied based on a 3 digit credit score. This score is a reflection of your personal level of financial responsibility and financial risk.
If you have no credit established, you may have no three digit credit score or the score may be low. This can prevent you from buying a car, getting a credit card or even from leasing an apartment in some areas of the country. Without a credit rating you may pay more for insurance.
How To Correct a Credit Report
You don’t need a credit rating to open a bank account but a well managed bank account reflects well on your creditworthiness. Establish checking and savings accounts and use them wisely. Bounced checks will add a negative to your credit rating.
A steady job and good employment history will be a plus when you begin to establish your credit. It is considered a sign of reliability to the credit bureaus.
Having some utility bills in your name won’t establish credit but can provide the appearance of stability and responsibility. The same is true for having a residence in your name.
If you are a roommate in a lease and your name is not on the lease that will not help you with the credit bureaus. Instead, have your name added to the lease so you gain the appearance of a stable residence rather than a transient one.
Make every effort to give yourself the appearance of being a stable person who is responsible and dependable. In today’s credit environment you may need to begin establishing your credit file by applying for a secured credit card.
This card carries a limit that depends on the amount of money you place into a savings account when you are approved for that secured card. If you choose carefully, you will have your first credit card that reports monthly to the credit agencies.
After a few months of good payment record you may qualify for a department store card, a gas company card or a low limit standard credit card issued by your own bank.
If you can get a free credit report when you have no established credit, get started now to ensure the next free credit report will show you are establishing good credit in your name. I also recommend you to read our guide on debt elimination even if you don’t have any debt at the moment!