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What does no credit score mean?

February 11, 2019

When you hear the term "no credit score," you might think it's the same as a score of zero. But the actual definition is not so straightforward. So what does no credit score mean?

If you don't have a credit score, credit bureaus don't have enough information about you to indicate whether or not you'd be a responsible borrower; there's no history to base any judgments upon. Having no credit score is more common than you might think. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reported that one in ten adults do not have credit history, or are "credit invisible."

Reasons behind this could be: 1) you've never been listed on a credit account; 2) you were newly added to an account; or 3) you haven't used credit in at least six months.

The problem is that if you don't have a credit score and report, in most cases you can't apply for loans, credit cards, an apartment or a car, among other things. Fortunately, there are ways for a person with no credit to get into the game and bulk up his or her credit report.

Some simple ways to do this are:

  • Get a credit-builder loan. The amount you borrow is held in a bank account while you make payments.
  • Apply for a secured credit card. If approved, you have to pay a deposit.
  • Pay bills on time and have those payments reported to the three major credit bureaus.
  • Make small purchases on credit that you can easily pay back.
  • Keep balances on cards and/or lines of credit low (30 percent or less of available credit).
  • Mix the types of accounts you open.
  • Space out your loan or credit card applications by at least six months.

For more information on this subject, visit:
No Credit Score Doesn't Mean a Zero Credit Score
6 ways to deal with no credit history
1 in 10 Adults Lacks Credit History, CFPB Says