What Does Your Credit Score Start at When You Turn 18?

If you have just turned 18, you may be excited to finance your first car or apply for a credit and so you’re wondering what does your credit score start at when you turn 18? If you have no debt, no credit cards, and no loans, what does your credit score start at when you turn 18? We will answer this question in much detail below.

What Does Your Credit Score Start at When You Turn 18?

When you turn 18, you do not have a credit score because there is no information in your credit report on which to base a credit score. That said, once you turn 18, you’re permitted to open credit cards and take out loans. Once you open a credit card or take out a loan and begin to make payments on them, the banks will report your account status to the three major credit reporting bureaus and you will then have a credit score. The bureaus will then give you a score that ranges from 300 to 850.

Within just a few months of making payments on your credit card or loan, you will have a credit score in the 700s range. So, don’t listen to the myths that your credit score starts at 0 or that your score will start at 300 because they simply aren’t true. Even those who have credit reports that are full of derogatory information will not make it to the 300s range, so rest assured that you’ll have a decent credit score within a few months of making timely payments on your loan or credit card.

When you’re first starting off at 18 years old, you have a clean credit file, so open a credit card and only spend what you can afford to pay off at the end of the month. This will assist you in building the best credit so that when the time comes to buy a card or make a big purchase, you’ll have a great credit score that will qualify you for the best terms. So, spend responsibly and keep your future in mind.

How to Build Your Credit at 18?

The best way to build up your credit when you turn 18 and you’re just starting off is to open a credit card that does not have an annual fee. Once you have a credit card, spend as much on the credit card as you can afford to pay off at the end of each month. This will establish a good payment history, which accounts for 35% of your credit score. Also, keep the account open for as long as possible because this will increase the average age of your accounts, which accounts for 10% of your credit score. Also, when you’re starting off, don’t apply for too many credit cards because each time you apply for a credit card or a loan, the creditor or lender places a hard inquiry on your credit report. A hard inquiry will continue to show up on your credit report for two years from the date it was added. A hard inquiry will cause a small drop in your credit score.

So, choose a card that you’re likely to get approved for and go from there. If you apply for an unsecured card and you’re denied, ask the bank you applied with to open a secured card. A secured card is just as good for your credit as an unsecured credit card.

The only difference is that you will have to pay a deposit and the amount of your deposit determines your credit limit. For example, if you deposit $500 with the bank, the bank will give you a credit card with a $500 limit. After approximately 12 months, the bank may return your deposit and convert your account into an unsecured credit card so long as you make timely monthly payments on the account.

To expedite building your credit, make small charges on your credit card and pay your credit card off at the end of your statement period. This should skyrocket your credit score. Do this consistently month over month and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your credit score even though you’re only 18 and you’re just starting to build your credit. This is so because you’re making use of your credit and you’re paying off in full, this shows lenders that you’re a responsible borrower, borrowing only as much as you can afford to pay off at the end of the month.

That said, we know that not every 18-year-old can pay off the entire amount he or she spends on his credit card, so here is an important piece of information. Using 30% or more of your available credit will lower your credit score. So, always try to keep the balances of your individual accounts below 30%. For example, if you have a $1000 credit limit, do not leave a balance of $300 or more because this means you’re utilizing 30% of your available credit, which can potentially lower your credit score.

While you’re building your credit, it’s a great idea to monitor your credit score. There are a variety of credit monitoring services out there that will allow you to monitor your credit report and credit score. For example, Credit Karma allows people to monitor their credit report and credit scores from Transunion and Equifax, two of the main credit reporting bureaus. So, if you’re looking for a free service, this is a reputable one that’s free for everyone. Monitoring your credit is important to remedy any inaccurate items that may be placed on your credit report. If you find inaccurate information on your credit report, you may be able to remove it by disputing it with the credit reporting bureaus.

Why Should You Build Your Credit Score When You Turn 18?

Building your credit as soon as you turn 18 is a great idea because having good credit and a good credit score is essential in the United States because it qualifies you for the lowest interest rates on credit cards, car loans, and home loans. Also, having good credit is essential for anyone who wants to rent a home or apartment as most landlords look at a renter’s credit history before leasing them an apartment or home, and employers may check your background, including your credit report before hiring you. Building good credit is something that takes time, so getting an early start at the age of 18 is a great thing that will make your life easier in the future. Remember when you turn 18 you do not have a credit score, so you must build it by opening accounts and repaying the debt on time.

Does Your Credit Start When You Turn 18?

We often get asked the question of whether a person gets a credit score as soon as he or she turns 18. The answer is that you could go your entire life without ever having a credit score. This is so because a credit file is created for you once you open a credit card or take out a loan. If you never apply for a credit card and you never borrow any money, you will not have a credit score. The only thing that turning 18 does for you is that it allows you to apply for and open a line of credit. So, if you were sitting around thinking that you’ll build credit by simply turning 18 years old, you’re mistaken. You need to open accounts and repay on time to build good credit.

Credit Score Planet Frequently Asked Questions

1) How can an 18-year-old build credit?

An 18 year old can build credit by opening either a secured or unsecured credit card, using that card responsibly, and paying off the money he or she has borrowed in time. We recommend you pay in full, but the most important part is to at least make the minimum payment on time, so that your account shows up as in good standing on your credit report.

2) What is an 18-year old’s starting credit score?

An 18-year-old has no starting credit score because there is no information in his or her credit file from which to calculate a credit score.

3) What is a good credit score for an 18 year old?

If you’re 18 and you’ve opened a credit card or have a loan, a good credit score is one in 700s range. Open a credit card as soon as your 18, make timely payments on your credit card, and you should have a score within the 700s range in a few months. That said, if you use your credit card and don’t pay on time, you could destroy your credit fairly quickly.

4) What is a good age to start building credit?

We believe that everyone should start building credit as soon as they turn 18. At 18, you can open credit cards and take out loans. So, use credit responsibly and build it as soon as you get a chance to do so because

5) Should an 18-year-old have a credit card?

Yes, every person who is 18 should have at least one no-annual fee credit card. It’s important to build your credit and there is no better way to do so then to start young. Just make sure that you don’t spend more than you can afford to pay off. Debt accumulates quick, and if you can’t pay on time, you will destroy your credit.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the credit score you start at when you turn 18 does not exist. You do not have a credit score at 18 because your credit report does not contain any information, and without information, the credit bureaus cannot calculate a credit score for you. You must actively build credit to have a credit score at 18 years old. We have detailed some of the steps that you can take as an 18-year-old to build a good credit score. If you have any general questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.