What Does Your Credit Score Start At?

If you’re just starting to build your credit, you might be wondering what does your credit score start at? We will answer this question in much detail below. Building a good credit score is essential in the United States for anyone who plans on opening a credit card, buying a car, and ultimately by a home. So, what the starting credit score for Americans?

What Does Your Credit Score Start At?

If you have never applied for any form of credit, you have no starting credit score as your credit history simply does not exist yet. So, if you were to check your credit score before ever obtaining any form of credit, your score would simply show as unavailable. After you obtain your first credit card or auto loan, you will start to build your credit history, at which point you will have a credit score because the credit reporting bureaus will have information on which to calculate a credit score for you. So, if you hear someone saying that your credit score starts at 0 or 300, you should know that simply isn’t true because you start off with no credit score.

Once you obtain a credit card, auto loan, or home loan, you will begin building credit history. Your score will either improve or go down depending on whether you make payments on your accounts on time.

If it’s your first time applying for a credit card and you’ve never had any form of credit, your application may be denied because you have no credit history. That said, banks do offer secure credit cards. A secured card is a great tool for a person with no credit history to build his or her credit.

Regardless of where your credit score starts at, banks are willing to allow you to open a secured card, where you set the credit limit for the card by paying a security deposit on the card. The security deposit determines the credit limit of the card. For example, if you want a $1,000 credit limit, you can pay the bank a $1,000 security deposit and the bank will then issue you a credit card with a $1,000 credit limit.

Usually, if you use your card responsibly and make timely payments on the card, the bank will refund your security deposit and convert your account into an unsecured credit card. This usually takes place after one year of having the secured card and making timely payments on the card.

What is Your Starting Credit Score?

We often get asked whether a person’s credit score starts at 850 and then goes down, or whether a credit score starts extremely low, such as a 300 score and then goes up. The reality is that a person who has never applied for a credit card, has no starting credit score. So, if a person were to apply for a credit card, the lender would see no credit score and he would get a note that the credit score is unavailable. After making or not making payments for the first three to six months on your account, the credit reporting bureaus will be able to establish a credit score for you to enable lenders to evaluate whether to lend you money.

How to Build Your Credit?

Now that you know that your credit score starts with nothing showing in your credit file, how can you build your credit? We will explain a few things that someone starting off can do to build their credit. Here are some of the things you can do to start building good credit:

  • Open a Credit Card. If you are just starting to build your credit, the best thing you can do to improve your credit score is to open an unsecured credit card. Even though the bank you apply with may start you off at a low credit limit, you can build your credit by spending on the credit card and paying the card off in full. Try to spend as much as you can afford to pay off. This shows lenders that you’re a responsible borrower, only spending what you can afford to pay off. That said, if you’re not approved for an unsecured credit card, you should apply for a secured credit card. You would use the secured credit card just as you would used an unsecured credit card, the only difference is that you are required to deposit collateral with the bank issuing the credit card. For example, if you want a secured card with a $500 spending limit, you would need to deposit $500 with the bank and you would then be able to borrow up to $500 using your credit card.
  • Join as An Authorized User. If you know someone who has an account that’s in good standing and has good payment history, you can build your credit and improve your credit score by becoming an authorized user on that account. Once you become an authorized user, the account usually shows up on your credit report, and if the account has an excellent history of on-time payments, your credit score will improve as a result. However, if the primary account holder misses payments on account where you are an authorized user, your credit score may take a hit. That said, if the primary account holder does not pay the card on time, you’re not responsible for repaying the credit card.
  • Make Timely Loan Payments. If you have an auto loan, student loan, or home loan, one way you can improve your credit score is to make timely payments on such loans. Of course, if you’re just starting off with building your credit, taking out an auto loan is an easy way to build your credit and improve your credit score. If you’re applying for an auto loan for the first time, obtaining an auto loan on your own may be difficult, however, if you can find a cosigner with good credit, you may be able to get a loan. Making timely payments on your auto loan will significantly improve your credit score, especially if you’ve just started building your credit. Also, if you’re a student and you’ve taken out a student loan, making timely payments on your student loan will improve your credit score since payments on student loans are reported to the credit reporting agencies.
  • Monitor Your Credit. Monitoring your credit and addressing any negative items that are reported to the credit reporting agencies is important to improve your credit score. For example, if you have an unpaid medical bill that has been sent to a collections agency and is showing as a collections account on your credit report, you should contact the collections agency and settle the debt. Before settling the debt, you should negotiate with the collections agency to have the collections account removed from your credit report.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What does your credit score start at when you turn 18?

A person who has just turned 18 probably has no credit cards and no loans. A person who has never applied for any form of credit will not have a credit score. This means that if you were to check your credit score, you would have no credit score because there is no information in your credit file for the credit reporting agencies to calculate a credit score for you. Your credit score will simply be unavailable.

2) what is your credit score if you have no credit?

If you have no credit, you credit score will be unavailable.

3) How long does it take to get a 700 credit score?

If you’re starting off with building credit, you can get a 700 credit score by applying for and getting a credit card. Once you have the car, spend responsibly and make timely payments on your credit card. Within a few months of making timely payments on your credit card, you should see a credit score of at least 700. The same reasoning applies if you finance a car and make timely payments on your auto loan, you will quickly see a credit score of at least 700.

4) What is a good credit score?

According to the credit reporting agencies, a good credit score ranges from 670 to 739.

5) What is your credit score if you have no credit?

If you have no credit score, you will not have a credit score. So, if you were to check your credit score, your score will be “unavailable” because the credit reporting agencies will not have any information upon which to calculate a credit score for you.

What Does a Credit Score Start At?

If you’re applying for a credit card, auto loan, or home loan, and you have never applied for a credit or loan account before, you would not have a starting credit score because the credit reporting agencies have no information on which to calculate a credit score for you, so your credit score would simply be unavailable. However, once you open a credit card or loan and make timely or untimely payments on such an account, the credit reporting bureaus will have information on which to calculate a credit score for you. So, if you were wondering what credit score do you start at, now you know that you start off with no credit score. If you have any general questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.