If you've never had a credit card or loan, you may not have a credit score. Here's what you can do about it.
Your credit report contains information about your financial history including your personal details, credit accounts you've applied for, current credit limits in use or any accounts you've defaulted on. If you've never had a credit card, loan or other line of credit, you may not have a credit report or score. Most lenders and credit card issuers require cardholders to have a credit history, so it's important to build up a bit of history before you apply for any products.
If you're unsure where your financial history stands, you can order a free copy of your credit report and score through Finder to get started.
In this guide you will also find more information as to why you have a blank credit report and what you can do to build your credit history.
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Reasons why you don't have a credit report
As well as never having a credit card or loan, here are some of the common factors that could lead to a blank credit report:
You haven't held a utility account
Utility accounts include phone (landline), gas, electricity and internet. These are considered credit accounts and are recorded on your credit file along with your repayment history. If you default on the account it will also be listed on your credit file. Paying your utility bills on time is an easy way to build up a healthy credit history.
You have never held a postpaid mobile phone account
Prepaid mobile accounts aren't listed on your credit report. Postpaid mobile accounts are ongoing contracts and are considered credit accounts so these will be listed on your report. If you're on a prepaid plan it could be worth considering switching to postpaid to establish credit history.
You haven't made a credit enquiry
Applications for credit (such as a credit card or loan), whether or not they're approved, are listed on your credit file. The lender will need to check your report to ensure the information on your application is accurate, and when the application is approved the account will be listed on your file.
I have credit accounts but still no credit report. What should I do?
If you have held credit cards, personal loans, utility accounts or even a mortgage and still do not have a credit report, it may mean that the credit provider you held those accounts with has not reported your accounts to a credit bureau. If you would like your credit activity reported to a credit bureau, just contact your credit provider and have them report the information to one of the credit reporting bureaus such as Experian or Equifax. If you check your score through finder, your report will be issued by Experian.
How can I develop a credit history?
There's no single surefire way of developing your credit history, but there are a few simple methods you can consider. Remember to examine your own personal financial situation before choosing the path for you:
- Switch to a postpaid mobile phone. If you're on a prepaid mobile plan, it's worth comparing your phone plan options and considering switching to a postpaid contract. You may be able to take advantage of more competitive prices for a new handset.
- Put a utility account in your name. If you live with someone who has all of the household utility accounts in their name, see if you can transfer one of them into your name.
- Get a low-cost credit card. There are a number of low-interest credit cards you can consider to build up your credit history, there are also no annual fee credit cards you can opt for. Just ensure you pay back your balance in full each month.
- Apply for a personal overdraft. If you don't want a credit card, a personal overdraft could also be an option to consider. This is a line of credit that is attached to your bank account and allows you to overdraw your balance up to a certain limit.
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