Post # 1
I have never built credit as far as I am concerned. I have never owned a credit card, I have never borrowed money from a bank. Does this mean that I have no credit history?
I usually do not apply to store credit cards when they are offered because I have never tried building credit so I figure that with no credit history I am bound to get denied but when paying for my dress I thought, “hey, why not. Then I don’t have to pay it off all at once.” I got denied, which I expected, but then today I got a letter in the mail from the lending company, explaining why I did not get accepted. There was some mumbo jumbo that I did not understand (finances = no my area of expertise) and then my credit score why was alarmingly low.
I had always assumed that I did not really have one since I have never borrowed money from anyone… EVER. If so, should I even have a credit score let alone a bad one? If I should, is it low because I have made no effort to build it or should I be worried that someone has taken out a credit card in my name and never paid it off??
Post # 3
You can check your credit report once a year for free. Have you tried doing that? That should tell you what’s up. Have you have a lease and utilities in your name? The utility companies report to the credit bureaus.
You should look into getting a student credit card or some other credit card that is easy to get. If you want to purchase a home or car on a loan someday, it’ll take a couple of years to build up the kind of history the banks want to see. Good luck!
Post # 4
Things can still be sent to the credit agencies even if it is not a credit card. Like utilities, rent, medical bills, cell phone, etc. So if you haven’t built any strong credit history and have something like one of those listed, then yes your credit score can be low. Like the above poster stated each of the 3 credit agencies will allow one free credit report per year. This will show you what your score is and what negatively/positively is affecting your credit.
Post # 5
First, check your credit report and make sure nothing is fishy asap. freecreditreport.com or annualcreditreport.com are legit. Second, erase this thought from your mind: when paying for my dress I thought, “hey, why not. Then I don’t have to pay it off all at once.” Getting into credit card debt when you have no credit is probably not a good idea. There’s no reason to pay interest on anything buy charging it and not paying it off all at once. If you get a credit card, which you probably should to build credit, your credit will be just fine if you charge things, get the statement and pay it off in FULL. You build credit, you dont pay interest for no reason.
Post # 6
I tried getting a credit report from several websites now and thay all tell me that they cannot create a report for me because my file is too small, too thin, insufficient, etc. In other words, I do not have enough credit history for them to create a report for me 🙁
@pinkshoes: Well, yeah “to build credit” is the reason I wanted the card. Since I have the money for the dress already than I could just pay it off on the card and start building credit. I would never buy something with a credit card that I do not have the actual money in my bank account to pay for. That would be irresponsible.
Post # 7
@Thinkboxxx: Try creditkarma.com. It pulls from transunion, the leading credit reporting agency. You might want to google orchard bank secured credit card just to start revolving credit. At some point you will want to buy a car or house. But I disagree. Store cards that report to agencies are a small but good way to build credit. Also amazon uses GE which reports. Just never spend more than you are willing to pay back the SAME month, and you’ll be fine with credit.
Post # 8
Check into getting a secured credit card. You front the money and that becomes your line of credit. So if you put $500 on the card then you have a $500 LOC. Just make sure to do your research. Almost all will charge an annual fee, but the good ones will have a low fee and lower interest rates. These kinds of cards are good ways to build credit or to re-establish bad credit. If you belong to a credit union (if you don’t, look into one in your area), that would be a good place to start.
Can you put a utility bill in your name? That will help establish your credit. I take it you don’t have any student loans? That’s how a lot young adults initially establish their credit.
Annualcreditreport.com is the site you want to to be checking for your actual free credit report. You can get your reports from all three credit bureaus. I log in every four months and look at one of the reports, not all three at the same time. That way, I can keep track of my credit report throughout the year. Also, credit karma is a good site to be on. I find that the score report is only off a few points (at least for me).
Post # 9
Rather than having a card from the dress store, have you thought about opening a credit card with your bank? This is how I started when I was in college. My limit was pretty tiny, something like $200, but I would use it to buy gas and groceries then pay it online before interest hit. Over time, the bank will raise your credit limit, and you just continue to be responsible with it. I started my credit card something like 12years ago, and now my limit is ridiculous. My credit rating is the highest amongst my family members. FI’s rating might not be the greatest, so I’m glad to have mine when house buying time comes around.
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
@Thinkboxxx: Aw sweetie I had that problem too. I paid cash for my car, my parents helped me through college so I didn’t graduate with any loans, and I never had a credit card in college – I paid for everything with cash or debit. I paid every single bill on time, I paid a LOT of rent (living expenses were high in Seattle!), etc., but when I started working full-time after college, I couldn’t get a stupid credit card. I tried first applying for an airline card (a Visa card where you earn Southwest miles for every dollar you spend) and got declined. I then applied for a Target card and got declined. After that I applied for ~30 cards and got declined for all of them. Even for a gas station credit card, which you can only use to buy gas! It’s because I had no credit history, which it sounds like is your problem – if you never take out credit (a car loan, student loans, etc.), then you haven’t built up credit.
I finally got a credit card through the credit union (non-profit bank) associated with my company. IF I were you, I would try to get a credit card from your own bank or through a local credit union. Bring in a pay stub to show that you ARE making money, and hope for the best.
The best thing you can do for your financial future – if you want to buy a house one say, for example, you’ll need a high credit score – is to get a credit card now but use it for small things if you’re nervous. I use my credit card to buy gas and groceries, and pay it off before the bill is due, and I now have a super high credit score. PM me if you want any more tips for getting a credit card or for getting to where I finally am now! It sucks to be punished for not being a person to take out credit – but if you are smart you can get a high credit score pretty quickly if your problem is just not having a credit history.
ETA: Another good place to get a credit card to start building credit is the store where you do most of your shopping. I buy lots of my work clothes from Banana Republic, so I have a BR credit card, which is helping me build up credit. Don’t take out too many store credit cards – it becomes too complicated to keep up with, if you ask me – but if there is one store where you regularly (as in, at least several times a year) go shopping, you might want to apply for one of their credit cards.
Post # 11
credit karma is one of the places I tried.
I guess that my question really is, if I have never taken out credit, should I even have a low credit score. Should I not just have a non-existent credit score. IDK how these things work, lol.