Mary Grace McCormick, Credit Writer
You have a credit score if you’ve owned and used a credit card or loan in the last six to 24 months, even as an authorized user on a credit card account. Most people get their first credit score within a few months of their first credit account being opened. A credit score is a three-digit number that represents your credit history at a glance.
To see if you have a credit score, sign up for a free WalletHub account. You’ll gain access to free credit scores and free credit reports, both updated daily, so you can see when your score is established and what goes into it.
If you do not have a credit score, you are not alone. Recent credit analysis has found that roughly 45 million adults in the U.S. don’t have a credit score. Of this group, around 26 million Americans are considered “credit invisible,” which means they do not have any records on file with the major credit bureaus. The other 19 million are known as “credit unscorable.” These individuals may have applied for or held credit in the past, but have either too few or too recent accounts, or have no recently reported activity. They may have credit scores, but only under certain credit scoring models.
It takes time to build a credit score, as the number is really an indication of your credit history. There are several options for people with no credit history to begin building credit, though. For example, you could be added as an authorized user on a trusted family member’s existing account, apply for a secured credit card, or set up a credit-builder loan.
When you open a credit card account or take out a loan, it should be added to your credit file within 30 to 60 days of the opening date. It is possible to receive a credit score at this point, but it can take at least six months of paying off a new credit card or loan to be assigned a score. Keep checking your credit report, and as more information comes in, eventually your credit score will be established.
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