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The reasons why you might not have a credit score

If you don’t have a credit score, there could be a few reasons why. Let’s break down the possibilities.

22 August 2017Helen Tippell 2 min read
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Whether you want a phone contract, car finance, loan or credit card, a credit score is your way in. So, not having a score can feel frustrating – but it can also be a good opportunity to start building your credit score from scratch.

Your credit score is a number out of 1000 that – combined with your credit report – helps lenders understand how you manage money. It’s made up of things in your credit report, like the number and type of accounts you have, how much of your available credit you’ve used, your payment history and the length of your credit history.

There are a few reasons why you might not have a credit score.

You’ve not used any credit in a long time

Having different lines of credit, or having credit open for a long time, helps build your history and credit mix.

When you close a line of credit, it’ll stay on your report for about six years. If it’s been longer than that, and you don’t have any other credit accounts on your report, you might not see a credit score.

It’s a good idea to start building your score again – you could take out a credit builder card. Just remember – make sure you can afford the repayments so that your credit score improves over time.

You’ve never used credit

Because your score is made up of all the things in your credit report, if you’ve never used something like a credit card or loan, there won’t be any lending/borrowing for credit reference agencies to report on.

You could see if a small overdraft is available if you normally use cash or debit cards. Just make sure you understand how much interest is applied.

You’re under 21

If you’re just starting out, that’s OK.  You could look at a credit card or lender that specialises in credit building. And you can take smaller steps like joining the electoral register or putting your bills in your name.

You’re new to the UK

If you’ve recently moved to the UK, you might find that you either don’t have a credit score or it looks really different from what you had back home. Credit scores and reports aren’t transferred between countries because there are different credit reference agencies with their own scoring systems.

It’s a good idea to register to vote so your name and address are on the electoral register. You can also look at opening a bank account and start paying your bills by Direct Debit. These small steps can help you build your credit history.

There’s no specific number that means your credit score is good or bad because different credit reference agencies (like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) have different scoring systems.

But understanding the general difference between a good and bad score is the first step to seeing better offers.

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Written by Helen Tippell

Digital Copywriter

Helen's our resident Digital Copywriter. She makes personal finance easier to understand so you can be confident about your credit choices.