Zero scores returned from Experian CreditCenter

Credit scores are based on the information in your credit history at the moment the score is calculated. If you don't have a credit report, you won't have a credit score. Most credit scoring models need at least one or two active credit accounts to generate a credit score. They also typically require activity for the last three to six months.

Why didn’t I get back a credit score?

Here are a few common reasons for not getting a score back:

  • Credit freeze
  • Lack of reporting by the creditor.
  • Personal Identifiable Information (or PII) variances or inaccuracies within the enrollment or at the Bureaus.
  • You might have had a score at one point, but now there isn’t sufficient data on your credit report to generate a score. For example, after 10 years a closed account rolls off the credit file.
  • Split or mixed file – this is when a person has their credit file mixed with another person. This happens to spouses and sometimes family members with similar names like JRs and SRs.

What steps can I take to get a score?

The first step you will need to take is to begin establishing credit. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to build credit if you've never had experience with it before:

  • Apply for a secured credit card - Secured credit cards are perfect for when you're trying to build a payment history from the ground up. They work like other credit cards when you make a purchase, but you must make a cash deposit when you open the account to back up your usage. That deposit, which is typically the same amount as your credit limit, is what "secures" the card.
  • Get a cosigner on a credit card - You can also apply for a credit card with a cosigner who has a solid payment history. This is a good option for students who are just starting out and can get a card with their parents. However, the cosigner should know that if you do miss payments or carry a huge balance, their credit scores will also be affected.
  • Apply for a retail store card - The first credit cards for some people are often retail store cards, which can be easier to qualify for and typically offer lower credit limits. They can also qualify you for discounts on purchases at that retailer. If you don't have much history with credit, retail cards can be a possible option for establishing a credit history, but they can also include some pitfalls, like high interest rates and fees.
  • Get a credit-builder loan - Credit-builder loans are solely designed to help you improve your credit score, so they function differently than other loans. Instead of giving you the loan amount up front, the lender sets it aside in a savings or certificate of deposit (CD) account. Once you've finished making payments, the lender gives you the funds, plus the interest accrued. Since the lender holds onto the cash from the beginning, many credit-builder loans offer decent interest rates. Make sure the lender reports your payment history to a credit reporting company so the loan helps you build your credit history.
  • Become an authorized user on someone else's credit card - Another option is to piggyback off an already-open account as an authorized user instead of getting a cosigner. A parent, spouse, other family member or even a close friend can add you to their credit card account with a separate card. You will build a credit history based on the usage of that card, but the primary cardholder will be the one who must pay off any charges. If you're going with this method, be sure to establish rules with the primary cardholder regarding how you will use the card.

What if I’m unable to get a score?

If you’re unable to obtain a score even after you’ve taken steps to generate one, then you can continue to work with the Experian CreditCenter team to try and resolve the issue. If the Experian CreditCenter team is unable to resolve the issue, your subscription may be cancelled.