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Where Does Your Credit Score Start At?

Common questions many people have are “Where does your credit score start?” or “When do you get a credit score?” The answer is either by turning 18 or by using a credit card or a debit card.

When considering the beginning of a credit score, the number is also important. The minimum range of a credit score is 300 and the maximum is 850, which is the perfect credit score, so another question is “Does a credit score start at 300?”

In this post, we shall discuss the starting range of a credit score.

Does the Credit score start at zero?

To calculate the credit score, we use the FICO credit score and the VantageScore models.

When you start to build your credit, you may use a credit card and get personal and auto loans so your credit score improves. You may wonder “Does my credit score start at the highest range or in between the ranges?”

It is important to note that everyone begins with no credit score, but that does not mean your credit score is zero, it means your credit score is not calculated and therefore nonexistent. Once you start building your credit, your credit score will start with the minimum value, which is 300.

You will always begin with the lowest credit score and you must improve your scores so you enjoy the benefits of a good score while reaching the perfect credit score.

Generally, the credit scores are calculated by:

  • Payment history
  • Amounts owed
  • Length of Credit History
  • New credit
  • Credit Mix

You must be responsible while building your credit and you start to build your credit score after you open your first line of credit. You can calculate your credit scores in the way you use your credit accounts.

 The three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) provide you with a credit report annually that details your credit history, and you use the information they provide to build your credit score.

Does your credit score start at the age of 18?

Your credit score will not start at the age of 18. It begins when you apply for a credit card or a loan, which is only possible once you turn 18, so your credit scores and reports will not exist. When you are capable of borrowing money on your own, and get a credit card or a loan, then you will see a credit report in your name.

When you start building your credit at 18, this means you are starting to build your credit. When you open a credit card, at this age you will not require an annual fee.

While building your credit, the length of your credit history is short and will negatively impact your credit score. If you are good at money management, then you will improve your credit score to a perfect one.

You must get a credit card that gets easily approved and proceed to build your credit with that. For example, you may apply for a secured card which will be easier to use. Eventually, you may move on to unsecured cards once you understand credit scores. It depends upon the users to switch from secured to unsecured credit cards.

Is a Credit Score Without a Credit Card Possible?

Yes, it is possible to generate credit scores without a credit card because credit card companies are not the only companies that help you build credit.

Credit cards are one of the major ways through which people will build their scores, but that is not the only way.

You may follow these ways to start and build your credit score.

  • Become an authorized user.
  • Take out a credit-builder loan.
  • Apply for a personal loan.
  • Clear your remaining loan.
  • Apply for a secured credit card.
  • Rent payments.
  • Be employed.

Become an authorized User

When working for certain companies, they may allow you to become an authorized user. Once you become an authorized user, you will receive a card in your name and get access to your main account.

This helps in starting and building your credit.

Get a Credit-Builder Loan

A credit builder loan is when the lenders will give you the full amount of a loan for you to pay back. You must make a fixed payment every month until you have cleared the complete loan. After that, you get back your entire amount.

This also helps you to learn how to make payments regularly and on time.

Personal loans

Personal loans help you improve your credit and also in making on-time payments. 

Clear your remaining loan

When you start clearing your loans, such as student and auto loans, it shows the lenders that you are good at managing your money. Your credit rate will improve if you concentrate on repaying your debts on time.

Apply for a secured credit card

Secured credit cards will teach you how to manage money and how to build your credit.

Rent payments

Many landlords will not report to the credit bureaus regarding your payments. You can make some periodic payments so that it will help you to increase your credit score.

Have a job for yourself

If you do not have a credit card, then you should have a job to start building your credit. Once you start building your credit, you should maintain it and reach the perfect credit score.

Suggested Reading:

The Real Truth About Credit Card Security Code

How Do Credit Repair Services Work

Fraud Alert vs Credit Freeze


So we figured out that your credit scores will not start at zero and you can start building your credit at the age of 18. Once you start building your credit and understand how to manage your money, you will maintain a good credit history.

Get to know your credit score by contacting the credit bureaus for your credit reports. In case of any errors, contact legitimate credit repair services for your help.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What credit score do you start off with at 18?

At the age of 18, you start your credit score with 300 when you get a job, a loan, or a credit card. It will slowly improve based on your financial performance. Your credit score never begins at zero and is not calculated prior to turning 18 and doing the aforementioned because you might not have taken any loans to prove your creditworthiness.

  1. What age does your credit score start at?

Your age will not affect your credit score. Once you get a job or apply for a loan or credit card, your score will change depending on how you handle your credit.

  1. How long does it take to build up a credit score?

When you are starting from new credit, it takes at least six months to generate a credit score.

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