Unscoreable: What Does It Mean to See Unscoreable on Your Credit Report
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Can You Have a 0 Credit Score?
"I didn't have a credit score. When I look on the Equifax website, I can't see a credit score. Why would this happen?"
Sometimes there's not enough information in your credit file to provide a credit score. It may appear as a 0 or zero. This is not an indicator of bad credit history. However, there's a mathematical answer to this: most likely you don't have enough credit information or payment history on your credit report to calculate an accurate credit score. All it takes is time and day-to-day transactions to establish credit for more accurate credit scores to be created.
All credit score versions require a certain amount of recent credit activity on the credit report in order for a credit reporting agency to calculate the score.
The minimum requirements and time allotments can be a little different between score versions, so it's possible to be "scoreable" with one version and "unscoreable" with another. This can be common for those with newer credit histories.
Most people would become "scoreable" after about three months of using credit that is getting reported to Equifax. This might mean a total of four to five months by the time it's been reported to Equifax since one month's activity is reported the following month.
Approximately 15% of your Equifax credit score is calculated based on the amount of time your credit payments have been reported to Equifax. Your payment history makes up approximately 35% of your credit score, and your credit mix makes up roughly another 15%. These general elements of your credit history make you "scoreable".
You can read more about How Are Credit Scores Calculated.
Your payment history information includes details about how you have paid your credit accounts, along with the credit that has been extended to you among different accounts, including loans like student loans, auto loans, lines of credit, mortgage loans, and credit cards.
Your credit score calculation takes into account how long your credit accounts have existed. Aspects of your credit score calculations are based on how long your oldest and most recent accounts have been open, as creditors like to see that you've been able to pay off various credit accounts over a longer period of time.
If you don't have an active credit account which is reporting to Equifax, you may not have an accurate Equifax credit score for several months. But there are several ways to establish credit when you don't have a credit history, such as considering a secured or student credit card or getting a secured loan. Under the law, no one can get a credit card on their own in Canada until they are 18 years old or the age of majority in their province or territory. After 18, you might want to consider a secured or student credit card. Note that secured credit cards may be a good option to help build a positive credit history as long as that card issuer is reporting the account data to credit bureaus, such as Equifax.
In order to no longer be considered "unscoreable," you can consider the following:
- ‐ Biding your time and waiting a few months while actively establishing credit
- ‐ Use a co-signer to help establish a credit account
What else affects my credit score, other than the length of time that my credit is getting reported to Equifax?
A credit score is designed to help predict if an individual will pay their bills on time, and is only one of the several pieces of information that lenders and creditors use to help determine creditworthiness. In addition to your payment history, your used credit versus your available credit (credit utilization), public records and the number of inquiries into your credit file help determine your credit scores.
Another note to consider is that the different credit bureaus (such as Equifax or TransUnion) have different scoring models and algorithms. These different credit scoring models may use different sources of information from your credit account history, so the credit scores may differ. Some lenders and creditors report to both nationwide credit bureaus, while others may report to only one (or none at all). Lenders typically request only one credit score when making a decision to approve you for credit.