I know someone who's been in the US for about three years. He came legally and is in the process of becoming a citizen. He has a bank account, a shared checking account with a family member, but no credit card. He hasn't applied for any loans.

He'd like to freeze his credit but he's not sure he's even on file. He's kind of scared to check (better to not be on file, than to volunteer oneself, I guess is the logic.)

Should he be able to freeze his credit with the 4 credit agencies by now (should they have his info on file by now)?

  • 2
    Why is he scared to be "on file"?
    – D Stanley
    Mar 21, 2019 at 13:23
  • @DStanley - Because identitity theft is rampant. Equifax incident, etc. Mar 21, 2019 at 16:01
  • Having no credit is far better than freezing it. No one can obtain your credit score when you have none. So what's the reason for wanting credit yet freezing it ?
    – xyious
    Mar 22, 2019 at 19:34
  • @xyious - my question is essentially asking when credit becomes established, so that it has to be frozen. I doubt one can live in the USA for any substantial amount of time without having a record with the credit agencies (even if one does not open cards etc) Mar 22, 2019 at 19:50
  • Apparently over 3 years ;) I don't see why they (4 credit agencies ? who's the 4th ?) can't freeze his credit before he even establishes credit. Shouldn't it just be a block on pulling credit reports associated with a social security number ? shouldn't that be possible without any information associated yet ?
    – xyious
    Mar 22, 2019 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


I cant give you references for this. But as someone in a similar position. I can say you will generally have a credit file 6 months to a year after either getting a Social Security number, or getting your first credit card or other debt instrument, whichever happens last.

Assuming your friend has had at least one credit account which are more than 6 months old, and has a social security number I strongly suspect they already have a credit record and can thus freeze it.

I asked staff at several major banks to get this information. So I cannot guarantee its accuracy, but it seems to have proven true for myself.

  • 1
    Thanks for the info. He has an SSN but no credit card... maybe I'll tell him to get one of those secured CCs (since he has no credit), then wait 6 months and freeze everything just to be safe... Mar 22, 2019 at 17:28

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