It seems my credit report is empty. When going to annualcreditreport.com, Experian and Equifax both give me generic errors saying my request can't be completed, and TransUnion gives me a report that consists of only a few lines, just stating that my phone company has recently requested to see my credit report.

I've only ever used a debit card. I have a savings and checking account at a credit union. My parents have been the guarantor on the lease of the two apartments that I've lived in for the last few years. I've only just recently graduated from college, but I never took out any student loans. Last month I got off my parents plan and started paying my own phone bill.

Based on this information, shouldn't there be something on my report?

EDIT: This is about the US credit system.

  • 4
    Phone, gas, and electric won't show regular ongoing payments. Only accounts gone to collection. What, exactly, are you expecting your report to show? Aug 19, 2014 at 0:45
  • @JoeTaxpayer - Is that the case in US ? In UK they show all accounts, phone, gas, electric, insurance etc for regular payments.
    – DumbCoder
    Aug 19, 2014 at 7:52
  • @DumbCoder: As JoeTaxpayer states, in the US only credit accounts (money lent) are on a credit report unless it is a non-credit account that is in collections for non-payment. Aug 19, 2014 at 18:05
  • @DumbCoder - Yes. Keep in mind, I'm not defending the system. I'll be the first to say that a track record of paying these three bills should mean something. Aug 19, 2014 at 19:38
  • I was kinda hoping that paying rent, or keeping a checking account at a credit union, or paying my phone bill for the last month would have some impact... btw this question is coming from the US
    – Wero
    Aug 19, 2014 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


Yes. Here are some of the most common lines of credit that get reported to the major credit bureaus:

  1. Student loans
  2. Credit cards
  3. Mortgages
  4. Auto loans

You said you don't have any of these, so I wouldn't expect your credit report to be populated with any sort of history.

How can you start building credit history?

It is difficult to start building your credit history, but if you can get a credit card and start making on-time payments, you will build your history and make it much easier to secure additional credit/loans with favorable interest rates in the future. You can do this for free if you get a card with no annual fees and don't pay interest charges (i.e. pay it in full each month). Here are some of the best ways to get started:

  1. Get a credit card with a small credit limit from a credit union. Credit unions will typically be more lenient than big banks when giving out small limits to those with limited history, especially if you already have a checking/savings account with them. After about 6 months of on-time payments, you can ask them to raise your credit limit. This is how I got started building my credit.
  2. Get a secured credit card. In this case, you give a deposit to the bank, and the bank gives you a credit limit matching the amount you deposited. After a few months of on-time payments, you will get your deposit back and get to keep your credit limit.
  3. Ask your parents to add you as an authorized user to one of their credit cards if they have a good, established credit history. This will allow you to piggy-back off of their established history and build yours in the process.
  • 1
    Being added as an authorized user will not import anything from your parents' credit history nor other elements of their rating. However, it is considered another open account for you and will help (assuming it is not delinquent). The total number of accounts and total available credit are both looked at when computing your credit score, so it's a good idea. Do it ASAP because the average length of your account history is also a factor.
    – farnsy
    Aug 22, 2014 at 5:19
  • How does this work when you don't actually NEED credit right now? Should you take on debt even when you don't need to?
    – Weckar E.
    Dec 21, 2017 at 13:50
  • @WeckarE. I don't recommend taking on debt just to establish credit history. Simply using a credit card and paying it off in full every month will help your history, you don't need to carry a balance and pay interest. Even just having a card and not using it at all is better than not having one. Jan 24, 2018 at 20:09

I think what you have is called a Thin file. That means you just do not have enough records to show on your report. Usually, credit lines ( which include credit card, loans) are the items shown on your report ( at least in the US). Even I had this around 6 months back. The only way to get your file fat is to open any credit line, do regular payments and check back after around 6 months.

blahshaw has suggested good ways to start building.

You can learn more about thin file credit report here

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