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Topics addressed on September 14, 2011:
Credit reports not established based on age
At what age does the credit bureau start reporting credit history?
Credit reports are not established at a certain age. Rather, a credit history is established the first time a credit account is first reported by a lender for that individual. So, if a person never opens a credit account, it is possible for them to go through their entire life without a credit history.
However, that is generally very difficult and not advisable. A credit history is an important financial tool. A positive credit history will play an important role in making large purchases, such as a house or automobile that most people could not make with cash.
A credit report can also be important in renting an apartment, getting a cellular telephone and getting utility service, even when no debt is taken on.
While a credit history can be established for a minor, for example by a parent adding their teenager as a joint account holder, Experian will not knowingly disclose a credit history belonging to a minor.
Experian does collect and store the information if credit is established, however, if the identifying information is used to request a credit report, Experian will simply return a notice saying that the credit history requested is associated with a minor and for that reason the credit history will not be provided. When the minor reaches the age of 18, the credit history becomes available for access.
Minors may request a copy of their report after the age of 14. Parents or legal guardians may request a credit history for their minor children with documentation proving they are the parent or legal guardian.
If no credit report is on file, Experian will send a notice to that effect but will not create a report for the minor.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team