Credit reports not established based on age

Dear Experian,

At what age does the credit bureau start reporting credit history?



Dear RCU,

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

Our policies for Ask Experian:

The information contained in Ask Experian is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation. Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Posts reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Experian policy. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future post.