No credit history cause for declination, not lack of credit score

Dear Experian,

I moved to the U.S. two years ago and have since applied three times for a department store card. Requests got denied because I apparently didn’t have a credit score. I also applied for a secured credit card which got approved, and I am slowly starting to build my credit score. Unfortunately, I already have four hard requests. How can I remove older requests that were denied due to the missing credit score?



Dear MPC,

Your initial problem wasn’t that you didn’t have a credit score. Instead, it was that you didn’t have a credit report. A credit score can’t be calculated until you have a credit report, and you don’t have a credit report until you have a credit account reported as belonging to you.

A secured credit card account is a good way to begin establishing a credit history. In some instances the lender may not initially report the secured account. Even if your lender does not initially report the secured debt your lender may convert it to an unsecured account after you have demonstrated for a while that you can use it responsibly.

When the account is reported to a national credit reporting company a credit report will be established for you and you will begin building a credit history that can then be used to calculate credit scores.

Inquiries are simply a record that you have applied for credit in the past. They remain in your credit report for two years. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that all inquiries be listed to ensure you have a complete record of everyone who has accessed your credit report.

They cannot be removed unless they were the result of fraud or identity theft. Based on your question, it sounds as if the inquiries may be deleted soon, if they haven’t been already.

If not, don’t worry too much. Inquiries only have a small impact on credit scores and that impact decreases over time. The positive credit history you are now building will soon outweigh any negative impact of the inquiries, if it doesn’t already.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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