Denied Credit

Credit Score Can’t Be Calculated

Through April 20, 2022, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.

Dear Experian,

I am trying to get a loan and am being denied because your company won't list a score on me. Why?


Dear LRT,

Credit reporting companies don't "list" credit scores. Instead, credit scores are calculated at the moment your credit report is requested by a lender using the scoring model selected by that lender. So, the question more accurately is, why can't a credit score be calculated? There are several possibilities.

Why You May Not Have a Credit Score

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 in your name.

To find out if you have a credit history, you can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies once every 12 months. You are also entitled to a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting agency that your lender used because adverse action has been taken.

"Adverse action" is the term used to describe having your application denied or not receiving the best terms available. Your lender is required by federal law to provide an adverse action notice. The notice will have instructions to request your report.

And, you can view your Experian credit history for free any time.

Length of Credit History Needed to Calculate Score

Typically, for many scoring models you need to have an open and active account reported for at least three to six months before a credit score can be calculated. If a VantageScore model is used, it can calculate a score with less history.

Once you have ordered a copy of your credit report directly from Experian and you see that there is credit history being reported, you can attempt to order a free credit score yourself. If a score cannot be calculated for you, a reason will be provided.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist