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Invisibility is supposed to be a superpower—unless it has to do with your credit history. Experian Go™ is a new program that helps people who are credit invisible create their own credit report and start building their credit history in minutes, all for free.
Being credit invisible means not having a credit report with any of the three national credit reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion or Equifax. A credit report is a record of your activity related to obtaining and managing credit, and a nonexistent credit history can make it difficult to get a credit card, buy a car, get a job or even rent an apartment.
When Experian Go users create a credit report, they can start clearing these obstacles and begin building credit today.
How Does Experian Go Work?
Experian Go works by creating a credit report for you, even if you don't have any credit accounts yet.
After you have a credit report and at least one scoreable account, your FICO® Score☉ —the credit score used by 90% of top lenders—can be calculated. Establishing a credit report and getting a FICO® Score are the first steps to building a credit history, which can help you qualify for credit cards, a car or home loan, an apartment and more.
To get started with Experian Go, take the following steps:
1. Sign Up for a Free Membership
Get started by downloading the Experian app and signing up for a free Experian membership. You can enroll in the Experian Go program by providing a government-issued ID, Social Security number and a live selfie.
2. Begin Establishing a Credit History
We'll offer you suggestions for starting your credit journey, which may include:
- Becoming an authorized user on a trusted friend's or family member's credit card account.
- Signing up for a starter credit card with an invitation from one of our partners.
- Using Experian Boost™† to add bills you pay every month, such as utility, streaming service and phone bills, to your credit history.
3. Wait for Your FICO® Score
Using the tips above to add one or more accounts to your credit report, you may have a FICO® Score in about six months. Check out the educational content in Experian Go to learn more as you work on building your credit history.
Who Can Benefit From Experian Go?
There are an estimated 28 million credit invisible consumers in the U.S. The circumstances that make a person's credit invisible vary, but all result in reduced financial options and more expensive borrowing terms.
Experian Go is beneficial for anyone without a credit history, including:
- Young adults: Young adults often don't have a credit report yet. About 4 million consumers turn 18 each year and over 20 million are between the ages of 18 and 23, with many of them just learning about credit for the first time.
- People who have moved to the United States: Perhaps you've arrived in the U.S. from another country. Though you may have been scored using a credit system in your country of origin, you'll need to start a new credit report with the three national credit reporting companies in the U.S. Keep in mind that you'll need a U.S.-issued ID and Social Security number to sign up for Experian Go.
- People who have never had credit: Perhaps you've simply never had a reason to take out a credit card or loan in your own name. If you're a student, stay-at-home parent or anyone else with no credit history, Experian Go can help you.
6 Ways to Begin Building Credit
If you're ready to start building your credit history, you can try one or more of these methods:
- Become an authorized user. If you have a trusted family member or friend with a credit card, consider asking to become an authorized user on their account. An authorized user can use a credit card account but is not responsible for payments (you can make an agreement with the cardholder to pay off your purchases on their account). As long as you both keep the account in good standing, you'll benefit from their positive history to boost your own.
- Get a secured credit card. To get a secured credit card, you'll put down a deposit that typically equals your credit limit and can be used if you stop making payments. Because this collateral makes you less risky to lenders, it's usually easier to get a secured card when you're just starting out.
- Get a credit-builder loan. Credit-builder loans exist to show that you can make loan payments on time and in full. When you take out a credit-builder loan, you'll make payments each month toward the loan amount, usually $300 to $1,000. You'll then receive the full loan amount, possibly with interest, at the end of the term.
- Get credit for on-time monthly payments with Experian Boost. When you sign up for Experian Boost, you can get credit for paying your monthly bills on time. Adding these accounts to your Experian credit report can help you achieve a FICO® Score and jump-start your credit journey.
- Pay all your bills on time. Your payment history on credit card and loan accounts makes up 35% of your FICO® Score, making it the biggest credit scoring factor. Paying all your bills on time can help you build a good credit score, while late payments can lower scores.
- Keep credit card balances low. Maintaining low credit card balances is an essential part of a healthy credit history. Your balances help determine your credit utilization, or how much available credit you're using. It's best to keep your credit utilization as low as possible—under 10% is ideal. One way to do this even if you have a low credit limit is to pay off your card balances each month, or even make multiple payments during the month.
Invisibility isn't a superpower, but taking control of your credit history is. As Rod Griffin, Experian's senior director of consumer education, notes, "That is why programs like Experian Go are essential. They help people overcome barriers to financial inclusion and open the door to future financial success."
Take control of your financial future today by signing up for Experian Go.