You can get a credit score without an SSN. Although in most cases a social security number is required, some banks offer special credit cards for those who don’t have an SSN. This can help build your credit history and FICO or other credit scores. In addition, by availing rent reporting services, taking auto loans, purchasing a car through a credit card or by opening well-managed bank accounts, you can get a credit score. Most foreigners, immigrants, and students in the U.S. who don’t have social security numbers think they can’t get a credit score, but there are several options available.
How Is a Credit Score Tracked Without an SSN?
Some credit bureaus can locate your credit information with name, date of birth and address. There are several unique identifiers used to match credit account information to a credit file and SSN is only one of them. Having an SSN increases the accuracy of the matching process, but it isn’t always required to compile your credit report.
By convincing a lender to open a credit account, you could get a credit score without an SSN. Lenders are the major credit reporting sources that record your credit payment history, like how much debt you have and whether you’ve paid your bills on time. They report this to credit bureaus regularly. If an account has been opened for you and reported to credit bureaus, they will use all the provided identification information to compile a credit report, when a request is made. If you ever decide to obtain an SSN, then your credit history would be attached to your credit profile.
How Do You Check Your Credit Score With Tax ID?
Checking your credit score with a tax ID (ITIN) is easy. If you’ve built credit with your tax ID, you’ll check your credit score using that same tax ID as that’s how the credit bureaus will identify you. You’ll still need to provide other personally identifying information like your name and address.
As long as your creditors have been reporting your payments to the credit bureaus, you’re building credit and you’ll have an account just like everyone else. Also, just like people who use a social security number, you are entitled to get one free credit report per year. However, you might need to pay a small fee in order to access your credit score. It depends on the bureau where you request your free credit report.
Anytime you’re checking your credit history and/or score, it’s a good idea to get your credit report from all three credit bureaus. Some of your credit history might be reported to all three, while other accounts are only reported to one.
If you check your credit report, get your credit score, and notice some of your financial history is missing, don’t panic. It’s normal for people using a tax ID to not have their entire credit history reported to the bureaus.
How Do You Check Your Credit Without SSN or Tax ID?
If you’ve built credit and don’t have a social security number or a tax identification number, you might be wondering how to check your credit score. The good news is that you can check your credit score using two different methods:
- A FICO calculator. Using the FICO model, you can estimate your credit score for free by answering a few questions online. This method will automatically calculate your estimated FICO score. The information you’ll need to provide includes:
- How many credit cards you have
- How long ago you opened your first credit account
- How long it’s been since you took out your first loan
- How many loans or lines of credit you’ve applied for in the last year
- How many loans currently have a balance
- The amount of current loan and credit balances
- If you’ve missed any payments
- How long you’ve had any delinquent accounts
- The balance on all past due accounts
- If you’ve had a bankruptcy, repossession, or an account sent to collections in the last decade
- Compare your estimated FICO score to VantageScore. There is a difference between VantageScore scores and FICO credit scores. Your VantageScore will be used by all three credit bureaus, while FICO scores differ among the three bureaus.
Whether you’re checking your credit score with an SSN or a tax ID, your credit score is determined by the same factors:
- Payment history. On-time, full payments give you good credit, while late or missed payments will be penalized.
- How much credit you use. While it’s good to have credit, you shouldn’t max out your cards. Doing so can hurt your credit.
- Recent credit applications. Soft credit inquiries won’t damage your credit score, but if you have a bunch of hard inquiries, lenders will wonder if you’re living off of credit and your score will drop.
Credit scores are calculated based on the following factors:
- Payment history. Do you make at least the minimum monthly payment on your credit accounts? Are your payments on time? Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score.
- Amounts owed. Are you maxing out your credit cards, or keeping some room? Your score will be higher if you’re not maxing everything out. This factor makes up 30% of your credit score.
- Length of credit history. When did you open your current credit accounts? Accounts open for a long time will contribute to a higher score. This factor accounts for 15% of your credit score.
- Credit mix. How many different types of credit accounts do you have? Do you have a mortgage? A student loan? A few credit cards? Having a variety of accounts shows lenders you’re more responsible. This factor makes up 10% of your credit score.
- New credit. How many of your credit accounts are new? For a short period of time, new lines of credit can hurt your credit score temporarily. However, new lines of credit only make up 10% of your score.
When Does Your Credit History Start?
Your credit history starts from the day you first take out a loan. To provide evidence to build credit, you need a credit card. This means that to build a credit score, you can apply for a credit card that does not require SSN. For people with no credit history, a secured credit card is also a good option to get a credit score without SSN. The length of credit history holds a major weight in calculating a credit score.
Building Your Credit Score Without An SSN
You don’t always need an SSN to rent an apartment, purchase a car, or open a bank account. These three actions can help you build up your credit score without SSN. Buying a car can help establish credit if you make on-time payments on your auto loan. Paying rent on time can also help you get a credit score. Renting an apartment is similar to a loan that you pay back in monthly installments. From this perspective, timely rent payments help your credit score. You can also use a credit card to pay for your rent. This will boost your credit score indirectly. Open a credit card and use it to pay your rent, then pay your credit card balance in full each month. You can also use this same concept when making your car payment. Keep on top of your credit score by monitoring it regularly.