You may be told by a potential lender that you have a thin credit file.
A thin file means:
- the number and types of credit relationships you have both currently and historically do not supply enough information in your credit record at one or more of the three major Consumer Reporting Agencies (also known as credit bureaus) for a meaningful credit score to be created; or
- the credit relationships you do have are all too recent or too young for a meaningful score to be created; or
- both 1 and 2 may be affecting you.
The Impact of having a Thin File
Many lenders follow a credit underwriting process that requires a valid credit score. So, if the credit record is too thin for a score to be derived, the lender will decline to approve your credit application.
How can you fix a Thin File?
If you have recently started accumulating credit history, then it is just a matter of time before you will have your very own credit score.
If you have not started yet, it is important to engage in credit building activities. Consider applying for one or two secured credit cards. Use them and pay them off completely every month. This will demonstrate a history of responsible credit management.
If you are currently paying rent for an apartment and/or paying your own cell phone bills, explore the feasibility of several services which offer to help you get this kind of information reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies.