February 4th, 2013

Why Don’t I Have a Credit Report?

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Why Don't I Have a Credit Report? | Credit Karma Blog

This is a great question, and one that can definitely be confusing.

There are likely two reasons why you might have a hard time getting a credit report. The best-case scenario is easily fixed, while the worst-case scenario will take some time to remedy.

And there’s a weird-case scenario that could prevent you from pulling a credit report, too. We’ll get to that one at the end.

Best-Case: The information on your report is different or wrong.

When you try to get a copy of your credit report online, you have to enter information like your name, date of birth, mailing address and social security number. This information is used by the credit bureaus to help match you with your credit report.

If you’ve moved several times or changed your name, it can be difficult for the credit bureau to locate the correct report for you. Plus, credit reports can contain errors. If your name or address is misspelled on your credit report, the credit bureau may not have been able to find it.

What you can do: Try once again to get your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com from the same credit bureau you’ve attempted before. When filling out your personal information, use things like your former name(s) and address(es). If that doesn’t work, try with a different credit bureau. The three main credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

You can also check your credit score through Credit Karma, which uses the same type of process to match you with your TransUnion credit report. If this strategy doesn’t work, then keep reading.

Worst-Case: You’ve never opened a credit account.

Not everyone has a credit report. Credit reports document your history as a borrower. You don’t have one until you’ve opened your first credit account—when you first became a borrower. If you’ve never had a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, student loan, personal loan or other line of credit, you won’t have a credit report at all.

Also, if your credit lines don’t report to one or more credit bureaus, then you won’t have a credit report with those bureaus. For instance, if your one credit card reports only to the credit bureau Equifax, then you will have a credit report there, but you won’t with Experian or TransUnion. While you could ask your creditor to report to all three bureaus, they might not honor your request.

What you can do: It can be difficult for you to gain access to credit if you don’t have any to begin with. If you don’t plan on borrowing in the future, you might not need to worry. But if you someday hope to apply for a mortgage or auto loan (or any other line of credit), you should start building credit now.

A good place to start is with a secured credit card. This type of card typically doesn’t require a credit check and is backed by a security deposit from you. It reports to the credit bureaus and can eventually be converted into an unsecured credit card. The one catch? Secured credit cards come sometimes come with an annual fee, so do your research before you apply.

Weird-Case: The bureau thinks you’re dead.

Credit bureaus can make mistakes and think a perfectly healthy—and alive—person is dead. Typically, when an individual passes away, the executor of the estate will notify the three bureaus to keep anyone from accessing the deceased’s credit report or score. Another way credit bureaus mark individuals as “deceased” is by reviewing newspaper and online obituaries and updating their records.

When this occurs in error on your credit report, it could mean a lengthy correction process. It’ll probably also keep you from obtaining credit in the meantime.

What you can do: First of all, get your TransUnion credit report from Credit Karma and your other two reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. It should be clear from your reports if all three are claiming you’re dead or just one or two. You only need to dispute the error with the bureau (or bureaus) reporting it. First, find out if the Social Security Administration was responsible for reporting your death. You might be able to get some helpful documentation from them. Follow the guide in 5 Steps to Cleaning Up Credit Report Errors to dispute the mistake.


is the Social Media Manager and Writer at Credit Karma, where she’s been since February 2011. When she’s not writing about credit and finance all over the web, you can find her playing her guitar, catching the latest movie, training for her next race or just exploring the city of San Francisco. Say “Hi” on Twitter: @bhardeman.

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Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. If you don’t have a credit file and want to get started, there’s another option to getting a Secured Credit Card. If you have a history of on-time bill payments for things like rent, utilities, and insurance, you can qualify for a car loan or home loan today. (Full Disclosure – I am the CEO of eCredable). eCredable helps consumers prove they are creditworthy, so they can get a car loan from RoadLoans, and a home loan from Churchill Mortgage. We are a Credit Reporting Agency that will verify the prior two years of your payment history and connect you to these two companies. No need to wait on the time it will take for a Secured Credit Card to help you out.

    Steve Ely at 10:58 am on February 4, 2013
  2. One of the things I like about CreditKarma (yup, I’m going to plug you in your own post), is that you can usually find credit card offers that match your current (existing, regardless of level) credit score. That should be pretty helpful to those who have not established any sort of credit, because it will allow them to apply for realistic cards without damaging their scores with inquiries.

    Dona Collins at 11:03 am on February 6, 2013
  3. Why is their no Experian report?

    Jack Duarte at 5:27 pm on March 7, 2015
  4. Mike

    Hi Jack – Thanks for your question! We currently offer information from both TransUnion and Equifax. We’re always interested in expanding our offerings further, though we also are 100% committed to keeping this service completely free. We think that featuring scores and reports from two bureaus gives our members the best of both worlds. Let me know if you have any other questions about that. Thanks!

    Mike at 9:56 am on March 9, 2015
  5. I know that I don’t have a credit score or corresponding credit report. I need to obtain some type of official documentation from a nationally accredited organization that states this. What can I do?

    John at 3:02 pm on May 31, 2015
  6. Enola Guerrero

    Hi John – Please contact our member support department so we can better assist you. https://www.creditkarma.com/about/contact


    Enola Guerrero at 10:39 am on June 2, 2015
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    checks in the mail coupon at 9:30 am on July 13, 2015
  8. I recently pulled my credit through a mortgage broker and I don’t have any credit scores at all. How do I get my scores to report?

    brandon at 3:13 pm on September 24, 2015
  9. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Brandon – Please contact our support department to see if you are having trouble getting a score on our site. You can contact them by going here: https://www.creditkarma.com/about/contact


    Enola Guerrero at 12:31 pm on September 25, 2015
  10. I got my credit score on credit karma because I want to get pre-approval for a car loan. Credit Karma was able to pull my score. However, the bank denied my application for the reason that “Insufficient recent satisfactory credit history or no credit file”.

    Franz at 5:13 pm on October 2, 2015
  11. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Franz – Since we are not the lender in question, please contact them to find out more information. Thanks!

    Enola Guerrero at 12:18 pm on October 6, 2015
  12. hi
    I have never had a loan or even a credit card.
    I recently applied for a credit card , however the bank told me that they can’t give me one. I asked them to give me secured credit card , they refused as well.
    I want to have a report , but I have no clue what to do.
    I do pay all my bills ( gas , electricity, rent ) on time and i have electronic bills to proof
    I am a tax payer as well, so I have my own job and i can proof that.
    Is there anyway to submit these papers electronically to any organization which is responsible about credit reports in the entire US.
    (notice : Even gas company ( Alagesco ) asked for a $ 150 deposit for opening account at their side, because they said ( in a letter) that Equifax couldn’t find my credit score)

    hope someone can help me


    mahmut at 7:48 pm on November 21, 2015
  13. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Mahmut – If you are having issues registering for an account on Credit Karma, you can contact our support team by going here: https://www.creditkarma.com/about/contact

    Enola Guerrero at 5:22 pm on November 24, 2015
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