What Credit Score Do You Start With? Why It Matters [2024]

Updated: November 24, 2023

Written and edited by Eddy Ballesteros CEO & AI Expert.

What Credit Score Do You Start With

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Are you curious about how your credit score is calculated?  Do you need guidance on improving it and increasing your chances of obtaining a loan, mortgage, or rental agreement? 

This guide deepens the criteria that impact one's financial standing and outlines essential credit repair tips for improving or maintaining your current credit rating.

It may be precisely what you require to make informed monetary decisions and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck by leveraging credit.

TL;DR: What Credit Score Do You Start With?

You will either have no credit file or we've seen a score of 350 in the past.

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How Is Your Credit Score Calculated?

Before answering the question of what credit score you start with, we should understand the basics of credit history and credit scores.

Your credit history records your borrowing and repayment activity, including credit card accounts, loans, and other types of credit.

This information is collected by credit bureaus and used to create your credit account, which is a snapshot of your credit history.

Some of those factors are:

  • Hard Inquiries
  • Credit Mix
  • Payment History
  • Credit Utilization Ratio
  • Credit Age

On the other hand, your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness based on the information in your credit report.

Credit scores are typically calculated using algorithms that analyze the data in your credit report, considering factors such as payment history, outstanding balances, and the length of your credit history.

There are several different credit scoring models, each with its scale (FICO & Vantage Scoring Models), but the most commonly used scale ranges from 300 to 850. 

The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be approved for credit, and the lower the interest rates you'll be offered.

What Makes Up Your Credit Score?

 Understanding what affects credit scores is the key to establishing excellent credit.

Your credit score is calculated using five components: payment history, credit accounts, debt used vs credit limits, length of credit history, and types of credit used.

What Credit Score Do You Start With? Your Starting Credit In 2023

Payment history considers all payments on credit accounts, including mortgages and auto loans.

It also speaks to other obligations, such as utility bills that may be reported to the credit bureaus. 

The second component, credit accounts, refers to the total number of accounts in good standing; having a more significant number can increase your score.

Next up is debt used versus credit limits, which looks at how much credit you are using compared to the amount granted by lenders or creditors.

Another factor is the length of credit history, which looks at when open lines were established and whether or not they have been active lately.

Lastly, different types of credit you use, such as financing for cars or payday loans, are considered for risk assessment purposes. 

When all these components are tallied together, a numerical score will indicate your ability to manage credit responsibly, thus giving potential lenders an idea of how reliable you are with repaying debts.

So, What Is Your Starting Credit Score, And Why?

So, where do you begin in terms of credit? It's normal to start building credit with no credit history.

However, your starting credit score will likely be low if you've never borrowed or used credit.

In this case, determining your initial credit score may be difficult because there is insufficient information in your credit report to calculate a score.

This can appear as a credit score of 300 or 350 on your credit score app.

This is because lenders use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness and the risk of lending to you. Lenders can't assess your credit risk and make informed lending decisions if you don't have a credit history.

You must check your credit report if you want an accurate indication of your starting credit score.

Fortunately, the three major bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—are in charge of monitoring millions of consumers' data and will use it to determine individual scores.

That said, take some time to review yours so you can start improving it. Take advantage of your right to a free annual credit report from the three major bureaus.

This is an excellent way to gain insight into your financial situation and identify ways to improve your credit score. Make the most of this invaluable opportunity.

Building A Solid Credit History

A strong credit history is essential for achieving a good credit score and accessing financial opportunities.

You can take several steps to establish credit and improve your credit score. One of the most important things you can do is to check your credit reports regularly and monitor your credit activity.

Checking your credit report will help you identify any errors or inaccuracies that may negatively impact your credit score.

It will also give you a good idea of your current credit situation and how to improve it. As mentioned, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year.

Several credit-building tools and resources are also available to help you establish credit and improve your credit score.

For example, you can consider applying for a credit card or taking out a small loan to develop a credit history. You can also use credit monitoring services to track your credit activity and receive alerts when there are significant changes to your credit report.

By taking these steps and being mindful of your credit habits, you can build a strong credit history and improve your credit score over time.

Here's A Quick Rundown on how to build credit with a zero credit score.

Get A Tradeline

Adding authorized user tradelines to your credit report is one of the best ways to quickly and efficiently build your total credit score.

Becoming an authorized user on an account without taking loans or making payments has many benefits for your credit report, including smoothing out negative items already in your history.

This process can help you quickly climb closer to your desired credit rating when done correctly and with the right authorized user tradelines.

Credit Builder App

Taking the initiative to build a positive credit history can be challenging and often frustrating. Often, people may not even know where to start.

It is possible, however, to get ahead of the credit game with a credit builder app. A credit builder app offers the consumer an opportunity to take out a credit builder loan used to build a credit score by making regular payments over time.

This will create a positive credit history, making it easier for the consumer to apply for new credit and receive more favorable terms.

Not only are these apps reliable and secure ways to ensure credit information accuracy, but many come with helpful features such as budgeting tools, personal finance tips, and bonus offers, all of which can help one make intelligent financial decisions.

Rent Reporting Service

While rent reporting service is a relatively new method of building your credit, it can be beneficial because you will likely have some history with the landlord and the rental property.

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If you have no credit file but have made on-time payments for an apartment, you can report the rental history to the three major credit bureaus.

This way, you will create a record showing payments made on time. This will show up as a good credit mix and take you from a poor credit score to a good one.

Monitor Your Credit Report

Reviewing your credit reports is as important as knowing where you spend your money. 

Premium credit monitoring services allow you to view your FICO score and come with identity theft protection.

I still use credit score apps to monitor my FICO credit score, keeping me on track. If I notice anything incorrect in the scoring system, I'll dispute it using credit repair software.

Work With A Credit Repair Company

So you got your free credit score but have no idea where you need to fix your score or what to do next? Consider working with a credit repair company.

After starting my own credit repair business, many companies can also help you.

They can help you understand the factors affecting your score and develop solutions to build your credit.

Many companies provide free consultations so that you can learn more about how they can help before deciding whether or not to work together.

Regardless of your chosen method, credit repair companies can help repair bad credit, and it doesn't hurt to hop on a free consultation call.


What is an excellent first credit score?

A good credit score is a great starting point for any financial journey. Generally, an excellent first credit score consists of a score between 670 and 740 on the popular credit scoring scale, making it essential to maintain a high score in this range.

To help improve or keep this excellent credit score, there are two main factors to focus on: credit utilization and available credit.

Credit utilization measures how much of the available revolving debt is being used at any given time, so the lower it is, the better. Your total amount of available credit should also be high, which can help boost your excellent credit score.

Do you automatically start with a good credit score?

No, but your parents can establish a good credit history if they add you to their accounts.

To build your credit file, you will need to take out loans and make payments on time, which can be difficult if you have a zero-credit score.

Many resources can help you improve your credit score over time, including tradeline services, credit builder apps, rent reporting services, and secured credit cards.

What credit score does an 18-year-old start with?

The credit score of an 18-year-old usually starts at zero or 300, as they have generally not built up a credit history yet.

However, they can kickstart their credit score by taking out a secured credit card or getting approved for a student loan. Secured credit cards are available to adults of any age and require you to pay a security deposit before use. On the other hand, student loans vary in eligibility depending on the institution.

To build up a good credit score, both products must be used responsibly and require timely payments in full each month. Over time, this will help establish someone's creditworthiness and show lenders that they can handle debt properly.

Final Thoughts

Finally, it is critical to understand how credit scores work and how they are calculated. Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness based on the information in your credit report.

Determining your starting credit score may be difficult without a credit history.

Your credit score will likely be low if you've never borrowed or used credit. A solid credit history is critical for obtaining a good credit score and gaining access to financial opportunities.

Consider opening your first credit account and using it responsibly to establish credit.

You can improve your credit score by paying your bills on time, keeping balances low, and avoiding excessive credit inquiries. 

If you have poor credit, you must take steps to improve it. Working with a credit repair company, paying off outstanding debts, and building a solid credit history are all possibilities.

You can make informed financial decisions and achieve your financial goals by understanding your credit score and taking the necessary steps to improve it.

About the Author

Eddy Ballesteros

AI & Marketing Nerd

Eddy is an AI, SEO, and personal finance blogger who uses and tests products to help others improve their lives through AI and financial literacy. With years of experience in online business, he deeply understands the latest AI and SEO trends. Eddy is also well-knowledged in personal finance and committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with his readers.

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