When applying for a credit card, or any other account that requires credit history, the issuing creditor will likely pull a credit report to determine if you’ll be a suitable borrower. If you have little or no established credit, many creditors will deny you financing until you’ve got enough credit history to prove your credit worthiness.
Establishing your first credit account is the hardest, as the potential creditor has little or no history at their disposal to determine whether you’ll be a good borrower or not. The easiest way to establish credit is through a check card/credit card with your primary banking institution. (Learn more about how to build credit history).
Not All Accounts Recognized by Credit Bureaus
Although you may be making a good effort to build credit, the credit bureaus may not always recognize all of your credit accounts.
Certain credit accounts such as gas cards, department stores cards, and cards from credit unions may not show up on your credit report, and because of this lack of information, your credit scores may be inaccurate or potentially non-existent.
Adding Items to Credit Report Can Boost Credit Scores
By adding missing credit accounts to your credit report you can boost your credit depth and effectively establish or raise your credit score. Assuming these missing accounts are in good standing with minimal amounts of debt, you can make a request to add them to your credit report by calling one or all of the credit bureaus directly. (Don’t add accounts that are in bad standing or riddled with debt. It’s a blessing if they aren’t included on your credit report.)
The credit bureaus should honor your request, although they may charge you a small processing fee and ask that you send them documentation. Be diligent and only work with the credit bureaus directly. Many third party companies will charge you for similar services.
Once missing accounts are added to your credit report, you’ll have greater documented credit history, which should drive your scores upward. If you had an “insufficient credit file” or “no credit file” in the past, these added accounts should give the credit bureaus enough information to issue a credit score.
And a credit score, coupled with a more complete credit profile, will allow you to apply for more credit, which should help you build a stronger credit profile over time.