According to recent data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), eleven percent of Americans are “credit invisible.” This means that these individuals don’t have credit files with the nationwide credit reporting agencies (NCRA), or that the information that exists is very limited.
Credit invisibility doesn’t only apply to young individuals who haven’t built up their history yet. It can also apply to older individuals who have stopped using credit, or to Americans who live abroad and don’t keep their U.S. credit accounts active.
Credit invisibility can be detrimental for a number of reasons. Lacking credit history can make it difficult or impossible to secure new lines of credit. This means you may not be able to get a loan for the house or car you want or open a new credit card account. It could also make it more difficult for you to rent an apartment or get a job.
Stay up to date with your credit standing by checking your report regularly. Consumers may obtain credit reports from Transunion, Experian, and Equifax every twelve months for free. We recommend that you request your reports from the credit bureaus in writing and have them mailed to you. You should enclose two forms of identification, such as a current driver’s license and utility bill, with your request. Once you have your reports, review your information to make sure you aren’t at risk for credit invisibility and that all of your information is accurate.
This article by NerdWallet provides more tips on how to address the different causes of credit invisibility.