Sometimes a lower credit score is expected depending on your stage in life or credit usage. If you’re young, or if you are just starting out in your financial life, you probably don’t have a very high score yet. Similarly, if you have a thin credit file or don’t have an extensive credit history with which to fill out your credit report, your credit score is also probably going to be lower than that of people with 20 years of credit history behind them.
If you fall into any of the above categories, you’ll need to prove your creditworthiness and improve your credit score by taking several important steps, including building your credit history and establishing good behaviors.
Components of your credit report
The same categories of information are in everyone’s credit report:
How to establish good credit behaviors
Lenders will look to your credit file to determine the answers to the following questions:
If you have a thin credit file, lenders won’t find the answers they need—and they’ll look at you as a higher risk. However, as you open accounts, move or relocate, take out loans, open utility accounts, pay off debt, and move around in the financial world, your credit file will get thicker. Your credit history will soon start to reflect who you are in the financial world.
Once you establish good behaviors, such as paying on time and staying well below your available credit limit, your credit score will likely improve. The formula is different for every borrower, but good behaviors like these will be reflected in your credit score over time. Lenders can then look at your score and get a better idea of what kind of borrower you will be.
If you’re starting out in your financial life or if you need to straighten out your finances, see some of our other resources to help improve your creditworthiness and get on track with good financial habits.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.