What Percentage of 18 and 19 Year Olds Don’t Have a Credit Score?

What Percentage of 18 and 19 Year Olds Don’t Have a Credit Score?

Establishing a credit score is an essential aspect of financial independence, allowing individuals to secure loans, obtain credit cards, and even rent an apartment. However, when it comes to young adults, particularly those aged 18 and 19, the question arises: what percentage of them don’t have a credit score? In this article, we will explore this topic and shed light on why many young adults in this age group may not have a credit score. We will also address some frequently asked questions regarding credit scores for 18 and 19-year-olds.

Understanding Credit Scores

Before diving into the statistics, let’s have a brief understanding of what credit scores are. Credit scores are numerical representations of an individual’s creditworthiness and financial responsibility. They are typically calculated based on various factors, such as payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit, and new credit accounts.

Why 18 and 19-Year-Olds May Not Have a Credit Score

1. Limited Credit History: One primary reason many 18 and 19-year-olds do not have a credit score is their limited credit history. Establishing a credit history requires time, as it is built upon the length of credit accounts. Since young adults in this age group have only recently entered adulthood, they have had limited time to build a credit history.

2. Lack of Credit Accounts: Another reason for the absence of credit scores among 18 and 19-year-olds is the lack of credit accounts. Many financial institutions are wary of providing credit to individuals without a proven track record of responsible financial behavior. As a result, young adults may struggle to obtain credit cards or loans, limiting their ability to build a credit history.

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3. Financial Dependence: Many individuals in this age group still rely on their parents or guardians for financial support. As a result, they may not feel the immediate need to establish credit or may not have the financial responsibility that comes with managing credit accounts.

The Percentage of 18 and 19-Year-Olds Without a Credit Score

While there is no definitive answer to the exact percentage of 18 and 19-year-olds without a credit score, various factors can help estimate this figure. According to a 2019 study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), approximately 26 million adults in the United States aged 18-19 were credit invisible, meaning they had no credit history. This accounts for around 62% of individuals in this age group.

It is important to note that being credit invisible does not necessarily mean having a poor credit history. It simply indicates the absence of a credit score due to the reasons mentioned earlier, such as limited credit history or lack of credit accounts.


Q: Is it essential for 18 and 19-year-olds to have a credit score?
A: While having a credit score is not mandatory at this age, it can greatly benefit young adults in the long run. It helps establish a solid credit history, which is crucial for future financial endeavors.

Q: How can 18 and 19-year-olds start building their credit?
A: There are several ways young adults can start building credit. They can consider applying for a secured credit card, becoming an authorized user on a parent’s credit card, or taking out a small loan with a co-signer.

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Q: Does having no credit score affect future financial opportunities?
A: Yes, having no credit score can impact future financial opportunities. It may make it more challenging to secure loans, obtain credit cards, or even rent an apartment without a co-signer.

Q: How long does it take to establish a credit score?
A: Establishing a credit score takes time. Generally, it can take about six months to a year of responsible credit behavior to start building a credit history and obtain a credit score.

In conclusion, a significant percentage of 18 and 19-year-olds do not have a credit score due to limited credit history, lack of credit accounts, and financial dependence. While it is not mandatory to have a credit score at this age, building a credit history early on can open doors to various financial opportunities in the future.