MoneyLife

What Does a Zero Credit Score Mean?

By Jacinta Sherris
zero credit score

Worried about having a zero credit score? Technically there is no such thing as zero credit score, but you can have no credit profile. From buying your first car to getting approved for a mortgage, building a credit profile is crucial.

Most lenders won’t want to give you access to credit if you don’t already have a history of using it. This makes it difficult to build credit in the first place – especially if you’re starting off on your credit journey. 

Still, it’s not impossible. There are several important things to know about building up credit. If you’re looking to establish or improve your credit score, here’s how you can take action.

No credit history

If you’re 18 years old or younger, you likely have no credit history. The reason for this is simple – lenders aren’t supposed to lend you money if you’re not an adult.

You might also have a low credit score because you’ve been extremely reckless with your credit. Maybe you’ve made numerous late payments or let your accounts go into delinquency. 

Whichever your situation, the same solutions and tips can help you get your credit on the right track. 

Is it worse to have no credit or bad credit?

Having bad credit is worse than having no credit at all. Once you’ve shown lenders that you’re unable to manage your credit, it’s difficult to regain trust back. It takes time and effort to get back on track. 

On the other hand, having zero or no credit history is essentially a blank slate. With some education and the right tools, it’s a lot easier to build up credit in the first place. 

Is it possible to build credit without a credit card?

Yes! A credit card is only one type of credit account. There are also plenty of other options out there, such as car loans, rental payments, and even a Credit Builder Loan

A Credit Builder Loan is designed to help you build up and improve your credit score – whether you’re starting from zero or with a poor credit history. There’s no hard credit pull and you could get up to $1000 in financing at competitive rates. 

As long as you’re making your payments on-time, consistently, and tracking your progress – your score will get a boost. Most users have been able to build their credit up to 60 points within 60 days!

What credit score is needed for zero-percent financing?

Typically, you need to have excellent credit, usually a score of 800 or higher, to qualify for zero-percent financing. If you’re like most people, this credit score may be out of your range. 

There are other ways to access zero-percent financing. One option is MoneyLion’s Instacash. Instacash is a cash advance that allows you to borrow up to $250 at 0% APR without a hard credit inquiry. 

How to build a credit score with zero credit history

Wondering how you can go from a zero credit score to building up credit? Improving your credit score or establishing credit for the first time is absolutely possible – and there’s more than one way to do this. Here’s how you can start building credit on your own. 

Report rent and utilities 

Paying for rent or other utilities can go on your credit report! Experian Boost allows you to link your bank account and will automatically and securely scan it for rent, utilities, and other qualifying bills to help you build a positive payment history. If you’ve been paying your bills on time, you could get an instant boost on your credit report.

Become an authorized user

Many young adults first start building their credit by becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card – usually a parent or trusted family member. People looking to rebuild their credit scores can also consider this option. 


Although this approach can be a great way to build up credit, it’s not without controversy. For starters, it requires you to put your credit in another person’s hands. You want to make sure that this person is someone you trust who is also financially responsible. You also want to ensure that you’ll be responsible and not take advantage of their credit. 

Make sure to call the credit card company beforehand and confirm that they’ll make positive payment reports on your behalf as well as the primary account holder before you agree to do this.

Secured credit card

A secured credit card requires you to put up a cash deposit equal to the card’s limit as collateral. This can be a very effective way to build credit, especially for young adults just starting out. 

However, some people find it difficult to come up with the money for the deposit. These cards also come with high-interest rates, just like regular credit cards. 

Student loans

Planning on going to college? Federal student loans are installment loans that typically have lower interest rates than private loans. They also get reported to the credit bureaus. 

If you’re able to work while you’re in school and can afford to start paying off your debt right away– do so. You’ll save on interest and you’ll start seeing improvements on your loans so long as you’re making timely payments.

Auto loans

Auto loans are another type of installment loan. It can be an easy way to build up credit as long as you make consistent payments. If you can get an auto loan through a credit union – even better! This can be a great way to secure lower interest rates. 

If you’re a young adult with no credit history or someone with a poor credit score, you may need a co-signer in order to take out an auto loan. If you can find someone with good credit who is willing to cosign with you – great! If not, try to build up your credit a bit with other methods before applying for an auto loan. 

Credit Builder Loan

MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Loan was designed specifically for adults with no credit history as well as those looking to improve their score. Applying requires no hard pull on your credit – which means that you can get approved even if you have a zero credit history!

For $19.99/month, you can access up to $1,000 of financing at a low-interest rate. Your loan also comes with credit tracking tools and weekly updates to make sure you have everything you need to stay on track. 

MoneyLion will report your payments to the three main credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. As long as you’re making your payments on-time, your score will get a boost!

Building Up From a Zero Credit 

If you feel stuck having poor or zero credit, know that there are options available for you! It won’t be easy – it will take time and effort but as long as you’re doing everything right you’ll start to see improvements.

In the meantime, opening a RoarMoney online bank account and accessing MoneyLion’s expert budgeting tools can help you start putting aside the funds you’ll need to improve your credit and take advantage of the credit-building strategies listed above.

MoneyLion takes an all-in-one approach to help you achieve financial wellness. From credit building tools, investment portfolios, and financial tracking technology – we’re here to help you make your money roar!

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