Thin File

What is a Thin File?

A Thin File is an individual’s credit report with very little or even no credit history. People who are new to the market and have never borrowed money or used the luxury of a credit card are thought to have “thin” files.

Key TAKEAWAYS

  • A person who has little or no credit history is believed to have a weak credit file.
  • A thin file could make it difficult to obtain money or apply for a credit card.
  • One method of building a credit track record would be to apply for a secure credit card and to make payments punctually.

Understanding a Thin File

Credit bureaus collect data about individuals’ usage of credit to create a credit report for them. This credit report contains details about how much the person borrowed and whether they’ve made payments punctually can be used to determine their credit score. Prospective lenders can also scrutinize it to assess their creditworthiness.

A weak credit report could make it challenging to secure credit or be accepted for loans, as it provides lenders with very little data to assess the applicant’s creditworthiness. To circumvent this problem, lenders may look at other data when making decisions.

How to Build Credit the help of a thin file

If you’re in the middle of a file and would like to get a loan, you have various choices. As it’s based on the actions you’ve already completed in the past, the easiest is to ask the lender to look into those payments that aren’t usually reported to credit bureaus, for example, rent and utility bills. 

Suppose you’re seeking a mortgage for your home, for instance. In that case, Fannie Mae says lenders can create a nontraditional credit background for you by combining your bank statements, canceled checks, bills that are marked as paid, and reference letters from landlords and creditors.

Another option that will require more effort and time is getting a credit card and creating a solid credit history. If you do not have a credit background, the only option you can get is a secured credit card. 

A secured credit card will require the cardholder to deposit the amount to the lender, which can then be used as your credit line, which is the maximum amount you can credit to the card.

It is essential to have a secure credit card that can report your credit card transactions to the three major Credit Bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Remember to make your payments in time. 

If you don’t, you’ll end up with an unprofessional credit record. Make sure you choose secured credit cards with lower or no annual cost.

If you’ve had a chance to use secured credit cards for a few months and your credit record is no longer as thin, you might be eligible for a traditional credit card.

At that moment, you’ll most likely have built up a credit score too. According to Experian’s website, “Accounts typically need to be at least three months, and possibly more than six months inactivity before when they can be used to determine the credit score.”

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