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Not everyone has a social security number but everyone should still check their credit score frequently. You may have an ITIN number, which is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. This number is nine digits long and starts with a 9. It’s issued to certain non-citizens and their spouses and dependents who don’t have social security numbers. Keep reading to learn how to check credit score with ITIN number.
Highlights /Key Takeaways
- An ITIN number: An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number reserved for qualifying residents and non-citizens who don’t have a social security number
- Check your credit with ITIN: Learn the different options for checking your credit score and your credit report with your ITIN.
- Build credit with an ITIN number: You can still have a credit score and build credit with an ITIN number even if you don’t have a social security number
- Understand your credit score: Whether you have an ITIN or a Social security number, you still need to understand your three digit credit score, what it means, and what range it falls in.
Best Ways To Check Your Credit with Your ITIN
ITINs can be assigned to qualifying nonresidents, resident aliens, their spouses, and their dependents. In fact, immigrants new to the U.S. may need to acquire an ITIN for tax reporting purposes. Unlike a Social Security Number which is issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA), an ITIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The three main credit bureaus allow you to check your credit score with your ITIN. Each bureau has different information needed to check your score. Remember, that you’re entitled to one free credit report each year with a SSN or an ITIN.
Check Your Credit with Equifax:
- Create an account to check your credit score and your credit report. You will need to provide information such as your ITIN, current address, full name, date of birth, and phone number.
- Submit a request: In writing to Equifax to get a copy of your full credit report.
- Include: A government issued id with your current address and one copy of a current utility bill, insurance statement, or bank statement.
Check Your Credit with Experian:
Request a copy of your credit report via mail or phone to get your Experian credit report. This report will include your credit score. You can mail everything to: Experian P.O. Box 9701 Allen, TX 75013
Provide information including:
- Government-issued ID
- A copy of a bank statement or utility bill
- Your full name
- Your ITIN
- Your date of birth
- Your current and past addresses
Check Your Credit with TransUnion:
To request a copy of your credit report via mail or phone from TransUnion you need to provide the following information:
- Government-issued ID
- Your full name
- Your current address
If you are struggling with substantial amounts of debt, a debt relief company such as Freedom Debt Relief could be your lifeline. The company can help you save 15-35% of your total amount owed.
Building Your Credit With an ITIN
You don’t need a social security number to build credit. It is in fact possible and quite doable to build credit with an ITIN and ultimately achieve a high credit score. By building credit, you can work towards your financial goals. Things like buying a car, buying your own house, and qualifying for a personal or business loan will become possible.
Keep in mind that your credit history from countries outside of the U.S. typically does not transfer here. So, it may feel like you’re starting all over again. But, the credit journey will be worth it. By building credit with an ITIN you will set yourself up for a more promising financial future. You will also have access to the best rate, terms, and loan products.
When you have an ITIN, it may take time to build credit, but hang in there. The longer the credit history, the more helpful it is to your credit score.
With an Itin number credit score you can build credit by:
- Applying for and using credit cards: Note that you will need to check with credit card companies if you qualify before applying. Some may require a SSN to apply for a card. You may also need a U.S. bank account to qualify for a credit card.
- Authorized user: Ask someone with a good credit score and a long credit history if you can become an authorized user on their account. This can help you build your credit without negatively impacting their score.
- Payments: Establish a track record of on-time payments for all of your bills.
- Credit utilization: Once you get a credit card, use it responsibly. Keep your credit utilization low and don’t overspend. You want to show potential creditors that you’re a responsible borrower.
Understanding Your Credit Score
Once you get your three digit credit score, now what? What does that score mean and what will it get you in terms of loans and credit cards? Well, FICO and VantageScore are the two main credit scoring models. They will each assign you a credit score based on a number of factors including your payment history. The higher your score the better and the more financial opportunities you will have access to.
Your FICO credit score is calculated using five weighted categories:
- Payment history: 35%
- Amounts owed: 30%
- Length of credit history: 15%
- Credit mix: 10%
- New credit: 10%
So, as you can see from the above percentages, your payment history is the most important factor affecting your credit score. That’s why it’s imperative to pay every bill on time. Even one missed or late payment can have a negative impact on your credit score.
Amounts owed also makes up a big chunk of your credit score. This number refers to your total credit limits and can include how much credit you have used, or actually owe. For example, you may have credit cards with limits totaling $10,000, but you only owe $3,000. Your credit score will consider both of those numbers and the lower your credit utilization, the better.
Length of credit history isn’t something you can have much control over. You may be young, just established credit, or just moved to the U.S. Of course, over time your credit history will be longer, but in the meantime, don’t close out any old credit cards. You may have a credit card from when you were younger that you don’t use, but keep it open, buy a coffee or something small on it and pay it off on time. This will help lengthen your credit history.
The other option to lengthen your credit history is to find a trusted friend or family member who will add you as an authorized user to one of their accounts. They may have had a credit card that they paid on time for 20 years. This will help lengthen your credit history and in turn boost your credit score.
A credit mix is just as it sounds; a mix or a variety of different types of credit accounts. A lender likes to see that you have different lines of credit such as an auto loan, a personal loan, a home mortgage, and a credit card.
New credit is just any credit that shows up on your credit report that wasn’t there before. Too much new credit or too many new inquiries can negatively affect your score, so don’t apply for every credit card offer you receive. Conversely, new credit can also help boost your credit score, especially if it offers a new mix of credit, like a personal loan that you didn’t have before. Credit that is established within the last twelve months is generally considered new.
Now, let’s get into how FICO scores are ranked starting from 300 all the way up to 850.
FICO credit scores are ranked on a scale from Poor to Exceptional:
- 300 to 380: Poor
- 580 to 669: Fair
- 670 to 739: Good
- 740 to 799: Very good
- 800 to 850: Exceptional
Your VantageScore 4.0 credit score is calculated using six weighted categories:
- Payment history: 41%
- Depth of credit: 20%
- Credit utilization: 20%
- Recent credit: 11%
- Balances: 6%
- Available credit: 2%
Again, even on a different scoring model, payment history is the most important factor when determining your actual credit score.
VantageScore credit scores are ranked from Subprime to Superprime:
- 300 to 600: Subprime
- 601 to 660: Near prime
- 661 to 780: Prime
- 781 to 850: Superprime
Now you know more about what an ITIN is, why you need one, and who may be eligible to receive one. You also know how to check credit score with ITIN number.
Your ITIN credit report is available from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian upon request. Using your ITIN is the best way to check your credit score without a SSN. Even if you don’t have a social security number, it’s important to be aware of your credit score, monitor it, and start building it. This will put you on the path towards financial freedom.