We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Credit History?

By M. DePietro
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Credit history is a report that documents anything related to how an individual managed his or her credit. It includes information on borrowing and repayment of credit cards, bank and car loans, mortgages and any other debt owed to a creditor. An individual's credit history will not only include open accounts, but includes any credit card accounts and loans applied for or closed. It lists late payments, defaults on loans and bankruptcy.

A person's credit score is determined in part by his or her credit history. Things on it that are considered negative include bankruptcy, late payments, high credit card balances and defaulting on a loan or credit card account. These negative marks contribute to a lower credit score.

A good credit history is important for a number of reasons. Credit card companies along with banks and mortgage companies want to provide loans and credit to people who are considered a good risk. This means people who will payback the money. If a person has a poor history with credit, and likely a low credit score, he or she may be considered a high risk and have a difficult time obtaining credit, including loans. If credit is obtained, it may be at a higher interest rate than someone with a good history.

An individual's credit history is recorded on a credit report. There are three major credit reporting companies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Each company obtains its information from the credit card companies and banks. People should keep in mind that certain things, such as a bankruptcy, may not remain on the credit report forever. Consumers should determine the length of time negative marks are allowed to remain on a credit report and contact companies to ensure they were removed.

One step that people can take to improve their credit score is to get a copy of their credit report and review their credit history. Mistakes can be removed from it by writing to the reporting company. Paying bills on time, staying under credit limits and learning from past mistakes are also steps a consumer can take to maintain good credit.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By sneakers41 — On Jul 18, 2010

Sally20- I just want to add that you may have to obtain a co-signer if you don’t have established credit.

Without a credit history to base on, many companies are reluctant to lend money and usually require a secondary signer on the account. If they do take a chance, the interest rate might be very high.

By surfNturf — On Jul 18, 2010

Crispety- I agree with you, but I want to add that if you have a parent that has good credit and they add you as a secondary account holder, you can also establish your credit history this way too.

This is what a lot of parents do to help their children establish their credit history.

By Crispety — On Jul 18, 2010

Sally20- I think that if you do not have a credit history than you probably do not have a credit score. The best thing to do is to establish some form of credit by trying to apply for a secured credit card at a credit union.

The way this works is that you supply a few hundred dollars in a bank account that is frozen. The bank will then supply you with a credit card with a credit limit based on the amount you placed in your bank account.

Usually these first credit card limits are really low. A credit limit of $500 is very common, but at least you get to establish your credit little by little.

By Sally20 — On Apr 22, 2010

I am buying a new car next month. i do not have credit. what should i expect my score to be?

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.