Credit score when you turn 18: what happens now?

Wondering what your credit score is like when you turn 18? In this post, we'll show you what to expect and how to start building good credit early on.


It’s your first step into adulthood. But it comes with responsibilities

A cheerful cute young woman is celebrating her birthday and holding cubes with her age 18 eighteen years old, on an isolated pink background
So now you’re 18 years old! Learn everything about your credit score – you’ll need it! Source: Freepik.

Turning 18 is a really big deal because it means you are now an adult. And know that you’ll have to deal with finances it’s time to know what happens with your credit score when you turn 18.

Becoming an adult comes with a lot of new responsibilities and possibilities, like voting and applying for credit.

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If you’re thinking about taking advantage of your newfound freedom by financing a car, starting a business, or paying for college, then you may be wondering what your credit score is like.

In this post, we’ll show you what your credit score is when your legal birthday arrives and how you can improve it after you turn 18 years old. Read more below.

At which moment do you begin having a credit score?

Your credit score starts to build as soon as you start using credit, and it continues to change throughout your life. 

If you’ve never used credit before, your score will be on the lower end when you turn 18. If you’ve had some experience with credit, your score will be on the higher end.

When you turn 18, you’re considered an adult in the eyes of the law. But what you may not know is that your credit score is likely to be very low or nonexistent at that age.

This is because most 18-year-olds have no prior experience with borrowing money or using credit cards, which means you never touched your credit score.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get approved for a loan or line of credit; it just means that you may have to pay a higher interest rate than someone with a more established credit history.

So if you’re planning on financing something big in the near future, it’s a good idea to start building your credit now. 

How can you start building your credit?

woman thinking
At 18 years old, you should start thinking about your credit score. Source: Freepik.

Your credit score is an important number that represents how reliable you are as a borrower. Now that you’re 18, it is very important to have a good credit score.

It ranges from 300 to 850, and the higher your score, the better. To get a credit score, there needs to be at least one account in your name that a credit bureau has access to.

So chances are you likely don’t have a credit score yet.

Tips to begin building your credit when you’re starting out:

It’s time to start your credit journey! If you haven’t had a good financial education in your late teens, don’t worry. You still have time to learn, and these tips will help you:

Get a secured credit card

One option is to get a secured credit card. With this type of card, you’ll need to make a deposit equal to your credit limit, which acts as collateral in case you default on your payments.

Using this type of credit card responsibly can really help in the long run. This means making small purchases and paying off your balance in full each month.

Responsible credit card users show that they are reliable and have financial discipline by using their cards wisely. So, nobody expects you to have a perfect credit score when you turn 18, but it’s time to start learning about it.

Become an authorized user of your parent’s credit card

Another way to get more control over your finances is by becoming an authorized user of someone else’s credit card account.

This means that the account holder agrees to let you use their account and make charges, but they are responsible for repaying the debt. 

Authorized users can often get their own card with the same perks as the primary cardholder, such as cashback or rewards points.

Pay your bills on time, always!

If you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to miss one of your bills. Make sure that all the important things like credit card and loan payments as well as utility bills are on time, so nothing goes wrong with them!

Keep track of your spending and make sure you aren’t overspending each month. Try using a budgeting app or spreadsheet to help you stay on track.

Start with just one credit card

Avoid opening too many new accounts at once. This can ding your credit score in the short term, and you should avoid it when you turn 18.

Building a good credit history takes time and patience, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Having a strong credit score will give you access to lower interest rates and better terms on loans, making it easier to reach your financial goals.

The sooner you build your credit, the better.

happy young 18 years old woman using credit card to build credit
Start using a credit card to build your credit history as soon as possible. Source: Freepik.

As soon as possible is a great time to start building up good payment habits and establish yourself in society so that when it comes down to loans or other opportunities later on down the road, people will know exactly who they’re dealing with!

Second, if you ever need to borrow money for an emergency (e.g., car repairs), having good credit will make it easier to get a loan with favorable terms. 

Finally, your credit score can affect your ability to get approved for apartments, insurance, and even jobs. A strong credit score can save you thousands of dollars on everything from a mortgage to car insurance. 

So if you’re not sure what your credit score is, now is the perfect time to find out and take steps to improve it.

And if you’re just starting out, don’t be discouraged. Focus on building your credit little by little, and you’ll be on your way to a bright financial future.

One of the first things you should do is check your credit score. 

Your credit score is a number that represents your creditworthiness. This three-digit number will determine a lot about your future, including what kind of interest rates you’ll get on car loans, mortgages, and other types of credit products.

That’s why it’s important to know what is your credit score when you turn 18 and the ways you can improve it.

By understanding your credit score and developing good credit habits early on, you can set yourself up for a lifetime of financial success.

Make sure to check your credit score regularly and keep track of your progress as you work to improve it. Thanks for reading!

If you just starting out your financial life and want to know more about it, check out the following content on 10 tips for a better financial life and start your path to wealthiness.

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10 tips for a better financial life

Learning how to manage your finances will give you a lot of advantages in life. Put these tips into action, and you'll see the results.

About the author  /  Vinicius Barbosa

Vinicius Barbosa is a writer of finance-related content on this portal. Graduated in Social Communication, he writes about everything that involves the world of finances, from credit card recommendations to investment tips, for readers who want to make better decisions when it comes time to spend their money or invest wisely.

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