Can You Check Your Credit Score Without a Social Security Number?
Harrison Pierce is a writer and a digital nomad, specializing in personal finance with a focus on credit cards. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a major in sociology and is currently traveling the world.Read full bio
At a Glance
If you don’t have a social security number (SSN), there are alternative ways available for you to access your free credit report. You can verify your identity by using other identification documents, like your driver’s license number, passport number, or even your utility bills. Some online credit monitoring services also offer credit reports that don’t require a social security number. However, it’s important to be cautious and do your research before providing any sensitive personal information online. Protect yourself and your financial identity while seeking to obtain your credit report.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Is the birth year cutoff for those whose SSNs were created using the following algorithm: the first three numbers were based on your zip code, the next two numbers were your group number, and the last four were created as the Social Security Administration processed each application. Now, SSNs are completely randomized.
How to check your credit score?
Every year, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can request your free credit report by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
You can also sign up for credit monitoring services from sites like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and WalletHub. You’ll need to create an account and provide some personal information, like your name, address, and Social Security number. Your credit score is tied to your SSN, and it is used to track your credit history and verify your identity. It’s important to provide accurate information when signing up for a credit monitoring service to ensure that you receive the correct credit score and report. Additionally, you should only provide your Social Security number to reputable and trusted sources to protect your identity and prevent identity theft.
Can you check your credit score without your SSN?
It will generally be much more difficult to check your credit score without your SSN. All credit is tied to your SSN, and it’s used as identity verification to access your report and score. You might be able to use an ITIN instead, but that will depend on the site you use.
How to check your credit score with your ITIN?
If you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and want to check your credit score, you can follow these steps:
- Contact the credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the three main credit reporting agencies in the U.S. You can contact each of them and inquire about their process for checking credit scores with an ITIN.
- Provide proof of identity and ITIN: You will need to provide proof of your identity and ITIN to the credit reporting agencies. This may include a government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport, and a copy of your ITIN letter from the IRS.
- Request your credit report: Once your identity and ITIN are verified, you can request your credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies. Your credit report will include your credit history and may also include your credit score.
How can you check your credit score without SSN or ITIN?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to check your credit score without an SSN or an ITIN, and if you don’t have either, you may have difficulty getting approved for credit or loans. Lenders and creditors use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness and whether or not to extend credit to you.
How to build credit without SSN?
1. Open a bank account
In the U.S., most banks require applicants to provide an SSN when opening a bank account. However, it is possible to open a bank account without an SSN by providing other forms of identification, like a passport, driver’s license, or a taxpayer identification number (TIN). Opening a bank account without an SSN may be helpful for individuals who are not eligible for an SSN, like non-residents or international students.
2. Apply for a credit card
If you do not have an SSN, you may still be able to apply for a credit card in the U.S. Here are some steps you can take:
- Look for credit card issuers that accept ITIN instead of an SSN. Some issuers, like American Express and Capital One, may accept an ITIN instead of an SSN. You can visit their websites to check their eligibility requirements.
- Apply for an ITIN. You can obtain an ITIN from the IRS by filling out Form W-7. You can then use your ITIN when applying for a credit card.
- Provide additional documentation. When you apply for a credit card with an ITIN, the credit card issuer may ask for additional documentation to verify your identity and creditworthiness. This may include a passport, driver’s license, bank statements, or proof of income.
- Consider secured credit cards. If you have no credit history or limited credit history, you may consider applying for a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, you make a security deposit, which becomes your credit limit. This deposit serves as collateral in case you are unable to make your payments. By using a secured credit card responsibly, you can establish a credit history and eventually qualify for an unsecured credit card.
3. Take out loans
It is still possible to take out loans without an SSN so you can build credit. Here are some steps you can take:
- Look for lenders that accept other forms of identification. Some lenders may accept other forms of identification, like a passport, driver’s license, or ITIN. Some alternative lenders, like online lenders or peer-to-peer lending platforms, may be more flexible in their eligibility requirements and may not require an SSN. However, these types of loans may have higher interest rates and fees.
- Provide additional documentation. When applying for a loan without an SSN, lenders may ask for additional documentation to verify your identity and creditworthiness. This may include a passport, driver’s license, bank statements, or proof of income.
4. Pay utility bills
Paying utility bills on time may help you build a credit history, even if you do not have an SSN. While utility bills are not typically reported to the major credit bureaus, there are alternative credit reporting agencies that track payment history for utility bills, rent payments, and other bills.
For example, Experian offers an alternative credit report called the Experian Boost, which allows you to include utility and telecommunications bills in your credit report. By including these bills in your credit report, you may be able to improve your credit score and become eligible for more credit products.
Learn more: Do Utility Bills Build Credit?
What should you do after getting an SSN?
After receiving your SSN, there are a few important things you should do to ensure that it is used properly and to help protect your identity:
- Memorize your SSN or keep it in a safe place. Do not carry your Social Security card with you unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Update your records with your SSN. This includes your employer, your bank, your credit card companies, and any other organizations that you have accounts with.
- Monitor your credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – once a year. Review your report carefully to ensure that all of the information is accurate and that there are no fraudulent accounts or inquiries.
- Protect your SSN from identity theft. Be careful about sharing your SSN, especially online or over the phone. Use strong passwords and avoid sharing personal information on public Wi-Fi networks. Shred any documents that contain your SSN before throwing them away.
- Keep your information up-to-date with the Social Security Administration. If you move or change your name, make sure to update your information with the SSA to ensure that your benefits are not interrupted.
Yes, you can have a credit score if you don’t have an SSN. Without one, it can be challenging to establish credit in your name. Still, you can become an authorized user of someone else’s credit account or get a secured credit card to establish a credit history and generate a score.
If you’re a non-U.S. citizen without an SSN, you may also be able to establish credit by applying for a credit card or loan from a lender that specializes in serving non-U.S. citizens or by providing alternative forms of identification, like a passport or driver’s license.
Yes, TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the U.S., requires your SSN to access your credit report and credit score, and you will be asked to provide your SSN as part of the verification process. TransUnion takes data privacy and security seriously and has safeguards in place to protect your information.
Some banks and credit unions may accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for account opening purposes. To apply for an ITIN, you’ll need to complete Form W-7 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and provide proof of your identity and foreign status. Once you have an ITIN, you can use it to open a bank account.
Additionally, some banks may accept other forms of identification, like a passport or driver’s license, instead of an SSN. However, these requirements can vary by bank and may depend on your residency status and other factors.
It’s important to note that not all banks will accept alternative forms of identification, and you may need to shop around to find a bank that will work with you. It’s also important to be aware of any fees or requirements associated with opening and maintaining a bank account, like minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees.
Your SSN is a unique identifier that is used to track your credit history and to ensure that the credit information on your report belongs to you so it is included in your credit report. It’s considered sensitive information, and credit reporting agencies take steps to protect it from unauthorized access or use. When you access your credit report or share it with a third party, like a lender or landlord, your SSN will be included to help verify your identity and ensure that the credit information on the report is accurate. It’s important to keep your SSN secure and only provide it to reputable and trusted sources to protect your identity and prevent identity theft.