The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
Having no credit history is not literally the end of the world. A lot of people in this country still live on cash wages and off the book dealings. However, if you wish to enter mainstream society and conduct normal transactions, you need to have a credit history. Developing a credit history is a long drawn out process, and needs to be started as early as possible. Technically speaking, you need to be at least 18 years of age in order to have a social security number to work legally and pay taxes; hence, your actual records can start only from that age.
There are many diverse problems that you will encounter. It will all start with the fact that you cannot open a bank account with ease. When you first go to open a bank account, you will need a referral from someone who already has an account at that bank. If this is not possible, you need to get a letter from your workplace or school saying that you need a bank account.
After opening a bank account, you need to apply for a credit card. Only when you start making transactions on the credit card and start paying off the money borrowed, will you be able to maintain a credible credit history. Opening a new credit account will be very easy if you have a credit history with a good credit score. If you have a bad credit history, any subsequent credit accounts that you open will have a very high interest rate and will also have a low credit limit.
Getting a cell phone connection is not possible in this country without a credit history and a good credit score. If not, you will have to pay a huge deposit. For AT&T cell phones, the deposit amount is $500 in order to get a new independent connection. If you cannot do this, your only recourse would be to get into a family plan under someone else`s name.
Renting an apartment can be very difficult in big cities. This is not to say that you will not get a place to stay. You can most definitely move into the shadier parts of town with ease and cash payments. If you wish to move into a good apartment in the downtown area with a concierge and other services, credit history is required, or you will need to pay a large cash deposit which can equal to 1 years` worth of rent.
Acquiring loans is impossible without a credit history. A credit history shows that you are financially credible. If you have none, there is no way that a creditor can trust you. Your only recourse now will be to settle for shady loan sharks who offer high interest rates and bulky loan retrieval agents. This is when things can get very murky and dangerous if you do not have the cash when they come collecting.