ITIN Credit Score – How To Check Your Credit Rating With ITIN?
Having a chance to get a free copy of your credit report and to check your credit score is the right of every American. Still, what happens to those that only arrived in the US on a student visa or immigrant workers that would like to check their score? That’s where the ITIN credit score comes into play.
Even though the major credit bureaus will require your social security number, it’s not all over just yet – you can use an individual taxpayer identification number instead. It’s also a 9-digit number for identification, but it’s issued by the IRS instead of the Social Security Administration. So, if you only have your ITIN at your disposal, this guide will lead the way in checking your rating and building up your score!
About ITIN And Its Relevance To Credit Scores
Checking your credit history without a social security number is indeed tough. First of all, the credit bureaus simply need a way of confirming your identity and pairing the information from your credit accounts with your credit file.
On the other hand, the bureaus require the SSN to grant you the right to receive a copy of all three credit reports for free. So, what’s an individual taxpayer identification number, and how can it help replace the role of your SSN in this case?
Well, the IRS issues an ITIN number to everyone that currently resides in the US, but doesn’t have the eligibility for getting a social security number. It can therefore be used by financial institutions and other authorities for identity confirmation.
In essence, it enables you to pay your US-based taxes and it’s a good start in establishing a credit history. Since your credit results achieved in countries outside the US don’t contribute to your credit score in the States, getting your ITIN number is a good start. Not only can you check your credit score with it, but you can also register for a bank account or even a credit card!
It’s truly a bothersome aspect of the subject that you can’t get a free credit report from the bureaus with your ITIN. They mostly ask for your SSN to give you a free copy, but we’ll lead you through ways you can still use to check your credit reports and credit scores with your ITIN.
Getting Your Credit Report With an ITIN
While it might be hard to get free credit scores and credit report copies without an SSN, you can still turn to the bureaus individually. Each of the three major credit bureaus has a specific set of guidelines that those with ITIN numbers need to follow to obtain a credit report copy.
It’s the best way of getting insight into your credit history, while not all the bureaus also give you a free credit score estimation. However, the credit report copy makes a perfect base for checking your score as you can even boost it by correcting any false information.
Experian Is Your Best Choice
If you want to use your ITIN to check the credit rating and get a copy of your credit report along with it, Experian is the go-to option. This bureau includes your credit score with the report, and it’s arguably the best of all credit reporting agencies for those without an SSN.
To receive a copy of your credit report and check your credit score, you can use your ITIN to submit a request by mail with the following items included:
- ITIN number
- Copy of your ID
- Any bank statement in your name
- A copy of the current utility bill or rental payment in your name
You should send the request to the mailing address Experian, P.O. Box 9701 Allen, TX 75013. After the bureau considers your request, you should receive a reply with your Experian credit report and a credit score. This is the easiest way you can get a credit score without having an SSN.
Your ITIN replaces an SSN in this case entirely, and it’s enough for the bureau to confirm your identity and pair your accounts with the credit file.
Get Your TransUnion Credit Report With an ITIN
While the rest of the three main credit bureaus won’t include your score along with the credit report, you should still obtain copies of it with an ITIN. Your individual tax identification number along with a few other details is just enough to get a copy of your TransUnion credit report.
In this case, you’ll need to reach out to TransUnion’s customer service and fill out an online form. Here are the main details you’ll need to receive a copy of your credit report with ITIN in this case:
- ITIN number
- Government-issued identification card (driver’s license should suffice)
- Copy of your current utility bill
- Copy of your lease agreement
- Bank statement in your name
You can fill out an online form to submit the request which makes TransUnion a great option. On the other hand, you can also send the request by mail to TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016.
How Does It Work For Equifax Reports?
If you want to get your credit report from Equifax by using your ITIN, you’ll have to go through a similar procedure to the one of checking with Experian. The bureau requires several items and pieces of info to confirm your identity and address, and the required data includes:
- Your current address and list of previous addresses
- ITIN number
- Copy of your rental agreement
- Copy of a bank statement in your name
- Cell phone bill
- Driver’s license
- Copy of your passport
The best way to receive a copy of your credit report from Equifax is if you mail your request with all the requested items attached.
The Next Step – Using Your ITIN To Check Your Rating
Checking to make sure everything adds up in your financial history works best if you compare the results from all three major bureaus. However, looking at your reports alone won’t give you the exact picture of your credit standing.
While Experian does include a credit rating along with their report, you should also consider other options to check your credit scores with the ITIN number. Luckily, you can get a credit score estimation in the US by relying on information from your credit card issuer or bank.
Checking Your Credit Score With A Bank Account
You might not be aware of this, but another advantage of having an ITIN is that you can use it to open a bank account. The only way you can open up a bank account without a social security number is by submitting your ITIN to the bank.
If you are able to do so, you might also get the chance to check your credit information with the bank. Some banks give customers a simplified way of viewing their credit score, and all you have to do is install the banking app to check your credit score.
If you are an international student living in the US, this might be your best option to get a personal bank account and start tracking your credit history.
Getting A Credit Card Might Help
Just like with bank accounts, your ITIN can be used to register for a new credit card. Credit card issuers usually let you qualify for at least a secured credit card even without a social security number.
From there, you can proceed to prove your responsibility with the payments and update it to an unsecured credit card. Either way, credit card companies are one of your best options to check your credit score.
You can also check your score regularly with the card issuer as most now offer this as an added perk. Your credit score might be visible on your monthly credit card statement, so you can compare the rating and see how it changes from month to month.
Consider Getting A Loan
Although it doesn’t sound like an easy task, you can apply for a loan even if you don’t have any previous credit history in the US. What’s more, some agencies like Nova Credit even translate your foreign credit history to help you qualify for a loan in the US.
On the other hand, using your ITIN can help you confirm your identity to lenders, so you might be able to borrow money based on that number and history of timely rental payments.
You can get car loans or student loans with convenient interest rates to start, and you might get to know your exact credit score in the process. It’s easy to check the score with lenders during the application phase, but make sure to only apply for loans that won’t leave a hard inquiry on your report.
Submitting a list of complete addresses in the US along with your ITIN should be enough to confirm your identity to lenders.
If you have at least some timely payments made in the US, like those on your secured card or rental agreement, you might be able to secure a loan and start building credit from there.
It might be difficult to get a view of your credit history with just your ITIN, but there are ways of doing so and ensuring a healthy credit score even without a social security number. So, make sure to get a copy of the credit report you are entitled to and start from there.
Also, do what you can to make sure the information about payments that you make in the US reaches your credit reports. Get in touch with your service providers for cellphone bills and utility bills, and inquire about their reports to the credit bureaus. Overall, this guide should do you justice by building the foundation of checking your credit score and establishing credit in the US!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Can I check my credit score with an ITIN?
You can check your credit score with an ITIN instead of a social security number by sending a request to credit bureaus. However, you should note that just Experian will include your credit score on top of the credit report copy, so you might want to consider other options as well. Many banks and credit card issuers let you open an account with an ITIN alone, and you can use their services to check your score.
Is it possible to get a free copy of credit reports with ITIN?
Before you start to build credit with your ITIN as the base for identification, you should consider pulling credit report copies. Sadly, credit bureaus mostly require social security numbers for online checks. However, you should be able to pull your copy by following the steps in this guide and submitting your ITIN along with other personal details.
How often can I check my score with ITIN?
Although it’s tough to check your score without a social security number, it’s possible to get frequent updates on your rating even by using an ITIN. The best way would be to apply for a credit card and use the services and monthly statements offered by the issuer to keep your score optimized.