Do you need a credit card to have a credit score?

Last Modified 16th of February 2021

You don’t need to have taken out a huge loan or a credit card in order to have a credit score, you just need to exist and have some sort of financial presence in the UK.

Credit reference agencies collect every bit of relevant data that they can, so as soon as you become an adult you will almost certainly be ‘picked up’ by them and from there you will have some sort of credit file – and therefore a credit score. In fact you will have one with each of the main three agencies Experian, Equifax & Call Credit.


Of course, if you have never used any form of credit, never paid any bills and never applied for any credit, it may be that you don’t yet have a file.

Getting a credit card

Getting a credit card is certainly not a requisite to having a credit score, but it is probably the best possible way to improve your credit score, so getting one is a great idea if you can.

If you can’t get one though, don’t worry; any form of credit used correctly will help you to improve your credit rating, whether it is a credit card with a small limit, a small overdraft or personal loan or something as simple as a mobile phone contract, utility bills and so on.


In short, you don’t need anything to get a credit score, you almost certainly already have one – but to improve your credit score you do need to use credit and if you want to do that as quickly as possible then yes, you practically need to get yourself a credit card.