While your credit score ranges from 300 to 850, there is one exception to the rule: a credit score of 0. Yep, goose egg. Nada. You get one of these from having no credit history: no lines of credit, no debt, likely paying for everything with just cold hard cash. Sure, you get the “I just use cash” badge of honor, which is great in theory. You’re purchasing things with money you actually have, and that’s awesome. But that’s also a pretty unrealistic goal.
Here’s why it’s bad to have a credit score of 0: it really just means that creditors don’t know what to do with you. You’re a financial anomaly, and that makes them nervous. They want to see you take on some debt to see how you can handle it when you do want credit—and you will, for one reason or another in your life, whether it’s to purchase a home or take out a loan to go back to school. Some financial experts will say that you should aim for a “0” because carrying debt in general is a bad money practice. I say, that’s admirable…until you become human. Then, call me.
Pro Tip: Want an easy (and free) way to check your credit? Do double time! If you apply for a loan, you can ask the lender for a copy of the report and FICO score they pulled so you don’t have to pay for them yourself.