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What Is a Lack of Revolving Accounts?

Last Updated: March 11, 2022
3 min read

Let’s Learn About: Revolving Accounts

  1. Revolving accounts are credit accounts that you can borrow against multiple times, such as credit cards.

  2. A lack of revolving accounts may lower your credit score

  3. Getting a credit card will add a revolving account to your credit report

Your credit score depends on the information in your credit report, and there are many factors that could help or hurt your credit score.

When you check your score, you may see a list of the factors that are hurting your score the most. One factor might be “a lack of recent revolving account information,” or something similarly worded. These factors don’t tell you whether you have a good or bad credit score, just whether something is impacting your score.

If you see that a lack of revolving accounts is a factor impacting your credit score, opening and responsibly using a revolving account could help.

Comparing revolving credit with installment loans

Revolving and installment accounts are the two types of credit accounts that commonly appear in credit reports.

  • Installment loans are loans that have a predetermined repayment period and that you pay off with regular (i.e., installment) payments. These include auto loans, mortgages, student loans, and personal loans.
  • Revolving accounts are credit lines that you can borrow against multiple times. Common examples include credit cards, personal lines of credit, and home equity lines of credit.

Both installment loans and revolving credit accounts can impact your credit score. For example, your payment history with both types of accounts can be important.

Additionally, the portion of your installment loan debt that you’ve paid can affect your score. However, the portion of your revolving accounts’ credit limits that you’re using — also called your credit utilization rate — is often a more important scoring factor. Only using a small portion of your account’s credit limit, such as 10 percent or less, is best for your credit score.

Can a lack of revolving accounts impact your credit? 

You don’t need a revolving account to have a good credit score. But having a mix of installment and revolving credit accounts may have a positive influence on your credit score. As a result, the lack of revolving credit accounts could also impact your credit score.

Also, unlike installment loans, you have control over how much you charge and pay each month with your credit card. Opening a credit card, avoiding high balances, and paying the bills on time can help show lenders that you can responsibly manage a credit line.

How many revolving credit accounts do you need?

Even one revolving account that you regularly use may be enough. Opening multiple accounts might impact your credit score, but it depends on the entirety of your credit report and the credit score model. Having a mix of revolving accounts and installment accounts can have a positive influence on your credit score, but it’s also important not to have more credit accounts than you can manage responsibly.

How to add revolving accounts to your credit history

If you don’t have any revolving accounts, the easiest way to get started could be to open a credit card. But when you apply for a credit card, the resulting hard inquiry can impact your credit score — even if you’re not approved.

With Discover’s pre-approval tool, you can see your eligibility for any Discover credit cards without a hard credit inquiry. You can then choose your best option and submit an application knowing you’ll likely get approved for the card.

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