BAY, AR (KAIT) - If you keep track of every cent in your checking account and pay your bills on time, you probably think you have good credit.
But it took one woman years to realize she actually had no credit.
"Most of our bills, they have his name on them," said Claudia Lamberson, a retired Bay school teacher.
Recently, she applied for a loan.
"And I just assumed I was also getting this good credit," Lamberson said.
She said she's been financially responsible since she was a kid, but after her first rejection letter she realized something was amiss.
After years of paying bills, she had virtually no credit history.
"I found out later that I did not have that," she said.
Lamberson shares a checking account with her husband.
Even though her name was on some accounts, none of it counted toward her credit rating.
Kyle Blankenship from First National Bank explained to Region 8 News how that can happen.
"Just because you have a credit card and it has your name on it you are really, some of you, users of someone else's credit card," Blankenship said.
He said this happens to a lot of people.
Now, Lamberson is starting over, just like an 18-year old.
She applied for a credit card through her bank and applied for store credit.
"These were 2 things I had found out that would be beneficial for me," she said.
To prevent this from happening again, Lamberson is making it her mission to raise awareness.
"Sometimes women don't find out they don't have their own credit history until there's a death or there's a divorce," she said. "Then they realize they don't have the credit. It was there husband that had the good credit history."
Blankenship recommended you keep track of your credit history by using government websites to pull your information.
Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.