Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the most well-known extrahepatic manifestations caused by hepatitis C infection (HCV). CKD is typically discovered at a late stage. HCV-nephropathy may show different histopathologic patterns, as both glomerular and tubulointerstitial damage have been described. Identification of patients with early renal manifestations would be beneficial to provide treatment and avoid progression to CKD. The observational prospective single-center HCVKID study assessed the prevalence of early renal manifestations in patients with chronic HCV and compared these patients with HCV-negative healthy controls cross-sectionally. HCV-positive patients with and without renal manifestations were also compared to define biomarkers suitable for identifying early manifestations in standard clinical practice. Tubular proteinuria as judged by urine [alpha] 1-microglobulin was the most common early renal manifestation found in 11% in HCV-positive patients, followed by hematuria in 8%. Kidney filtration was statistically significantly lower among HCV-positive patients with renal manifestation according to any calculation method. There were no significant differences in duration of infection or stage of liver fibrosis between patients with or without renal manifestations. Tubular cell damage may be the earliest sign of renal dysfunction caused by HCV. Complement activation also correlates with the dysfunction, indicating of contribution to HCV-induced renal manifestations even in their early phase.