Lower hybrid (LH) assisted plasma current ramp-up in ITER is demonstrated using a free-boundary full tokamak discharge simulator which combines the DINA-CH and CRONOS codes. LH applied from the initial phase of the plasma current ramp-up increases the safety margins in operating the superconducting poloidal field coils both by reducing resistive ohmic flux consumption and by providing non-inductively driven plasma current. Loss of vertical control associated with high plasma internal inductance is avoided by tailoring the plasma current density profiles. Effects of early LH application on the plasma shape evolution are identified by the free-boundary plasma simulation.