Credit Report Vs Credit Score

What is a credit report, credit score?

Many people use these terms interchangeably but there is a big difference between the two. A credit report is just but a nutshell of your credit use history while on the other hand a credit score uses the information in the credit report and assigns a number ranging from (300-900) showing lenders the probability of paying back a debt. The higher the score, the lesser the risks of defaulting.

Credit Report

A credit report shows personal information (name, address, social security number), what kind of credit you use, how long the credit line has been open, whether you have paid your bills on time (including any collection of information if a debt had to be passed on to a collection agency, how much credit you have used and what is outstanding, whether you have been looking to open sources of credit, i.e. any credit inquiries that have been made, banking information, public record (such as bankruptcy or a court-related judgment).

Lenders look at your credit report to determine if they should either extend or withhold your credit. Its basically a view of whether you pay back your debts or not. Its mandatory by law that everyone in the USA is allowed free access once every twelve months to their credit report from the three national credit reporting agencies that is EQUIFAX, EXPERIAN AND TRANSUNION. You should check your credit report yearly to make sure all of the reported information is correct and that there are no fraudulent accounts that have been opened in your name.

Credit Score

A credit score is primarily based on credit report information typically sourced from credit bureaus. Lenders use scores to determine who qualifies for a loan, at what interest rates, and what credit limits.

How are credit scores interpreted?

First step is to identify the source of the credit score and its use.

FICO produces and controls the vast majority of scoring models of the credit score in the United States. The interpretation of a credit score will vary with the lenders, industry, and the economy as a whole. All considerations about the score revolve around the strength of the economy in general and investors appetites for risk in providing the funds for borrowers in particular when the score is evaluated.


It is very clear there is clear-cut difference between credit report and credit finance and in their application in personal finance. With this knowledge of the commonly misused and misunderstood terms, it is likely that you will not only make informed decisions hence forth when it comes to personal finance, but also be proactive in approach.