Arvest Education Center

What’s the Difference Between a Credit Report and a Credit Score?

A credit score is the numerical value calculated from information in your credit file that is used by lenders and landlords to assess your “credit risk” at that time. A total number of points — a credit score — helps predict how creditworthy you are, that is, how likely you are to repay a loan and make the payments on time. Credit reporting companies calculate scores in different ways, but all use a complex mathematical model to take into account factors like payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit, among others.

This score changes over time to accurately reflect your current financial behavior. In order to ensure that credit reports are fair for everyone, certain factors are not included in your score. To name just a few, race, religion, national origin, sex, age, salary, and any other information not proven to be predictive of future redit performance are never included in calculating your score.

A credit report is a summary of your financial reliability — for the most part, your history of paying debts and other bills. Credit bureaus (also known as credit reporting agencies) provide information received from credit reporting companies, like credit card companies and banks, which can be made available to a third party, like lenders and employers. In addition to identifying information, credit reports include information like the number and types of accounts you have, payment history, collection actions outstanding debt, age of your accounts, and any public record or collection items among others. It also includes a list of everyone who has received a credit report for you for a specified period of time (known as “inquiries”). Whenever you apply for a credit card, loan, etc., the company you apply with requests a copy of your credit report from one of the three credit reporting agencies.

This content has been provided by whatsmyscore.org and is intended to serve as a general guideline.