What is the Difference between a Credit Report and a Credit Score?

Today it seems everyone is obsessed with what their credit score is.  Marketing campaigns are based around this, and we are seduced into thinking that if we could only have a 750+ credit score, all life’s problems would be solved.  The problem with that is, many don’t even know the factors that go into a credit score.  Your credit score is only a calculation based on the data that is in your credit report.  You cannot increase your credit score, without first focusing on your spending habits, payment history, etc that is reported to each bureau.  When the information in your credit report shows you have a good payment history, low balances on revolving accounts, not too many inquiries in a short amount of time, and have a healthy mix of both revolving and installment loans, then you will ultimately have a higher credit score.  Don’t put the cart before the horse.  Focus your efforts on the content in your credit report, and the accurate score will follow.

A credit report is a detailed history of the loans you´ve received and credit cards you´ve used that is offered by the three bureaus once a year. If you´ve had collections, they may also appear on any of the credit reports. For each account, the credit report shows your payment history, current balance, credit limit, the date the account was opened, and whether the account is open or closed.

A credit score is a three digit number based on the information in your credit report. The bureaus factor in the number of years you´ve had credit, how much of your available credit you´re currently using, whether you´ve recently made any late payments, and how recently you´ve had any negative actions or credit applications


About jenniferhamby

Jennifer Hamby, Executive Vice President of My Credit My Future, has worked in the financial sector since 1996. She is dedicated to educating consumers on financial education and responsibility. Having worked in Data Facts’ Nashville office since 2007 as an account executive, Hamby realized the need for financial education that was informative, yet easy to understand and attainable. Partnering with both Junior Achievement, and Tennessee Jump$tart, in providing financial education, opened her eyes to the tremendous benefits in providing financial literacy and resources for consumers to aid in making better financial decisions.
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