Credit Score vs Credit Report

Credit Score vs Credit ReportPersonal finance experts agree that staying on top of your credit report and score is an essential part of your financial health. But while credit reports and credit scores are related financial instruments, they are not the same thing.

One easy way to understand the difference between the two is that your credit score is a number that is assigned to you based on your personal financial history as reflected in the items listed in your credit report. So, if you have a good credit report, you will generally have a good credit score. The converse is also true — a bad credit report reflecting such negative elements as late bill paying, excessive indebtedness, and/or legal judgments will result in a low credit score.

What Is a Credit Score?

Your credit score is a numeric value that is assigned to you by one of the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) based on your credit history as itemized in your credit report. Credit scores are ranked along a relative scale ranging from 300-850 for TransUnion, 280-850 for Equifax, and 360-840 or 330-830 for Experian (based on which ranking metric is used). Additionally, the FICO score calculated by Fair Isaac Corporation and used by many lenders in determining credit risk uses a scale of 300-850. Bottom line is you want to be in the top credit score range, with scores of 720 or more generally considered to be a good credit score.

The metrics used by the reporting bureaus to calculate your credit score are as follows (together with the approximate percentage each metric counts toward determining your overall score):

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