Whenever you want to take a loan or a credit card from a financial institution like bank or NBFC, you will hear them talk about credit report and credit score.
Credit Report vs Credit Score
The main difference between Credit Report and Credit Score is that a credit report is a report which shows the past history of all your payments, a credit score is a number that evaluates your credit risk that you’re creditworthy or not for any loan. A credit report also includes all types of bank account and debts, credit score is evaluated through your credit file.
Furthermore, a credit report is the history of all credit activity and current credit. It includes public information from government entities as well as information from private companies.
A credit score is the summary of your credit-worthiness based on the credit report.
Comparison Table Between Credit Report and Credit Score
|Parameter of Comparison||Credit Report||Credit Score|
|Information Given||History and current status of credit||3-digit score|
|Format of Information||Chronological history||3-digit score|
|Used to obtain credit?||Yes||Yes|
|Information Basis||Based on actual credit history||Based on FICO standard|
|Cost||1 free report from each credit reporting agency||Cost varies by agency|
What is a Credit Report?
A credit report is a statement of your credit history and current credit status. The credit report contains information about your creditors and how well you have paid them.
It shows if you were late with a payment, defaulted on a loan, requested more credit lines or limits, and if you have liens or judgments against you.
The credit report gives detailed information on your credit history including when you first opened lines of credit, when they were closed, and if you paid them on time.
The report also contains your name and any other names you may have used, current and previous addresses, employment history, birthdate, social security number, and phone number. Any of these items that are associated with you will be included in your credit report.
It will also include foreclosures, bankruptcies, and companies that have accessed your credit report. Negative and positive information can be shown on the credit report.
For example, you may have had a loan that you defaulted on 3 years ago but also have a current loan that you are paying according to terms. Changes in the credit report can be a red flag of potential identity theft.
This could be loans or credit cards that have been obtained in the person’s name that they did not authorize. Also, some of the credit inquiries could be an indicator that someone is trying to obtain unauthorized credit.
A free credit report can be obtained once a year from each agency. You can also obtain a free credit report whenever you are denied credit, but this is usually from one agency and not all three.
What is a Credit Score?
A credit score is exactly that, a score of your credit. A credit score is a grade of how well you have handled credit. The scale ranges from 300 to 850 with 300 being equivalent to a credit score grade of F and 850 is equivalent to a credit score grade of A.
The credit score depends on many factors such as length of credit, number of credit accounts, balance on those accounts, and payment history. This score is normally used by companies to grant or deny credit applications.
Changes in the credit score are normal in most cases because as you pay creditors on time, your score should increase and when you do not pay them on time, your score should decrease. However, some changes in the credit score could be indicators of potential identity theft.
For example, if you know that you have been paying your creditors on time and the credit score drops, it would be important to look at your credit report to see what would have caused this drop.
Credit scores historically cost money but there are plenty of places that provide free credit scores if you use their services such as credit card companies, banks, and other online services.
Main Differences Between a Credit Report and a Credit Score
- A credit score is a numerical three-digit number.
- A credit report is a detailed statement of your credit history.
- A credit report lists all names, addresses, and phone numbers associated with the individual.
- A credit report can help to identify someone because there is information contained in the report that is unique to one person, but a credit score can be the same among many individuals.
- A credit report does not depend on the credit score, but the credit score depends on the credit report. A person who does not have a credit report will not have a credit score.
- Changes in both the credit report and credit score could help flag potential identity theft.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Credit Report and Credit Score
Can your bank give you a Credit Report?
If you are a credit card-holder, then you can easily get your credit score from your bank.
Most banks allow their customers to forward an online request through the bank’s website for checking their credit scores. These credit scores are published by independent credit agencies or bureaus like Equifax and TransUnion.
These agencies prepare the scores based on the reports submitted by banks, financial institutions, and credit card issuers.
Can I check my credit score for free?
Yes, you can check your credit score for free by forwarding a request to your bank. Most of the reputed banks help their customers in getting free access to their credit scores through online portals.
There are also several online agencies that help people in checking their credit scores by providing contact details and information like SSN.
What credit score is bad?
Credit scores are measured on a scale of 300 to 900. In general, a credit score ranging from 300 to 550 is considered as a bad score.
However, there might be slight changes in these figures based on the rules practiced by different credit reporting bureaus in different countries.
What credit score do you start with?
Credit Score is generally calculated on a scale of 300 to 850 or 900 wherein 300 to 550 is considered as a bad score. Most people start with a low-to-average score that hovers around a range of 300 to 600.
The first credit score is generally based on a person’s credit history of 6 months. If within this period all the payments are made on time, he might receive an average score.
However, the scores can change quickly depending on aspects like late payments, partial payments, or exceeding the credit limit of one’s credit card.
How can I quickly raise my credit score?
You can improve your credit scores within a short period of time by clearing your deferred payments as fast as possible. For instance, you can start with repaying the money you have borrowed using your credit card.
If possible raise your credit limit as it can improve your overall creditworthiness. Likewise, if you have availed an overdraft or loan you need to repay the amount as soon as possible.
Credit reports and credit scores help determine your credit worthiness. The credit score is a summary of your credit report that can easily be used to grant or deny credit.
If you are in the market to get a loan, credit card, or a line of credit, then you will want to make sure you’re your credit report and score are as good as possible.
Sometimes it is overlooked that utility companies will also use your credit report and credit score to give services. This could be any service including electric, water, trash, cable, and others.
Usually, they do not deny services, but they will charge a deposit before services are installed therefore, the credit report is important in everyday life and not just to get a loan.
The better your credit score, the better deal you can be offered from different companies. Obtaining your credit report is important even if you do not obtain a corresponding credit score.
Checking your credit report at least on an annual basis will help you to stay on top of your credit history and prevent identity theft. Credit reports can be incorrect and even outdated so it is very wise to keep an eye on them.
Credit scores are derived from the credit reports so this can also be incorrect and can cause you to be denied credit that you should have obtained.
Those who use credit and those who do not use credit will find credit reports are still a big part of their lives. Credit reports give you a heads up on what companies are looking into your credit history and if you do not recognize all or some of these companies, then you may have an identity thief lurking.
Key Differences Between a Credit Report and a Credit Score (PDF Format)
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