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

The credit score and credit report are two main things considered when deciding if you are worthy of credit. At first glance, the credit score and credit report may seem similar, but they do possess their differences.

The credit report is a comprehensive record of all your credit history. Meanwhile, the credit score is a value calculated using your credit history, credit report, and other elements of your credit. The credit score starts at a value of 300 and ends at 850. In addition, the credit score is used to factor in the quality of financial products you will receive from credit bureaus. For example, you may receive better deals from banks with a higher credit score. Conversely, if you have a lower credit score, you may receive higher interest or be rejected for a loan from an entity.   

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a number computed using your credit history, credit report, and other elements of your credit. It begins at 300, and the highest value for the credit score is 850. Therefore, the higher your credit score is, the better it will be as financial institutions like MoneyCat from will consider it as a factor in accepting your application for loans. 

The following elements are factored in:

  • Payment history – This is a record of your bills and payments and how well you usually pay. 
  • Credit utilization ratio -This pertains to the amounts you owe. 
  • Hard inquiries – This refers to how often you have had to apply for credit.
  • The types of credit you have gotten in the past.

You can access and look into your credit score online through credit websites, credit card providers, and nonprofit credit counselors. 

What is a credit report?

A credit report possesses a comprehensive list of your credit and payment history. However, it does not have your credit score. Instead, it is used to compute your credit score. In addition, the credit report has both negative and positive information, such as bankruptcies and repossessions.  

Credit bureaus first collect a consumer’s information and credit activity. After that, bureaus keep the consumer’s information and relevant public records. As a result, the information found in every report can vary, depending on who is maintaining it. 

Like with the credit score, the credit report is used to evaluate your credit worthiness. Moreover, insurers and collection agencies utilize the credit report to calculate insurance scores and the accounts borrowers will pay off first. Therefore, the errors found on your credit report can artificially lower your score. For this reason, it is best to thoroughly evaluate your credit history and make any disputes if there are any errors. 

What Analogies Can Be Made Regarding a Credit Report and a Credit Score? 

So what are the similarities and differences between a credit report and a credit score? 


A credit report and credit score are similar because they are both used to gauge your reliability as a money borrower. Another similarity the credit report and credit score has is that they both factor in your payment history. 


The biggest difference between a credit score and a credit report is that the credit score is a calculated value. In contrast, the credit report is a comprehensive file that contains your credit history. Another crucial difference is that the credit report is used to determine your credit score. 


The credit score and credit report are two different financial things. However, they are crucial in determining your financial future. Therefore, before applying for a credit card and a loan, monitoring your credit score and report is best.

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