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Your Credit Score and Credit Report: How Are They Related?

How your credit score and credit report are related - and how they are different

What do lenders look at during a credit check? Do you think they will check your credit score from your credit report? That's not entirely correct.

Many people use the terms interchangeably, but your credit report and credit score are two separate things. In fact, contrary to popular belief, your credit score isn't even on your credit report.

Discover the true differences between these two tools and how they are related.

What is a credit report?

Your credit score is a document that contains your credit history. It is more than just a list of the credit you have had; it outlines detailed information about your credit background including:

  • Identifying information like your name, address and social security number
  • Types of credit you use (credit cards, mortgages, store credit, etc.)
  • Open date for each loan or line of credit
  • Balances and available credit on each loan and other lines of credit
  • Payment history, including if you have ever missed a payment or paid late
  • Collection accounts and charge-off accounts
  • Recently opened credit lines or loans
  • Information about hard credit inquiries (credit checks by potential lenders)
  • Public records related to bankruptcy, tax liens or court judgments

Technically there are three versions of your credit report because the three major credit-reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - each have different methods for collecting and reporting your credit history.

What is a credit score?

Your credit score is a numerical value based on the information in your credit report. However, this number is separate from your credit report.

There are various credit-scoring formulas, but PrivacyGuard uses VantageScore to pull our credit scores.

Some may feel the scores are comprised of the following:

  • Payment history (35% of score)
  • Amount owed in relation to available credit (30% of score)
  • Length of credit history (15% of score)
  • New credit obtained (10% of score)
  • Types of credit used (10% of score)

Credit scores fall within a range of 300 to 850. Although lenders set their own basis for what is a "good" or "bad" credit score, a source provides a breakdown of credit score ranges:

  • Excellent credit score: 720 - 850
  • Good credit score: 680 - 719
  • Fair/Average credit score: 620 - 679
  • Poor credit score: 580 - 619
  • Bad credit score: 500 - 579
  • Very bad credit score: Under 500

Which is more important?

Some lenders review your credit score; some check out your credit report; and some look at both. Because of this, both are important.

However, it is important to regularly check your credit report for errors and for occurrences of identity theft. This is vital because your credit score is based on what is contained in your credit report.

Stay in the know when it comes to your credit report and your credit score. Enroll in a PrivacyGuard membership and you will receive a triple-bureau credit report, triple-bureau credit scores, monthly credit score tracking and so much more. Sign up today.

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