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

Confused Credit Consumer

It’s common to confuse checking your credit report with checking your credit score. However, the two are not one in the same. Let’s take a look at how they differ.


What Is Your Credit Report?

Your credit report is a document containing your personal information, credit account history, credit inquiries and public records, which may include prior bankruptcies and accounts that have been sent to collections.

Information found in your credit report may be used to calculate your credit score, which is a numeric value that informs future lenders about your creditworthiness.

This information is reported by creditors to the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Consumers can receive one free credit report check every 12 months from each of the three bureaus.


What Is Your Credit Score?

Much of the information found in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score(s), which is a numeric value that informs future lenders about your creditworthiness or likelihood to pay back a loan.

Although there are many different types of credit scores, the more common ones (such as FICO®) use credit scores ranging from 0 (no credit) to 300 (bad credit) to 850 (great credit).

While credit scores may be used to determine the terms of credit and interest rates that you are eligible for, they also can be used to determine your auto and home insurance premiums, apartment rental amounts, cell phone plans and more. So, how can you check your credit score?

  • Many credit cards and banks offer free credit score reports to their customers.

  • You can use a credit score service or website such as Credit Karma or any of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Why Should You Check Your Credit Report and Credit Score?

Checking your credit report will give you a better idea of what’s impacting your credit score and what you may be able to do to improve it. For example, doing something as simple as fixing errors found in your credit report may make a difference in your credit score.

It’s important to know your credit history so you are aware of your auto financing options. If you are someone with bad credit or no credit who is in the market to purchase a vehicle, Credit Acceptance can help.

See if you pre-qualify on our website and we'll connect you with a dealership in your area that can help you get started!