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Credit score vs. credit report

Learn how these two documents work together to gauge your financial health.

Do you know the difference between your credit report and your credit score? If not, you’re not alone. It can be easy to see these two related items as one and the same. However, if you take a closer look, you may start to see differences in how they may impact your financial health. Here are some answers to a few common questions you might have:

What’s a credit report?

A credit report includes information about your past and existing credit agreements, such as credit card accounts, mortgages, and student loans, and lists inquiries about your credit history. It outlines how much you owe creditors, how long each account has been open, and how consistently you make on-time payments. Credit reports also list related public records, such as collections or bankruptcy filings. 


To access your credit report, you can contact the credit reporting agencies or consider purchasing a credit monitoring service that provides this information. During the time of COVID-19, accessing your credit is important. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are now offering free weekly online report access through April 2021.

What’s a credit score?

A credit score is like a grade that’s given to your credit report. This three-digit number typically ranges from 300 to 850, specifically those based on the standard FICO® Score. There are three credit reporting agencies –Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – each of which assigns you a credit score. When you request your credit score, you will actually receive three numbers in return, and since the numbers will be coming from different reporting agencies, they may all be different. Please note that your free annual credit report does not automatically include a credit score. Each reporting agency will charge a fee to show you the credit score they give you. If, once you have your credit score from all three agencies, any of those numbers are drastically different than the others, you may want to look closely at your credit report to see if there are any errors which you can dispute. A high credit score can indicate lower risk to the lender and customers with a high credit score may be more likely to qualify for a loan.

How can I access my credit report and credit score?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows consumers access to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, through By viewing your credit reports, you will be able to know what lenders will see when you apply for a loan. The free annual credit report will not contain your credit score. To access your credit score for a fee, you can contact the credit reporting agencies. There are also credit monitoring services available for a fee that can provide this information for you. Some banks and credit card companies now provide credit scores to their eligible customers. Wells Fargo now provides access to FICO® Credit Scores to eligible customers.

By understanding your credit report and credit score – and checking them regularly for accuracy – you can make informed choices that will impact your financial future.

Products to consider

Credit inquiries

Credit inquiries are requests by a "legitimate business" to check your credit.

Experian®, TransUnion®, Equifax®