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Is there a difference between a credit score and a credit report?

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A manual calculator, a toy house, and a fan of $100 bills resting on top of blank forms

01/08/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

You’ve probably heard of both, but you may not know the difference between them. Credit reports and credit scores are closely related, but they aren’t the same thing. However, both are useful when it’s time for you to buy property, so here’s what you need to know about each.

What’s a credit report? 
A credit report shows your credit habits and history. It tracks how much debt you have, including student loans and on credit cards, and when you pay your bills. It may even show information about bills you may not think are related to your creditworthiness, like your utility or cable bills. Credit reports may also show whether you’ve been sued or declared bankruptcy.

You can request your credit report for free. There are three credit-reporting companies, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, but you can access any of their reports through annualcreditreport.com. Although you can only request one free report from each company per year, it might be a good idea to stagger the requests rather than pull all three at once so you can monitor your credit throughout the year.

What’s a credit score? 
Think of a credit score as the grade you get based on your credit report. Credit scores are not free to obtain like credit reports, but the same three companies provide them. Scores are a three-digit number, and higher scores mean a higher likelihood that you’ll be approved for a mortgage loan.

Scores can also vary based on the source providing it. For example, some credit card companies have started providing cardholders with a credit score as part of their benefits. While these scores can be helpful to track, they are only one tool for determining your creditworthiness, and may be different than what a mortgage lender uses.

What’s the takeaway?
Your credit report and your credit score are two important tools to keep track of when you’re thinking about investing in property. But since the information you get from either can vary, it’s a good idea to work with a professional to understand your
creditworthiness. Your Texas REALTOR® can help you find all the tools and professionals you need to put you on the path to homeownership.

Categories: Buyers
Tags: buyers, consumers, credit report, credit score

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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