Do you know the difference between your credit score & credit report?

Oct 16, 2017

Welcome to our freshest series Fincheck reader! In this series, we're tackling the credit health topic, helping you understand all things credit! You can look forward to learning more about credit scores, reports, improving your credit health and the factors that influence your credit health.

In our previous post, we talked about your credit score, why it matters and how you could get one. In this one, we'll dig a bit deeper into your credit report and where all this information comes from!

At the end of this post, we'll share a tool with you to help you get very own FREE credit score. Let's get started.

The difference between your credit score & credit report

Your credit score is only one part of your credit report. Although your credit score is almost the single most important of your credit report, the full report gives you some handy information. So, what exactly makes it so useful?

Your credit report is pretty much a combined summary of your financial background. It gives an overview of your credit score, profile, and rating. It is often used by lenders, such as home-loan, personal loan and finance companies to make accurate decisions on whether they should lend to you or not.

Your credit report can include:

  • Lines of credit held in your name.
  • Your payment history, including missed payments and payments in arrears.
  • Outstanding balances on your accounts.
  • Credit searches done on your financial profile.
  • Publicly available information which may affect your creditworthiness. For example court bankruptcies, judgements).
  • Your address links and financial connections e.g. joint accounts.

Where does all this information come from?

As you start transacting with various banks, retailers and other financial institutions like lenders, you start building a financial history. Simply put, your credit history will be determined by the amount of money you have borrowed in your life and how much of it you have diligently paid back on time.

Your credit history will be influenced by all the accounts you have open with various financial institutions. The breakdown could look something like this:

  • A credit card with an outstanding balance
  • A cell phone contract that has a debit order
  • A vehicle finance agreement
  • A personal loan with an outstanding balance

Monthly cash flow coming into your accounts will also be recognised by any financial institution doing credit searches on your financial background.

Does this mean your information can be seen by anyone?

The public cannot just view your financial profile. If you apply to borrow money or set up a contract, for example for a personal loan, a home loan, a credit card, or a cell phone contract, the lender or credit provider is likely to access your credit profile. Other companies with a valid reason may also do so. Apart from this, your financial information is private.

How can you get your credit score?

Fincheck always aims to help people make better financial decisions. We have spent a lot of time and effort in building a tool to help you do all of the above. You can sign up for the MyFincheck Credit Score Tool and get your FREE score directly here. Or, if you want to learn more about the tool, you can read about the features here.

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To your better financial future!

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