HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – Credit scores and credit reports both represent an individual’s creditworthiness or likelihood of repaying a loan. However, credit reports and credit scores are two different things that can sometimes be confusing and incorrectly used interchangeably.
WAFF spoke to Briana Cousins. She’s a financial education coordinator at Redstone Federal Credit Union to tell the difference between the two.
- A credit file is a detailed history of the use of your credit (payment date, amount, use, duration, etc.). Keep an eye on your credit report to watch for fraudulent activity, which can ultimately affect your score.
- While your credit score is a 3-digit number generated from your credit report information
- Both are used by lenders and other institutions to assess the creditworthiness of applicants.
Your score may fluctuate often and that’s completely normal. This happens because:
- The information in your credit file is updated as it is reported to the credit bureaus
- The passage of time can also lead to changes in credit scores
- Making payments on credit accounts is a common cause of fluctuating credit scores because payment history is usually the most important factor used to calculate credit scores.
“Try not to stress about your exact score. Instead, focus on maintaining positive habits that lead to a good score,” Cousins said.
For more ways to save, be sure to tune in at noon every Friday for the “Financial Friday” segment of WAFF 48.
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