I've heard both these terms used - are they synonymous? Or is one for Canada, one for the U.K. (or U.S.)?

What are the various factors go into determining an individual's "credit score"?

  • 1
    I think they're synonymous. That being said, this is mostly a duplicate question of basicallymoney.com/questions/163/… which was asking about FICO scores. FICO is just one "brand" of credit score, but I think the answer is generally applicable to credit scores. Dec 16, 2009 at 3:06
  • I'll leave this question open though in case there is a distinction I'm not aware of! :-) Dec 16, 2009 at 3:07
  • Thanks :) I was certain I had checked for duplicates, but I had never heard of "FICO" before now.
    – Nat_Rea
    Dec 16, 2009 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


Credit ratings are the same as credit score, but they very different from a credit report.

A credit score is a calculated number based on a usually secret formula that attempts to quantify with math a consistent number that ranks everybody equally and uniformly as to the risk they present to a lender.

Basically, we are all just a number; the higher the better.

Your credit report is a detailed list of all your accounts, how well you pay them and if you are behind or have settled them as agreed. It is a detailed history of how you use credit, who you have credit from, how long you have had credit, and how much credit and debt you carry.

A credit report relies on lenders honestly and accurately stating how your account is performing with them. Some radio show hosts (Clark Howard) say that up to 70% of United States citizens have a mistake on their credit reports.

The credit report is the source of values that are computed into your credit score.

By and large, your credit score gives a lender a good idea if you are acceptable, but if you number is on the line, they MIGHT choose to read your credit report to make a decision by a human. Your credit score is how retail stores can offer and immediately approve store cards. If you number is high enough, credit you get.

Source: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/

EDIT: I didn't read well the first time, but sine I typed it I will leave it here. Sorry for rushing and not reading well.

  • Good to know but she was asking about Credit "Rating" vs. Credit Score not Credit "Report".
    – Zephyr
    Dec 16, 2009 at 7:06
  • Oh snap! I will leave it but that was a lot of wrong answer there wasn't it?
    – MrChrister
    Dec 16, 2009 at 7:09
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    I would bold-face "Credit ratings are the same as credit score" at the very top and leave the rest alone. It's a fine answer. Dec 16, 2009 at 12:43
  • Thanks for this, MrChrister! And Chris W. Rea for the clarification.
    – Nat_Rea
    Dec 19, 2009 at 19:30

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