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The Difference Between a Credit Score and a Credit Report

Ask Savvy: Why Was My Credit Card Application Denied? Part II

Dear Savvy,

I'm new at this credit thing and I'm not sure when or why I should check my credit report. I have never had a credit card (still don't) but I got denied for one a few weeks ago and I don't know why. Does checking my credit report worsen my credit score? Does getting denied for a card? How often should I check my credit report and/or score? What's the difference?! Obviously I am not financially savvy! No one ever explained to me how to manage credit so now I'm trying to get some and I'm completely lost!

To see my continued answer just

Your credit score is derived from the information on your credit that measures how credit-worthy you are. Your credit report contains information about how responsibly you've used credit and includes details like your history of debt repayment. Your credit score is a number that tells lenders what kind of borrower you are, and in order for a credit score to be generated you must have had credit for at least six months. The higher your score, the more favorable interest rates you'll be offered for loans and credit cards.

Even though you haven't developed a credit history, checking your credit report is a useful tool because it lets you know if you've been a victim of identity theft. If any accounts were opened using your personal information you'll know by looking at the details on your report. You're entitled to three free credit reports each year (one per national credit bureau including Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian), so a good approach is to run your report once every four months using a different credit bureau each time.

If you missed my answer to part one of this question, you can find it here.


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