Credit reports are created and maintained by credit bureaus (like TransUnion and Equifax). They contain detailed information about your credit history. Credit reports typically include things like your history of on-time or missed payments, your total credit limits and balances, past bankruptcies and other relevant details.
Using a credit scoring model (like VantageScore 3.0), the details on your credit reports are converted into credit scores that commonly range from 300 to 850. Your score is meant to be a quick estimation of how likely you are to pay back your debts.
Scores can vary depending on the scoring model since each model may place importance on different details from your report. Scores can also vary by credit bureau because each bureau may have slightly different information about you.
Who uses this information?
Lenders, landlords, insurance providers, utility companies and even employers may be interested in your credit information. Your credit score can provide a quick summary, while your credit reports go into greater detail. Federal and state laws limit who can access your credit information and what they can get, though. For example, employers do not get your credit score and are only allowed to access your credit report in certain states.