According to court filings by Fair Isaac, the creator of the FICO score (the dominant and most well-known consumer credit score in the United States), a “Credit Score” is a representation of an individual consumer’s financial creditworthiness that quantifies the risk that a consumer will fail to repay a loan or other credit obligation. “Credit Scoring” is the process by which an algorithm, or set of algorithms is applied to Aggregated Credit Data to generate a Credit Score.
“Aggregated Credit Data” is the historical records of an individual consumer’s borrowing and repayment as reported to credit reporting agencies by multiple lenders and servicers of loans. “Aggregated Credit Data” is separately compiled, reported, and sold by Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union (collectively, the "Consumer Reporting Agencies"), with such activity representing the core of their respective businesses. Credit reporting in the United States is entirely voluntary and, therefore, the Consumer Reporting Agencies depend on major financial institutions, other lenders, and merchants to provide data.