Your credit score is a number between 300 and 900 that lenders use to predict your credit worthiness. In general, the higher your score, the less likely you are to become delinquent on credit. If it’s above 650, you’ll probably qualify for a standard loan. If it’s lower, you may have trouble getting new credit. Credit reporting companies calculate your score based on:

  1. Your payment history,
  2. How much you owe,
  3. How long you’ve had credit and,
  4. How often you apply for new credit.

Because your credit score and credit report are constantly changing, it’s important to review them on a regular basis, at least once a year. There are two main credit reporting companies in Canada:

Equifax Canada
1-800-465-7166
Free Report

 

TransUnion Canada
1-800-663-9980
Free Report

 

It’s a good idea to check your records with both companies. This helps you identify and correct any inaccurate information, detect any fraudulent activity and gauge your overall credit health.

If you’re planning on applying for a mortgage, it’s especially important to check your report a few months in advance. If your credit score is a little low, here are some actions you can take to improve it:

  1. Pay all your bills on time. Paying late or going into collection can reduce your score.
  2. Don’t max out your credit limits. Keeping balances below 65-75% of your limit can increase your score.
  3. Don’t apply for credit you don’t need. Too many inquires over a short period can reduce your score.
  4. Don’t close old credit accounts, even if they’re inactive. This can make your credit history appear shorter which can reduce your score.
  5. Correct any negative inaccuracies on your credit report. This can increase your score.