Written By Rachel Surman, Borrowell
Did you know that more than half of Canadians don’t know their credit score? With Canada’s household debt at record levels, we think there’s a really important opportunity to educate Canadians about credit and help them better manage their finances.
If you’ve never checked your credit before …
The higher your score is, the better! But what does your number mean? Credit reporting agencies in Canada collect information about consumers just like us. They know how often we pay our bills, when we pay them, and how long it takes us to pay them. Provided you have given consent, they will then share this information with financial institutions such as your bank and credit providers, who determine your creditworthiness.
How does my credit score impact my life?
Your credit score presents your level of risk as a potential customer. Credit scores are mostly used on applications, for example, for a loan or credit card. However, landlords, insurers, or your mobile phone provider may want to know your credit score. It’s important that you are aware of your credit score to track your financial well-being and also to be aware of any fraudulent activity.
Most organizations recommend that you check your credit score at least once a year, however, a recent Borrowell study has found a correlation between the frequency of credit score monitoring and credit score increase over time.
Ensuring that you have a good credit score can help you to attain your financial goals, such as buying a home, buying a new vehicle, or starting a business.
How is my score calculated and by who?
The score ranges between 300 and 900 (the average in Canada is 749) and is determined based on various information throughout your credit report. Financial institutions will use this number to determine current and future interest rates, among other financial offerings. The number as a whole recaps your willingness to repay loans.
In Canada, we have two credit reporting agencies – Equifax and TransUnion. They are both independent companies who gather credit information from financial institutions (example: payment history), and phone and utility companies. They create complex scoring models using this information to produce credit scores.
Your credit score is calculated by weighing different factors from your credit report. The most important factors that determine your credit score are your payment history, the amount of credit you owe, your credit utilization (how much of your available credit you’re using), the length of your credit history, and your credit mix (having different types of credit).
Borrowell provides the Equifax Risk Score 2.0 to our customers. It’s a popular and legitimate score, used by many banks and lenders, which is why we chose to provide this score.
Check your credit score for free at Borrowell.com.
Our mission is to help Canadians make great decisions about credit and improve their financial well-being. That’s why we were the first company in Canada to provide free credit scores – without having to apply for credit.
We’ve helped over 500,000 Canadians discover and understand their credit score. If you’re new to credit – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
About Borrowell: Borrowell helps Canadians make great decisions about credit. With our free credit score and report monitoring, personal loans and product recommendations, Borrowell provides the tools to help you improve your financial well-being and be the hero of your credit. Learn more.
Illustration By Teddy Kang.