Credit Scores In Canada
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What is a Good Credit Score in Canada
Credit scores in Canada range from 300-to 900. That is a wide range leaving some borrowers to wonder, “what is a good credit score in Canada?” There are two main credit bureaus in Canada that provide credit reports; Equifax and Transunion. A good credit score in Canada is a score of 660 and above.
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Learn More About Credit Scores In Canada
A credit score is a three-digit number generated from information about your financial history. It’s created by assessing your financial history when it comes to borrowing.
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What is a credit score?A credit score is a three-digit number generated from information about your financial history. It’s created by assessing your financial history when it comes to borrowing. Accessing your credit report can be a condition of renting a place to live, getting a mobile phone, and getting a job. If you want to lease a car, qualify for a retail credit card or credit card from a financial institution, or apply for a loan, mortgage, or credit card, the lender can pull your credit report.
Your credit report will have your personal information on it, like your name, address, and date of birth. In addition, it will list current and previous employers, current and previous phone numbers, the job title you hold, and any job titles you may have had in the past. Your social insurance number will be on your credit report, and it may even have your driver’s license and passport numbers.
Your credit report contains information regarding your borrowing history. It will show recent credit inquiries and any credit accounts that are open or have had in the past. Payment history is included for all accounts. It shows whether you have paid the accounts on time or if you’ve had late payments. The number of times an account has had late payments late and how late the payments have been (for example, 30, 60, or 90 days late) will show on your credit report. Accounts sent to collection or written off will also be on the report, and so will any judgments or bankruptcies.
Accounts that have been paid off and closed, such as an installment loan, can be on the report, and so will any open accounts. In addition, the date the account was opened will be there, the number of payments made will be reported, and the balance owing will all be reported.
That’s a lot of information. So, what is your credit score? It is a number generated from all the information that appears on your credit report. It considers how long you’ve had a credit history, if you make your payments on time, how much you owe, if your credit cards are at the limit or below, and any delinquencies that may be there. Lenders, landlords, employers, and retailers consider a borrower with a good credit score a good risk because they have proven they pay their bills on time and can manage their debt. Conversely, lenders, retailers, and landlords may be unwilling to do business with borrowers with poor credit scores because their past financial history indicates they have not paid their debts on time.
What is a good credit score in Canada?Credit scores in Canada range from 300-to 900. That is a wide range leaving some borrowers to wonder, “what is a good credit score in Canada?” There are two main credit bureaus in Canada that provide credit reports; Equifax and Transunion. A good credit score in Canada is a score of 660 and above. Having a score of at least 660 can work in your favor when you’re applying for credit, looking to rent a property, or applying for anything that requires a copy of your credit report.
What are the credit score ranges in Canada?Your credit score is a three-digit number that can range from 300-to 900. A wide number of variables influence it. Credit scores fall into the following categories:
If your score is 660 or above, you’ll have an easier time qualifying for credit such as personal loans, credit cards, or a mortgage.
How is a credit score calculated in Canada?Five main factors are weighted to make up a credit score. They’re your payment history, credit utilization, length of your credit history, the types of credit you have, and the number of credit inquiries on your credit report. Here’s a look at each in greater detail:
Payment history. This accounts for 35% of your credit score. The payment history of each credit product you have will appear on your credit report. It will show the number of payments you’ve made, how many have been on time and how many have been late by 30, 60, 90, or 120 days. It will show any accounts that are in arrears, have gone to collection, or have been written off as bad debt. Payment history is the most heavily weighted because it shows the lender or person inquiring how you manage your credit. People who manage their credit well are considered a good risk, while people with late payments or other credit issues will be regarded as higher risk.
Credit Utilization. This accounts for 30% of your credit score. Credit utilization shows if your credit is at its maximum limit or under the limit. An installment loan, like a car loan, will be at its total limit when it has been opened. The balance will decline as the borrower makes their payments.
Length of Credit History. Having a more extended credit history helps generate a good credit score. The length of your credit history accounts for about 15% of your score. It can benefit you to keep an account open that you don’t use to increase the length of your credit history.
Types of credit. Having a mix of different kinds of credit shows that you can manage various types of credit like loans and credit cards and demonstrates you understand them. The types of credit you hold make up 10% of your credit score.
Credit inquiries. If you make several applications for credit in a short time, it will show on your credit report and can reduce your score. The reason is that the borrower looks like a credit seeker or has been declined for credit elsewhere. Credit inquiries account for 10% of your credit score.
What does it mean to have a good credit score?If you have a good credit score in Canada, it’s above 660. Having a good credit score means several things:
It means that you have a credit history. You’ve had credit long enough to establish a credit report and have a payment history on it.
It means that you’ve made your payments consistently and on time.
A good credit score shows that you have been financially responsible in the past.
You’ll be more likely to qualify for credit as well as other products and services that require a credit report.
Does age typically influence credit scores?Age can play a part in your credit score. Younger people may not have had enough time or enough opportunities to establish a solid credit score. On the flipside, some older adults may have a low or bad credit score as well by choice or neglect. Some individuals don’t realize the importance of maintaining a good credit score or they assume that if they don’t use their credit they will have a good credit score. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Age can influence a credit score by circumstance too. Younger workers sometimes have less stable jobs and may be the first to be laid off in a recession. They might also have lower wages. These factors can negatively impact income, making it hard to keep up with payments. Older borrowers may face reduced income if they no longer work and rely on pensions. Again, this can negatively impact their ability to make their payments on time.
What are the average credit scores by age group in Canada?Average credit scores in Canada differ by age group for some of the reasons we have seen earlier. The average credit score by age group are:
Ages 18-25: 692 average credit score
Ages 26-35: 697 average credit score
Ages 36-45: 710 average credit score
Ages 46-55f: 718 average credit score
Ages 56-65: 737 average credit score
Ages 65+: 750 average credit score
Every age group, on average, has what is a good credit score in Canada. It means that most borrowers manage their credit responsibly regardless of their age.
What do lenders consider other than credit score?Lenders look at criteria other than a credit score. They consider a borrower’s income, employment, assets, net worth, and debt-to-income. Lenders are more likely to approve a loan for a borrower who has an income that can support additional credit without exceeding their debt-to-income ratio. Having job stability and a strong employment history can benefit borrowers when they are applying for credit. Borrowers who have a positive net worth, meaning they own more than they owe, should have an easier time getting credit approval. Lenders can use a borrower’s assets to secure a loan and reduce their risk.
Lenders can also look at the amount of collateral or equity a borrower will contribute to the loan. For example, a borrower with a poor credit history and who wants to get a mortgage might qualify if they put down a significant down payment. Similarly, if a borrower wants a car loan and can provide a substantial deposit, the borrower might qualify for the loan. The lender will have reduced their risk because, in both cases, they have a cash deposit and an asset to secure the loan. If the borrower doesn’t make their payments, the lender should have enough equity in either situation to repossess the item to settle the debt.
Lenders sometimes will look at why the credit score is low. For example, a borrower might have a bad credit score because they moved or forgot to pay a small bill that went to collections. An account in poor standing might also be a result of a dispute. If the poor credit is due to one oversight or a dispute, the lender may still consider the credit request if all other accounts have been paid as agreed.
Lenders might consider the relationship the borrower has with the financial institution. For example, having a good relationship with the lender and most of their business with that lender, or the potential to bring in more business from the borrower, can work in the borrower’s favor.
Debt-to-income is another factor that most lenders will consider. Debt-to-income is a ratio that represents your monthly income versus your debt commitment. Lenders want to ensure that you can afford the monthly payment while keeping up with other financial commitments.
It’s important to note that while lenders consider all these factors and they can help in getting credit approval, credit score is still one of the most significant factors behind a lender’s decision to extend credit or not. Therefore, having an excellent credit report with one exception can still put a potential borrower in a position where they can’t qualify for credit.
How do you know your credit score in Canada?You should be aware of what your credit score is. Luckily, you can access credit reports. The two major reporting agencies in Canada are Equifax and Transunion. Therefore, when lenders, retailers, employers, and landlords want your credit report, they will pull it from one of these two sources.
If you want a copy of your credit report from Equifax, you can get it by requesting it in person, over the phone, or by mail. Equifax has offices in Canada where you can get your credit report in person. Regardless of how you request a copy of your report, you’ll need to provide documentation to confirm your identity. If you’re applying in person, you need at least one piece of government identification and proof of address on an acceptable document that is not less than 90 days old.
If you use their interactive phone system, you will need to enter your Social Insurance Number and any other required identification.
For a request by mail, download and complete the Canadian Credit Report Request Form. Two pieces of identification and address confirmation will be required. Equifax will send a copy of your credit report to you within 5-10 business days.
Transunion offers similar options and identification requirements. You can request a free copy of your credit report by mail, over the phone, or in person. Your credit information will be on the report. Both Transunion and Equifax offer online options to get your credit report immediately, but there is usually a fee to do this. Be sure to review your information carefully and make sure there are no errors. If you see something incorrect, contact the credit reporting agency to have it rectified.
Credit Karma is another option that allows you to access and monitor your credit report free of charge. Requesting a copy of your credit report from any of these sources will give you your credit score as well as tell you what’s on your credit report. Your score may be more accurate by pulling a credit report from Equifax or Transunion.
How can you build your credit score?Now that we’ve seen what a good credit score in Canada is, why it’s important, and how it can help you, let’s look at steps you can take to build your credit score.
Get a copy of your credit report. Check it to see what’s on it. If there are errors, take the necessary steps to have them corrected. Make an effort to fix any problems like late payments, collections, or judgments.
Pay your bills on time. Making your payments on time and paying your bills will help generate a good score.
Keep credit card balances low. Keep your credit balances to 30% of the limit or less for revolving credit like loans and lines of credit. Having balances that are close to the limit can reduce your score.
Extend account history. Keep some older accounts open even if you don’t use them very much. Part of your credit score is based on the length of time you’ve had a credit report.
Avoid several credit inquiries. Don’t make multiple credit applications. Choose the products you want and apply for those. Having too many inquiries on your credit report can hurt your credit score.
Consolidate debts, when necessary. If you’re struggling to make numerous payments, it might be easier to make one payment consistently rather than run the risk of being late on some of your accounts.
Have a variety of credit accounts. An installment loan, credit card, and line of credit can show lenders that you understand how different types of credit products work and know how to manage them wisely.
Taking these steps should help you develop a good credit score so you won’t run into issues when your credit report is checked.
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