Does checking my credit report hurt my score?
The fact is checking your credit score is a soft inquiry that does not have any impact on your score. I personally check my credit score at each update which is monthly. It’s a great habit.
How to obtain a free credit report?
Go to Borrowell* They offer a free credit report for all Canadians. You will be able to access your Equifax full report in minutes.
Also Borrowell site includes an educational blog called (Credit coach). The free blog discusses how to improve your credit score.
What is a good score?
See the table score for Equifax:
|From 580 to 669||Fair|
|670 to 739||Good|
|Above 740 to 799||Very good|
What a good score really means?
A good score means you manage well your debt. In other words:
- You pay on time your credit card if possible in full;
- Second, You don’t apply too much for credit (for instance applying for credit cards frequently for bonus offers or travel points can dammage your credit score even if you intend to close the card in the short term)
- You carry a balance that is managable for you, not maxing your credit cards. Actually a balance above 30% of the your approved credit card limit is not good for your score. You have to keep the balance low and pay more than just the minimum required
- Pay your balance even if it’s one cent. I was once looking at my credit report and noticed a late payment warning for 2 cents! I called the bank and the rep advised me that there is no difference between one thousand dollar or 1 cent balance, if you’re late it will be noted in your credit report
- Always keep the first credit card you ever opened. This a major factor in determining your score, the more the system can go back in time, the more trust is put into your credit worthiness
Is a good score enough to get you approved for a mortgage?
It’s a good start however not enough.The bank will ask you to provide for the past two year:
- Your income tax returns
- Account where you deposited your savings so they can see you have the minimum required of 5% to own a home
- Your last paystub
- Proof of any other income
The bank will then analyse you capacity to reimburse your new mortgage knowing all the information they collected about you.
What does a credit report look like?
On the Borrowell website, beside the score, the report will show your personal information and all your accounts whether chequing accounts or investment accounts. All you credit cards and loans will be shown.
Next to each account, you will have the date it was opened and if it’s still active or not and the balance (with the monthly payment if applicable). You will also see notes your bank adds into your credit report.
What to watch for in my credit report?
- Error in your mame or address;
- accounts that show active event hough you closed them;
- Notes left by your bank that are not accurate.
*The Asterix is a reference to an affiliate marketing link. I promote the use of Borrowell services in exchange of a small commission. I recommend only services that I used and satified with.