Your score and credit report are a bit like your debt report card. All of your credit history and consumption habits are recorded. A simple mistake or information entered following an identity theft can have a significant impact on your ability to borrow. Have you checked it recently?
What is a credit score?
This is the rating that credit reporting agencies give you after analyzing your credit history and habits. It is between 300 and 900. The higher it is, the better your reputation with banking institutions. So you could get a better interest rate or a higher loan, for example.
Conversely, if your rating is low, you may have a higher interest rate and need an endorser. If your file is too bad, your loan could even be refused!
How to check your credit report?
You can obtain a copy of your file free of charge if you request it in writing, by telephone, by fax or in person from Equalfax Canada and GoodUnion Canada.
For a fee, you can also get it over the Internet. You could also ask for your credit score.
Trick! Check your credit report annually (or whenever you are in doubt) to make sure it is free of errors and that you have not been the victim of identity theft.
How can I improve my credit report?
Is your credit record marred by a few youthful mistakes? It is possible to give it a little luster. Here are some strategies:
- Use less than 35% of your available credit. That is, when you add up all of your credit limits, you shouldn’t use more than 35%.
- Try to make as few credit requests as possible.
- Lower the limits on your cards and lines of credit.
- Vary the credit you use. Better to have a credit card and a margin than two cards.
- Limit the use of installment sales (buy now, pay later).
- Pay your invoices on time and in full.
- Avoid overdrafts (checks without funds or automatic transfers when the amount is insufficient).
- If there is a delay, catch it as soon as possible before it is transferred to a collection agency. You can try to reach an agreement with your creditor to spread out the payments.
Are there other factors that can hinder getting a loan?
Yes. First of all, the financial institution takes into account the importance of your debts in relation to your income. Some lenders also have different policies depending on your past relationship with them and their risk tolerance, for example.