Credit Scores

Don’t Ignore your Credit Scores

We cannot stress this enough. Your credit scores hold a lot of power. They precede your reputation when it comes to banks, landlords, some jobs and purchases like a car or a monthly cell phone contract.  Poor credit scores can quickly cause problems in your everyday life. They prevent you from accessing goods and services on credit.

As part of our credit counselling services, we help our clients understand their credit scores, review them at least once a year and keep them healthy.

What is a Credit Score?

Credit Scores | A table showing what they mean

A credit score is a 3-digit number between 300 and 850. It represents your credit risk with 300 being the poorest score, indicating a high credit risk, and 850 being excellent.

Credit rating agencies set your credit score from information they gather about you as a consumer.  It is a snapshot of your payment behaviour, the amount of credit you have used and information such as past bankruptcies in the Public Records.

Two credit rating agencies operate in Canada: Equifax and TransUnion.  Your credit scores may vary between the two because they collect information from different creditors.

Monitoring Your Credit Scores

We advise all our clients to monitor their credit scores at least annually.  You can request yours by visiting both Equifax and TransUnion websites. They may charge a fee for this service.

This is important to do this even if you have a good credit rating.  Keeping tabs on your credit score will allow you to stay on top of identity theft.

Building a Good Credit Score

There are some things you can do to build and maintain a good credit score.  Not bouncing cheques or ignoring your debts and paying your bills on time are the most obvious. However, other factors also impact this number including applying for too many credit cards or payday loans.

If your credit score has lapsed into the lower numbers, then let’s examine why.  Our credit counsellors can help.

If you have been unable to pay your bills on time, then let’s look at strategies to solve this.  Your credit scores will definitely be impacted if you have bills in collection.  We’ll  help you with concrete debt management strategies that are focused on building your credit score back up.

A good credit score makes life easier, all around.