In Canada, credit scores will generally start from the minim 300 up until 900 points – which is the highest obtainable credit score.
On average in Canada, most people lie in the 650-point mark and if you happen to have more than 650 points, you become eligible for a standard loan while anything lower than 650 might make it significantly harder for you to get loans or new credit.
In addition, it is important to add that the credit score you think you have may be a bit different from what lenders may see when they look up your credit bureau file. This is mainly down to the fact that every creditor has a specific number of risk rule they apply, taking and giving points for various preferences or purposes.
The credit score that most people have or see are calculated based on an algorithm that is specially created for approximating credit scores for consumers based on certain formulas, but they should generally not be too far off from the lender’s score.
How a poor credit score can affect you
Credit scoring is used and adopted by a wide range of people and companies such as landlords, insurers, lenders, utility companies, and employers to ascertain your credit behavior and hence your creditworthiness.
Applying for a loan
When you are looking for a loan, the first thing your lender will do is he/she will look up your credit score – which to a large extent will determine if that loan offer will be approved or not.
Also, your credit score will have a big say on the amount of credit limit and the interest rate that will be offered to you by your lender. The lower your credit score, the more you will be charged for interest and the lower the credit limit will be offered – this is mainly down to the fact that the lender does not trust you; hence, you are considered a high-risk borrower.
Applying for a job
A potential employer also has the right to see your personal credit file, and if they see that, your credit score is low or you clearly cannot be trusted based on your creditworthiness, then you may not get the desired position.
Renting a vehicle
When you attempt to rent a car, the rental company can check your credit score before they decide to loan out their car to you – they are obviously worried about people not paying them back.
Renting a Property
Similar to renting a car, the same also holds true for renting an apartment. Your landlord or house owner may demand to check your credit score to find out how much of a trustworthy tenant you are. The landlord is likely going to decline to rent an apartment to you if he/she receives offers from people with better credit scores than yours.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
A poor credit rating has very devastating effects on your life in so many ways as outlined above. Listed below are some ways to improve your credit score if you find that your ratings are dropping:
1. Ensure that any errors on your credit reports are corrected as soon as you find them. Also, request for your credit file from each bureau at least once annually.
2. Keep your balances to a minimum. If your debt levels have risen above half of your allowable limit, make a new payment plan to reduce your balances.
3. Perhaps the most useful advice regarding maintaining your credit rating is to always use credit and repay them back promptly. If you are one to forget easily, set up automated payments to assist.
4. If you need to rebuild your credit or have no prior credit history, consider opening a secured credit card account. A secured credit card account allows you pay an initial deposit, which sets a limit of your card.
Keep in mind that your credit rating is not a measure of your personal worth – but just a simple credit-reporting tool.