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Building A Good Credit Score

To Purchase Your Property

Who calculates the "Credit Score" in Canada?

Your credit score is a rating of your record of borrowing and repayment. There are two national credit bureaus in Canada: TransUnion and Equifax Canada. They provide a list of facts about how you handle debt gathered from financial institutions, retailers and other lenders. Credit information remains on your file for seven years. Order a copy of your credit report once a year, and dispute any inaccuracies.

Tips on building a good credit score:

  • Pay Credit Card bills on time,
  • Borrow only what you need and what you can afford,
  • Don’t “max out” your credit lines,
  • The size of the balance on your open accounts is a factor, (lower balances are better),
  • Pay off loans quickly and on time,
  • If you carry-over credit on credit cards, keep the amount below 30% of the credit limit,
  • Even if you’re always paying on time, keeping a balance close to the credit limit can lower your credit rating,

Checking Your Credit Score

As a consumer, it’s your right to know your credit rating. Credit can be denied based on inaccurate or insufficient information. Check your file if you plan to apply for a large amount of credit, such as a mortgage. Get a copy of your credit report through a credit bureaus.

Correct Your Credit Score:

  • Call your local credit bureau to review your file. Provide identification to ensure the confidentiality of your file. A written report may take 2-3 weeks,
  • If you notice any errors, provide written proof and your file will be changed immediately.
  • If you can’t supply written proof, give the facts to the credit bureau and they’ll investigate. If your facts are confirmed, your file will be updated.
  • If you see an error but proof cannot be found, each province has its own legislation relating to credit bureaus.
  • If an error has been corrected, the credit bureau will notify members who have inquired about you during previous months.

Dealing With A Credit Crisis?

Common reasons for credit problems:

  • Can’t make the credit card’s monthly payments,
  • Take cash advances for living expenses,
  • Aren’t sure how much you owe,
  • Never seem to be out of debt.

When you begin to recover financially, consider keeping only one credit card. It is easier to track spending and you will have a smaller credit limit.

Tips to help you recover from bad credit:

  • Put away all of your credit cards,
  • Consolidate your debt into one consumer loan. You’ll save interest rate alone, especially if your debt is from credit cards,
  • Contacting your creditors to make alternative arrangements if slow payments are affecting your credit score. Be honest with your creditors and work with them to meet your financial obligations.
  • Stick to a financial plan to prevent debt from happening again.
  • Re-evaluate your spending habits and lifestyle.
  • Talk to a credit counselor to help you develop a course of action if you can’t sort things out yourself . There are several not-for-profit credit counseling agencies across Canada.

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