Your credit score is a three-digit number that lenders and companies use to decide if they want to lend you money. It is based on information from your credit report. Your credit report is a summary of your credit history.
Your credit score is important because it determines whether you borrow money for a mortgage, car loan, or new credit card. It also dictates the interest rate and terms you qualify for. When applying for a new credit account, the lender typically performs a hard credit check. Reviewing your credit report regularly can help you understand what your creditors see when you apply for credit. Keep reading to learn how to get your free credit report in BC.
What is a Credit Score?
Your credit score is created from information in your credit report. It provides a quick way for lenders to determine how risky it is to loan you money.
Canadian credit scores range from 300 to 900. A higher credit score demonstrates responsible credit use and can make it easier to borrow money. A lower score shows lenders that you might struggle to pay your bills on time and can make it harder to qualify for credit or a loan with good terms.
A good credit score is anything that falls in the range of 660 to 724, according to Equifax. A score of 725 to 759 is considered very good, and a score over 760 is excellent. If you have a score of 660 or over, it makes it easier to qualify for more loans at better terms.
With a score below 660, you may find it harder to qualify for better loan terms. If you have a poor credit score (below 560), you may find it challenging just to qualify for credit.
How is your credit score calculated?
Five main factors go into calculating your credit score. These include:
- Payment history (35%). Whether or not you pay your bills on time has the largest effect on your credit score. If you want to maintain a high score, aim to pay your bills on time, every time.
- Used credit vs. available credit (30%). How much of your available credit is in use also has a large impact on your score. If you are always close to or above your credit limit, this can act as a red flag to lenders. It can look like you are over-extending yourself and unable to manage your credit.
- Length of your credit history (15%). Generally, a longer credit history is better. Creditors like to see that you can properly manage your credit accounts over an extended period.
- Public records (10%). If your debts have been sent to collections or you have a record of insolvency or Bankruptcy, this is noted on your credit report and can have a significant impact on your credit score.
- Number of inquiries (10%). Having multiple credit applications in a short period can harm your credit score. Multiple inquiries can signal to lenders that you may be desperate for credit.
What is a Credit Report BC?
Your credit report provides an overview of your credit history. While the format of your credit report may vary, they typically contain the following categories of information:
- Personal information. This information is used to identify you and includes your name, address, Social Insurance Number (SIN), date of birth, and employment information.
- Credit accounts. Lenders report information about the credit accounts you have with them. This includes the type of account when you opened the account, credit limit or loan amount, account balance, and your payment history.
- Credit inquiries. When you apply for a credit card or personal loan, you authorize the lender to perform a hard credit inquiry. This permits them to review your credit report. Hard inquiries are listed on your credit report.
- Public records and collections. Public information, including a previous Bankruptcy or accounts in collections is also listed on your credit report.
Lenders and creditors review all of this information to get a better idea of your creditworthiness.
Why Your Credit Score Matters
Your credit score and credit history can impact important financial decisions, such as whether you qualify for a mortgage or car loan. A good credit rating can help you qualify for more borrowing options with a better interest rate and terms. This can help you to save a lot of money over time.
A poor credit score can make it harder to borrow money. Even if you qualify for a new credit card or loan, you will likely pay a higher interest rate, costing you more money over time. Some landlords or employers may even consider your credit score and credit history when deciding if they want to rent you an apartment or hire you for a job.
Where to Get Your Free Credit Report BC
There are two main credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. Credit bureaus are responsible for collecting, storing, and sharing information about how you use credit. To view your credit score and history, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau.
There are several ways you can request a free copy of your credit report in BC, including:
Free credit report BC online
You can access your free credit report online through Equifax or TransUnion.
Free credit report BC by mail
If you want to receive a hard copy of your credit report, you can have it mailed to you.
Equifax allows you to request your credit report online for postal delivery. Or, you can request a copy using forms provided by the two credit bureaus.
Free credit report BC by phone
Through Equifax, you can also request your free credit check by phone.
- Contact Equifax at 1-800-465-7166
Need Help Managing Your Credit?
If you need help managing your credit, you can seek credit counselling through a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). In a counselling session, your LIT can provide targeted education and tools to help you understand how to use and manage credit.
Across Canada, household debt is on the rise. The same trend is true for BC household debt levels. Like many individuals in British Columbia, you might be struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living. But, you don’t have to tackle it alone. When you meet with an LIT, they will assess your debt situation and recommend a debt management solution to help you move towards a fresh financial start. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call Allan Marshall & Associates at 1-888-371-8900, or fill in our online contact form.