Know Your Credit Score

Know Your Credit Score

You’ve had a lot of measurement scores over your life. But there’s one that could cost or save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year. And that’s your credit score.

Scores range between 300 and 900 with the higher being better. And only 5% of Canadians have a score of 850 plus.

What is a credit score? It’s a snap shot of how you’ve handled your debt and is listed on your credit report. How much debt you have, how you’ve repaid it and more factor into your score.  But, it doesn’t consider your salary or net worth, so it’s just one factor that a lender uses when determining if they’ll extend you credit.

According to a recent survey, over half (57%) of Canadians have never obtained their credit score. Of those who don’t track their score, 40% would rather not know.

But you do want to know. Because if you have a low score, you’ll not only pay more for car insurance, your laptop lease but also, might flat out be denied credit the next time you need it.

To find your score, visit Equifax and TransUnion online. These are the two credit reporting agencies in Canada. You will have to pay for it and your report.

Today, there are now a number of free services as well that you can use to find out and monitor your score, but you’ll have to sign up for their services and may giveaway your private info by doing so.  Make sure to always read the fine print. Check with your bank too as they may offer the ability for you to check your score through their mobile app.

To watch my video on this topic, click here.

To learn more about what’s on your credit report, how to improve and check your credit score, check out my new book, Talk Money to Me: Save Well, Spend Some, and Feel Good About Your Money, in stores December 17th and available at Amazon and Chapters for pre-order now.

As the Consumer Advocate for FP Canada, I know that financial literacy is paramount to your well-being. Equally important to your long-term success is working with a qualified professional. To find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional in your area that will help guide you on all matters of money, check out this Find Your Planner tool.

FP Canada is a national professional body working in the public interest (formerly known as the Financial Planning Standards Council). FP Canada is dedicated to fostering better financial health for Canadians by certifying professional financial planners and leading the advancement of professional financial planning in Canada.

For more on financial planning and how to get started, watch What is a financial planner? and What is a financial plan?