Knowing what your credit scores are will give you valuable insight into your creditworthiness. In fact, your credit scores can play a key role in your ability to get a loan, mortgage, or credit card. It might even be a factor in your ability to secure a cell phone contract or lease an apartment.
Luckily, checking your credit scores is incredibly easy, and banks are making the process even easier with their online and mobile options.
Can You Check Your Credit Scores Through Your Bank?
The following financial institutions give clients direct access to their credit information through their online platforms:
|Platform||Frequency||Cost||Impact to Score|
|CIBC||CIBC Free Credit Score Service|
(via CIBC Mobile Banking App)
|Updated every 3 months||Free||None|
|RBC||TransUnion CreditView Dashboard|
(via RBC online banking)
|Updated once a month||Free||None|
|BMO||TransUnion CreditView Dashboard|
(via BMO online banking or mobile app)
|Updated once a month||Free||None|
Why Should You Check Your Credit Scores?
There are several benefits to pulling your credit report and checking your credit scores every so often.
Get Insight Into Your Current Credit Health
If you don’t know what your credit scores are, you won’t have a clear understanding of how strong your credit profile is when you apply for loans or credit products. Your credit history is part of your financial profile, by reviewing your credit report, you’ll be better able to understand your current credit situation.
Know What Lenders See
When you apply for a loan, the lender will likely pull a copy of your credit report to assess your creditworthiness and determine the type of borrower you would be.
Low credit scores might mean you’d be a high-risk borrower, in which case the lender may not be willing to approve you for a loan. But high credit scores usually mean you’ve been responsible with your loan payments, and as such, the lender may be more open to approving you for a loan. Ultimately, lenders use credit scores to make lending decisions, so it helps you to know what they’re seeing.
Just keep in mind that you have multiple credit scores and the one that lenders and creditors check is different from the one you will see.
It’s possible for there to be errors on your credit report that may be negatively affecting your credit scores. But you won’t know if there are any mistakes if you don’t check your credit report once in a while. If you do notice any errors, be sure to have them investigated and removed right away.
Ward Off Identity Theft
A great way to protect yourself from identity theft is to check up on your credit report. This will give you the chance to see if any information on your credit report is the result of fraud. If so, you should get in touch with the company associated with the account and the credit bureaus to tell them that there may be fraudulent activity occurring.
Difference Between Credit Scores And A Credit Report
While many people may use the words credit scores and credit reports interchangeably, they are in fact two separate elements.
Your credit report provides an overview of all your credit accounts over a certain period of time. Your credit report is created after you build some activity when you apply for your first loan or credit product.
Lenders look at your credit report when you apply for a loan or any other credit product. They also send information about your credit and loan accounts to the credit bureaus, who then update your report accordingly.
Credit scores are a number that is calculated using a credit scoring model based on the information contained within your credit report. Each service that provides credit scores has a different credit scoring model which may lead to you having multiple credit scores.
Your credit scores are a number that is used by lenders to determine your likelihood of paying a bill on time. Generally, the higher your credit scores, the more trustworthy and creditworthy you’ll seem.
Using your credit responsibly by paying your bills on time, and keeping your debt to credit ratio low are ways that can help improve your credit.
Does Checking Your Credit Scores With Your Bank Affect Your Credit?
Some people fear that checking their credit scores will negatively impact their credit score. But this is not true, checking your own credit report or credit scores does not affect your credit as it’s considered a soft inquiry.
When consumers check their own credit report or credit scores, this is referred to as a soft inquiry, which does not have any effect on credit. Other examples of a soft inquiry include when companies send promotional credit card offers or when companies that you have an account with, review your existing lending accounts.
While a soft inquiry does not affect your credit scores, a hard inquiry can. These occur when a lender requests a copy of your credit report after you apply for a loan product. The lender will want to review your credit history in order to determine your creditworthiness before agreeing to approve your loan application.
Why Does My Credit Score Differ With Different Banks?
In Canada, everyone has multiple credit scores for a few reasons. There are a variety of reasons why this occurs.
Some Lenders Don’t Report To Both Bureaus
In Canada, there are two major credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax. But not every lender necessarily reports their information on borrowers to both of these entities. Some may report to one or the other, while others may not report at all.
Different Credit Scoring Models
There are different ways to calculate credit scores. Common factors that affect credit scores include:
- Payment history
- Credit history
- Debt to credit ratio
- Credit inquiry
- Public records
Different credit scoring models may place a slightly different amount of weight on each factor, and as such, credit scores may differ.
Variations In The Type Of Data Included
While there are basic fundamental factors that are considered when calculating a credit score, some credit score models may include other variables, such as mobile phone payment data or mortgage information, while others won’t.
Other Services To Check Your Credit Scores For Free
In addition to accessing your credit scores through your financial institution’s banking platforms, there are other ways to check your credit scores for free:
How to check your credit scores with Mogo?
In addition to its personal loans, mortgages, prepaid Visa credit card, and identity fraud protection products, Mogo also offer its clients a way to view their credit scores through their partnership with Equifax. You can keep tabs on your Mogo credit score with free monthly monitoring with Mogo for 90 days. And with a Mogo Visa Platinum Prepaid Card, you can continue monitoring your score on an ongoing basis.
How to check your credit scores with Credit Verify?
Check your credit scores and get access to your credit report through Credit Verify. As a premium member, you’ll also have access to other features, including alerts of any changes to your credit report, personal finance educational tools, and tips on how to improve your credit health.
How to check your credit scores with Borrowell?
As a member of Borrowell, you can access your Borrowell credit score for free, plus receive personalized tips, financial tools, and personalized financial product recommendations with bank-level security.
How to check your credit scores with Credit Karma?
By signing up with Credit Karma, you’ll benefit from access to your credit scores and report for free, as well as complimentary credit monitoring and educational articles to help keep your financial health in check.
Credit Score FAQs
Why do I have more than one credit score?
Will my credit score fall if I check it?
What is a “hard” versus a “soft” credit check?
Maintaining a strong financial profile is important, and your credit scores play a key role. Given the importance of your credit scores, it makes sense to check on it regularly. And there are several ways to review your credit report, whether through your bank’s online platform or through one of many free digital services.