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Are you familiar with what your credit score is? If not, you might want to check it out sooner rather than later. Your credit health plays a key role in your ability to secure any type of loan, whether it’s a mortgage, personal loan, auto loan, debt consolidation loan, or home equity loan, to name a few.
If your credit score could use a boost, it’s important that you take steps to improve it as soon as you can. It can take months and even years for credit improvement in Saskatchewan, depending on your credit history and your starting point. The point is, taking measures to improve your credit score is crucial in order to strengthen your financial position and increase your chances of getting approved for all sorts of credit products in the near future.
Factors That Affect Your Credit Score
There are a few keys factors that affect your credit score:
Payment history. This is the most important factor that impacts your credit score. Any missed or late payments that are at least 30 days overdue will be reported to the credit bureaus, which will negatively affect your score.
Credit utilization. This is the ratio of the amount you owe on your credit card to your credit limit. Basically, it refers to how much of your credit limit you’ve used. The higher your credit utilization, the worse off your credit score will be. It’s generally advised to keep your credit utilization to less than 30%.
Public records. If you’ve had any judgments, bankruptcies, or collection items in your past, these will be reflected on your credit report and will pull your score down.
Length of credit history. A longer credit history is considered better because it provides creditors with a more accurate picture of what you would be like as a borrower. It can also have a positive effect on your score.
New accounts. Applying for many new credit accounts within a short period of time can negatively affect your credit score.
Hard inquiries. Whenever you apply for new credit and the lender pulls your credit report, this is considered a “hard inquiry” and will be marked on your credit report, which can be bad for your score.
Many bad habits can negatively affect each one of these factors. For instance, using your credit to pay for everything will spike your credit utilization and pull your score down. You also don’t want to apply for every retail credit card that you’re offered, since this will add to hard inquiries on your report and will do little for credit improvement in Saskatchewan.
Worst of all, failing to pay your bills on time can have a major impact on your credit score, as your payment history has the most weight on your score.
Want to know the difference between your credit rating and credit score? Read this.
What’s on a Credit Report?
When a creditor pulls your credit report in Saskatchewan, what exactly will they see? Both personal and credit information will be included in this report. More specifically, you’ll see the following information:
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your address
- Your telephone number
- Your Social Insurance Number
- Your driver’s license info
- Your passport number (if applicable)
- Your employer (current and previous)
Credit History Information
- All credit accounts and their transactions/status
- Cell phone accounts
- Internet service accounts
- Closed accounts because of fraud committed by the account holder
- Non-sufficient fund
- Bounced checks (NSF)
- Public records (ie. bankruptcy, judgments, liens, etc)
- Credit accounts in collections
- Hard inquiries
- Notes about identity verification
How Long Does Some Information Stay on Your Credit Report?
The amount of time that information stays on your credit report will depend on the exact type of information in question. Here are just some examples:
- Credit accounts that are paid off on time and still in good standing – 20 years
- Credit cards, loans, and lines of credit and loans – 6 years
- Secured loans – 6 years
- Non-sufficient funds (NSF) – 6 years
- Closed accounts due to fraud – 6 years
- Hard inquiries – 3 years for Equifax for 3 years, 6 years for TransUnion
- Judgments – 6 years
- Accounts in collections – 6 years
- Liens – 6 years for Equifax, 5 years for TransUnion
- Bankruptcy – about 6 years
- Multiple bankruptcies – 14 years
- Consumer proposal – 3 years
- Remarks – 6 years
Knowing what affects your credit score and how long they will remain on your report is helpful information for credit improvement in Saskatchewan.
Comparing lines of credit and personal loans? Read this first.
Top Habits That Are Ruining Your Credit
Your credit score is so important to your financial history, but you could be inadvertently sabotaging it. And here’s how:
- Missing payments. As already mentioned, any payments that are 30 days past due will be recorded on your credit report.
- Having too much debt. The more debt you pile on your plate, the worse off your credit score will be.
- Racking up your credit card bills. The closer you get to your credit limit, the more negatively your credit score will be impacted.
- Not using your credit card. You can go in the opposite direction and with your credit card expenditures and still experience a ding in your credit score.
- Closing out old accounts. It’s recommended to keep old credit accounts open – even those that aren’t being used – in order to keep your credit score high.
- Closing out accounts with a balance on them. Any credit accounts that you still owe money on should be paid off in full before closing them out.
- Not having a variety of debt. Having a small amount of debt and being diligent about making payments toward them is a great way to build credit, but having a variety of types of debt plays a key role in the calculation of your credit score.
- Applying for too many credit accounts. Hard inquiries will be reported on your credit report every time you apply for a new loan.
How You Can Improve Your Credit
There might be a number of ways for you to drag your credit score down, but there are also several things you can do to improve your credit in Saskatchewan without needing any professional help.
Cut back on frivolous spending. Excessive spending is probably at least partly responsible for your credit issues. If that’s the case, make it a priority to cut back on spending your money on things you really don’t need. This can help you stop piling on the debt and make it easier to make your monthly debt payments. Want to know how the money you owe affects your credit score? Check this out.
Create a budget. You might have an idea of what you earn and how much money is going out, but you won’t know for sure without a workable budget in place.
Increase your income. If possible, consider getting a second part-time job in order to help you whittle down your debt. The less debt you have, the better your credit score will fare.
Make all payments on time. It’s absolutely essential that you make your payments on time every month, as failing to do so will send your credit score in the opposite direction that you want it to go in.
Get a copy of your credit report to make sure there are no errors. If any mistakes are noticed, have them investigated and fixed immediately. Such mistakes can pull your credit score down unfairly, but rectifying them can have the opposite effect.
For more information about fixing or improving your credit score, look here.
Credit Building Products
If you’re having trouble with credit improvement in Saskatchewan, you can apply for any of the following products to help.
Secured Credit Cards
These are particularly useful if you don’t have any credit at all and are building it from the ground up. They’re much easier to apply for without credit or with bad credit because they are backed by collateral, which is less risky for the lender. By making timely payments on your secured credit card, you can slowly improve your credit score.
Credit Rehab Savings Program
This specialized program is designed to help you save money while rebuilding your credit score. With a credit rehabilitation program, you don’t get funds up-front, but rather are allowed to access your savings throughout the term of your loan based on how much equity you have accrued. This program provides for an easy way to save money and rebuild credit with small monthly payments and bad credit or no credit is accepted.
In order to learn the habits needed to create a workable budget and stick to it while developing behaviors that will improve your credit, credit counselling services can help. These are especially helpful if you don’t know where to start when it comes to repairing your credit.
Odds are you’ve got a few different loans to have to manage and pay bills on. Some may even have high-interest rates that are making them very expensive and difficult to pay down. A debt consolidation program can help you consolidate all of your debt into one easily managed debt product, usually at a much lower rate. This will make the debt more affordable, easier to manage, and easier to pay off in a more timely fashion.
Will my credit score decrease if I have too much available credit?
I can’t qualify for anything. How do I improve my credit score?
How is my credit score determined?
Get the Help You Need From Loans Canada
Having bad credit and attempting credit improvement in Saskatchewan can be overwhelming. But with the professional help and credit repairing products from Loans Canada, you can be well on your way to rebuilding your credit and establishing a much healthier financial profile. Check out how we can help you improve your credit here.