Knowing where your credit falls on the credit score range is important. Depending on your scores and ranking, you may receive lower interest rates and may be more likely to be approved for loans and other credit products.
Generally, a credit company or lender will look at both your credit score and your credit report, as well as a variety of other factors (employment status, income, debt levels etc.) to determine your creditworthiness.
You are the only one who can improve your credit scores, this makes understanding your credit that much more important.
Your Credit Score Range is Determined By Two Companies
There are two different credit reporting bureaus in Canada, Equifax and Transunion. Each has its own approach to determining scores.
Of course, you can check your score for free from a lot of third-parties. However, they can calculate your score using their own methods. That means your credit range can shift depending on where you look.
That doesn’t mean that all third-part companies are misleading you. It means that you should get as close to the Equifax or TransUnion scores as you can. You can use Compare Hub, which has the Equifax score and report. You can also pay Equifax or TransUnion to see your real score, range, and report.
Canadian Credit Scores And What They Mean
As we mentioned above, there is no definitive model for what certain credit scores mean to all lenders and creditors. One lender may consider credit scores of 760 to be excellent, while another may consider scores above 780 to be excellent.
It all depends on what scoring model that specific lender uses and how they use it during their approval process. That being said, if you’re interested in knowing what your credit scores mean, here are some general guidelines that can help.
- Excellent (Scores 760+)
- Very Good (Scores 759 – 725)
- Good (Scores 724 – 660)
- Fair (Scored 659 – 560)
- Poor (Scores 559 – 300)
What Is A Good Credit Score In Canada?
Good credit scores in Canada are usually 660 or higher. Of course, there are many different types of credit scores and scoring models.
This means that what one lender considers to be a “good” credit score will not be the same for another lender. Furthermore, the credit scores a lender sees are different from those that you might have access to. Additionally, your Equifax credit scores might be different from your TransUnion scores.
Is 600 A Good Credit Score?
In general, a 600 credit score falls under the “fair” credit score range. With a 600 credit score, you may be able to qualify for a loan with a bank, however, you probably won’t get the most competitive rate.
Borrowers with a 600 credit score may have better luck qualifying for a loan with alternative lenders whose lending criteria are much more lax than banks.
Is 620 A Good Credit Score?
If you have a 620 credit score, it usually means you have fair credit. While certain lenders may consider your credit score to be risky, keep in mind that credit scores are not the only deciding factor when it comes to loan and credit approval.
Is 750 A Good Credit Score?
A credit score of 750 is considered very good (scores between 725 – 759). In fact, with a credit score of 750, you’re only 10 points away from excellent as credit scores that fall between 760 and 900 are considered excellent.
Is 800 A Good Credit Score?
Credit scores above 759 are considered excellent. Lenders that check credit will be happy to see that you have a high credit score, but ultimately loan approval depends on a variety of factors.
Factors That Can Affect The Calculation Of Your Credit Scores
There are five main factors that can affect the calculation of credit scores. If you’re interested in building your credit, understanding what these factors are can help you create a plan to build healthy credit habits.
1. Payment History (~35%)
How you manage your payments is one important factor used during the calculation of your credit scores. This includes how many accounts you have open as well as all the positive and negative information about these accounts.
For example, if you make payments on time or late, how often you make late payments, how late the payments were, how much you owe, and whether or not any accounts are delinquent.
2. Outstanding Debt (~30%)
Sometimes referred to as a credit utilization ratio, many credit scoring models take into account how high your balance is compared to your total available credit limit. Specifically when it comes to revolving credit, for example credit cards and lines of credit.
3. Length Of Credit History (~15%)
Your credit file includes how old your credit accounts are and will influence the calculation of your credit scores. The importance of this factor will differ depending on the scoring models, but generally speaking, how long your oldest and newest accounts have been open is important.
4. Public Records (~10%)
Public records include bankruptcies, collection issues, liens, lawsuits, etc. Having these types of public records on your credit report may have a negative effect on your credit scores.
5. Inquires (~10%)
When a creditor or lender checks your credit file (because they are in the process of extending credit to you) it is called an inquiry and is noted in your credit report. These types of credit inquiries (also called hard checks), can impact the calculation of your credit scores.
How To Read Your Credit Report
Your credit reports contain both personal information and financial information. Your credit reports illustrate who you are as a borrower, both the good and the bad. Checking it allows you to keep an eye on your accounts, make sure there are no errors, and even potentially prevent the damaging effects of fraud. Understanding how to read your credit report can help you take control of your credit and be prepared for any of your future credit needs.
What Information Appears On Your Credit Reports?
Depending on which credit report you check, from Equifax or TransUnion, you may see any combination of the following information.
- Date of birth
- Current and previous address(s)
- Current and previous phone number(s)
- Social insurance number (SIN)
- Driver’s licence information
- Passport number
- Current and previous employer(s)
- Credit accounts and their transaction, including credit cards (retail as well), personal loans, car loans, lines of credit
- Cell phone and internet accounts
- Credit requests from creditors, lenders, landlords or employers
- Bankruptcy, consumer proposals, consolidation, and debt management programs
- Legal judgements
- Credit accounts in collections
- Closed accounts because of fraud committed by the account holder
- Fraud alerts
- Identity verification
Each of your credit accounts will be given a rating that includes a letter and a number.
|Installment||(I)||Accounts that receive an “I” are installment-style accounts that are paid off in predetermined fixed amounts. For example, a car loan.|
|Open||(O)||Accounts that receive an “O” are open, meaning you have an open credit account. An example is a credit card bill that you pay at the end of the month.|
|Revolving||(R)||Accounts that receive an “R” are considered revolving credit because your payments change based on how much of your limit you borrow. A credit card may receive an “R”.|
|Mortgage||(M)||Depending on the credit bureau you pull your report from, your mortgage may or may not show up. If it does, it may be represented by an “M” or potentially an “I” for installment.|
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|0||Account is too new to rate|
|1||Account has been paid off as agreed|
|2||Late by 31-59 days|
|3||Late by 60-89 days|
|4||Late by 90-119 days|
|5||Late by more than 120 days|
|6||This number is not assigned a value|
|7||Account is associated with consolidation, consumer proposal, or debt management program|
|8||Account associated with a repossession|
|9||Account is in collections or bankruptcy|
The good news is that the health of your credit is completely in your hands and you have the power to improve it simply through the way you manage your credit products. Responsible use of your credit cards and loans, over time, may improve your credit score and therefore allow you to qualify for other larger loans, for example, a mortgage, in the future.