Fixing your credit score is important. You likely know that. Your credit score can determine whether or not you can get a car loan or a mortgage or just about any other type of loan. It can impact the interest rate that you will be offered when you get a loan. In short, you credit score can stop you from doing what you would like to accomplish. If a lender doesn’t like what they see in your credit score and credit report, they can refuse a loan.
If you have a low credit score, you will likely have trouble getting a loan. But what is a “bad credit score?”
Technically, there is no credit score that is classified as “bad.” Credit score numbers range from 300 to 900. The higher the number, the better. Your credit score is just one piece of financial information that lenders use when determining whether or not to give you a loan. Your credit score means something because of how lenders decide to use the information.
However, in practice, if your credit score is lower than 650, you will likely have some trouble getting new credit. This could mean that you won’t get a favourable interest rate or it could mean that you might be denied a loan. This depends on the lender and your unique situation. Furthermore, if you have a credit score lower than 559, it is generally considered poor. This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever be able to get any loan, but it will be more difficult to do so and your success will depend on the type of loan and the lender. You will likely also pay a higher interest rate on any loans that you can get.
When it comes to improving your credit score, one of the most important things that you can do is know what information is included in your credit report and to find out details about your personal credit situation. Once you know this information, you can take steps to improve your score.
You can request your credit report by mail for free from the two major credit bureaus in Canada: TransUnion and Equifax. You can also get an instant credit report online from these bureaus, but you’ll need to pay for this service. As for your actual credit score, you’ll need to request this specifically from TransUnion and Equifax. There is a charge for this service and there is no free alternative.
Credit reports contain a lot of financial information, including all loans that you have taken out in the last six years, your credit limit on all of your accounts, how much you owe on each account, how often you make payments and more. This information is used to calculate your credit score.
Improving Your Credit Score
The actual formula used to calculate your score is kept secret by the credit bureaus. However, the information that is included in the calculation is known. This information can help you figure out what you need to do in order to improve your credit score. Factors that are included in your credit score are:
- Your payment history
- Whether or not you make payments on time
- How much of your credit balance you use on a regular basis
- How much debt you taken on relative to your income and expenses
- How much credit you apply for
- And other factors
As you can see, your payment history is an important factor that is used to calculate your credit score. Therefore, you will need to show that you can successfully borrow money and make payments on time if you hope to improve your credit. Missed payments will have a negative impact on your credit score as will loans that have been sent to a collection agency.
In addition, each time you apply for more credit, the lender makes an inquiry into your credit report. Too many inquiries could show that you are opening several different credit accounts, which lenders can take to mean that you have difficulty paying your expenses without new credit.
It’s important that you stay away from companies that claim that they can fix your credit score instantly. No one is able to go into your credit report and make changes, despite what some organizations may say. The only way to rebuild bruised credit is with good credit over a period of time. This can be done by getting a small loan or a secured credit card and repaying it. A secured credit card is a card where you put down a deposit up front and this amount is used as the credit limit on the card. For example, if you put down $500, the credit limit on the card will be $500. Using this card and refilling the balance when you have used the initial $500 can show that you are able to responsibly use credit, which helps improve your credit score.