Staying on top of your credit can be an important part of your financial portfolio and quite possibly the most important one when considering how the modern financial system works. Taking out loans is something almost everyone must do at some point in their lives, and a personal credit score will always factor into doing so.
Credit history is something that will likely follow you around for the rest of your life, so knowing where you stand and taking the appropriate steps to maintain a good score are very important.
Having and keeping a high credit score can help you on your path to both achieving and sustaining financial freedom, but of course, you can’t do this if you don’t know your credit score. Checking on your credit score is an important habit to get into and can be done easily.
Knowing your credit score is important, and being sure you keep it up is, too. Checking in on your credit consistently can be done for free through many resources available online, sometimes even offered by the official credit reporting agencies in the form of one free report annually.
How To Check Your Credit Score For Free: Types Of Reports
You can choose numerous sources that can pull and generate a credit report and score for you. These private companies that do this are known as credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies, and each one of them is different to an extent.
Different credit reporting agencies often collect different pieces of information from your credit history or prioritize certain metrics over others. They may also utilize differing formulas to calculate and create your overall credit score, which will generally be updated every month or so.
In Canada, the two main credit bureaus are TransUnion and Equifax. These two agencies likely differ in many different nuanced ways. No outside consumer truly knows the details that may be included or left out in the credit report each one generates.
Getting Your Free Score From Equifax
If you’re a Canadian resident, you can get your free Equifax credit score online very easily. Your Equifax credit report will contain a score, known as your credit score, that can give you a good indicator of where your credit stands about the general standards set forth by lenders.
This is a very trustworthy way to go about getting your free credit report. Although the numbers and information may differ a bit between bureaus, the general range on your credit score should be similar.
Getting your report will require you to provide some information first, including your full name, current address, recent previous residences, your Canadian Social Insurance Number, and many others.
You can also consult various other credit reporting businesses that will generate another score for you, often known as the FICO score, which many lenders will be looking at when pulling your credit reports.
You can also check on your score by opening a line of credit at a Canadian financial institution or applying for a loan somewhere that will pull your credit report. Perhaps, this is not the most advisable way to do it as you could end up getting dinged, but if you’re confident in your credit status, it should be okay.
You may also check your free credit score from the top credit bureaus all in one place. The first method will give you a quick look at your credit score when you apply for a line of credit. The second method will give you a much deeper and detailed look at your credit history related to your financial history.
Understanding The Score
You’ll need to understand the credit scoring scale to translate this three-digit number into something meaningful. There’s no generally accepted ‘limit’ or top of the credit scoring scale, but it’s widely accepted that anything over 800 or so is considered perfect.
Achieving anything north of an 800 credit score won’t likely change your credit standing much, but having a score somewhere near it shows your creditworthiness to be through the roof. Seven hundred to 800 is considered very good, with the 600s being a bit less than desirable, and the scale degrades from there as you could anticipate.
Knowing how to check and understand your credit score will allow you to clean up your credit file in no time if you need to make some changes. You may even find that the credit report you receive will reflect an improvement from your last check-in, and you may not need to change a thing. You don’t want to wait any longer than necessary, so make sure that you look at your report before applying for any loan.
Understanding Where You Stand
The best first step is just to see how it looks. You may find that changes need to be made or that you’re in good standing already. Either discovery will be beneficial to you and allow you to either keep doing the same or make the necessary adjustments.
By reviewing your credit report, you can learn how to check your free credit score in Canada, as well as how to clean it up. There are several things that you should be aware of when reviewing your file. For instance, you may find that you have some outstanding debts not reported on your credit file. By correcting this on your credit file, you can make sure that you receive an accurate credit score.
Using Your Credit Report For Good
Knowing how to check your credit score and doing so consistently will allow you to learn how to clean it up and maintain a positive standing for your future. By watching your credit closely, you’ll know how to improve your credit score, as well as you can clean up your credit file when necessary.
The whole process will enable you to learn more about how credit works and how it is calculated generally, keeping you ahead and being aware of what and what not to do when borrowing money.