Want to check your credit score for free in Canada? There are now multiple ways to achieve that.
Gone are the days when you needed to pay $20 or more to TransUnion or Equifax to view your credit score. Using the resources below, you can get access to your credit score for FREE and also get updates on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
Some of the companies offering free credit score access also have other services they promote, including credit cards, personal loans, etc. However, you are under no obligation to subscribe to any of these offerings or services.
What Is A Credit Score And Why Is It Important?
A credit score is a three-digit number between 300 and 900 that serves as a snapshot of your creditworthiness, i.e. the level of risk a lender has to assume when they lend you money.
In general, credit scores may be ranked as follows:
760 – 900 → Excellent
725 – 759 → Very Good
660 – 724 → Good
560 – 659 → Fair
300 – 559 → Poor
A very good to excellent credit score means you can qualify for the best rates on loans, mortgages, lines of credit, and other financial products. Click here for tips on how to improve your credit score.
How To Get Your Free Credit Score in Canada
These three financial technology companies (Borrowell, Mogo, and Credit Karma) will provide your credit score for free:
This company offers access to your free credit scores (Equifax) when you apply for its free prepaid card. The score is updated every month. Get more details about Mogo in this review.
3. Credit Karma
Credit Karma provides access to free credit scores (TransUnion). Your credit report is also provided.
You can also get your credit score directly from these two Canadian credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion – they may charge a subscription fee):
You can request your credit report and score online, mail a paper application, or call them at 1-800-465-7166.
You can request your credit report and score online, mail a paper application, or call them at 1-800-663-9980.
Alternatively, some Canadian banks provide access to your credit score through your account dashboard, including RBC, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO, and Desjardins. Depending on the bank, you may see a TransUnion or Equifax score.
RBC customers can access a monthly update of their TransUnion credit score. This is how it works.
Customers of Scotiabank can check their TransUnion credit scores using the bank’s website and mobile app. This is how it works.
This bank also provides free access to your credit score (Equifax) via your account dashboard. Here’s how it works.
BMO clients can view their TransUnion score using its online banking portal or app. This score is updated monthly.
Lastly, Desjardins provides access to a free credit score and credit report check every month (TransUnion). Here’s how it works.
Free Credit Score Providers in Canada
|Financial Institution||Credit Bureau||Update frequency||Report & Score|
|CIBC||Equifax||3 months||Score only|
How to Apply for a Free Credit Score
Applying for your credit score online is an easy process.
Simply visit their website and enter your basic personal details. Your social insurance number or credit card details are not required.
You may be asked to answer a few questions to validate your identity. Once completed, your credit score becomes available online. The entire process takes 3 minutes or less.
Also, checking your credit score using these online portals is considered a “soft inquiry” and does not adversely affect your score in any way.
It is advisable to check both your Equifax and TransUnion credit scores. Sometimes, lenders report to one and not the other, and your credit scores may vary.
Get Your Free Credit Report in Canada
Your credit report gives more details about your credit history and can be obtained free of charge from credit bureaus, including Equifax and TransUnion.
Borrowell provides a free Equifax credit report.
For a TransUnion credit report, you can access your report online and download it. For Equifax, you can simply request by calling them at 1-800-465-7166.
It’s a good idea to keep tabs on your credit score and credit report. That way, you can quickly identify any errors and also track improvements in your credit profile over time.
What Makes Up Your Credit Score?
It is important to know how your credit score is calculated if you want to improve it. In Canada, a credit score is impacted by these factors:
Payment history (35%): Lenders want to know whether you pay your bills on time. If you have missed or late payments, they affect your credit score negatively.
Amounts owed (30%): This refers to your “credit utilization ratio” which is how much of your credit balance is currently in use. For example, if you have a $10,000 credit limit and owe $4,000, your credit utilization ratio is 40%. Aim to keep your account balance at 30% or less of your credit limit.
Credit history (15%): The longer your credit history, the better. When closing credit accounts, consider keeping the older ones, as they may fetch you more points.
New credit inquiries (10%): If you have multiple hard inquiries on your credit file within a short period of time, lenders may think you are desperate for cash, and this could affect your ability to pay back debt. Don’t apply for credit if you don’t need it.
Credit mix (10%): A combination of different types of credit accounts can strengthen your credit profile. For example, a mix of a credit card, personal loan, mortgage loan, and line of credit in good standing can build up your credit score. They show how well you can manage credit.
How Often Are Credit Scores Updated?
In general, your credit score is updated every 30 days. In some cases, it may take longer and update every 45 days.
Credit bureaus depend on the information they receive from lenders to update your credit report and score.
While you can expect them to report this information (e.g. payment history, account balance, credit limit changes, delinquencies, etc.) every 30 days, in some cases, it may be delayed.
Free Credit Score Canada FAQs
A good credit score in Canada ranges between 660 and 724.
Yes, when you check your own credit score using the providers above, it qualifies as a “soft inquiry” and does not affect your credit score.
A credit score of 850 is considered an excellent credit score and is well above the average credit score in Canada.
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