Obtaining your credit score in Canada used to be expensive, costing $20 or so every time you needed to take a peek at it.
In 2016, Borrowell, a leading Canadian fintech company, changed everything when they teamed up with Equifax to offer Canadians free access to their credit score for the first time ever!
More recently, they also started providing free credit reports to Canadians, plus a mix of other personal finance services that can help you save money.
In addition to providing a free credit score and report, Borrowell is a digital lending platform for unsecured loans of up to $50,000.
Borrowell Review Summary
Free Credit Score
Free Credit Report
Ease of Use
Borrowell offers Canadians FREE credit score and credit report monitoring. The company was the first to provide access to free credit score checks. It also created Canada’s first AI-powered Credit Coach, Molly, who shares tips with Borrowell users, helping them improve their credit. This Borrowell review covers how it works, its pros, cons, and features.
- Free credit scores
- Free credit reports
- Access to multiple financial products
- Offers credit building
- Loan rates may be high
- Sends many emails
Who is Borrowell?
Borrowell is a Canadian digital (online) lender that provides low-interest personal loans to individuals who are in the market for a general loan or those who need a loan for debt consolidation purposes.
The company has been in business since 2014 and is based in Toronto.
In addition to a management team of well-versed and experienced people, Borrowell has the backing and partnership of several well-known brands, including CIBC, BMO, EQ Bank, Scotiabank, National Bank of Canada, Capital One, Wealthsimple, and MBNA.
Since introducing its free credit score service in 2016, over 2 million Canadians have used the platform to access free credit scores.
Product Offerings by Borrowell
Borrowell is a one-stop shop for personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, insurance, banking products, and more.
1. Free Credit Score and Credit Report
Borrowell is one of the most popular free credit score sites in Canada.
The free credit score they provide is the Equifax Risk Score 2.0, which ranges from 300 to 900. The free credit report you get is also your full Equifax credit report.
Credit Monitoring: Borrowell updates your credit score and reports weekly, so you can easily monitor your credit profile for any errors or fraudulent activity.
This saves you the money you would otherwise have to pay for this service when it is provided by a credit bureau such as TransUnion.
You can also print or download your credit report whenever you want to.
How to Obtain Your Free Credit Score and Report
It is pretty easy and should take you less than 3 minutes:
- Open an account with Borrowell and complete the online form (name, email, address, date of birth, etc.)
- Verify your identity by answering a few questions. You will not need to enter your SIN or credit card number.
- Get your free credit score.
2. Competitive Fixed-Rate Personal Loans
Borrowell offers a “low-interest” personal loan to Canadians who want quick access to an unsecured loan, or who need to source loans from alternative lenders for debt consolidation purposes.
It has several lending partners, and you can compare rates to see what works best for your situation. Generally, the rate you qualify for depends on your creditworthiness (credit score and history).
You can borrow up to $50,000, with fixed rates ranging from 6.99% to 39.99%, and loan terms are from 6 months to 7 years.
In general, they offer loans to individuals who:
- Are Canadian citizens or residents
- Have a credit score above 660
- Are not bankrupt, in collections, or have filed for a consumer proposal
- Have a credit history of at least one year
- Have a bank account in Canada
You can obtain various loan types from Borrowell, including car loans, business loans, loans for debt consolidation, major purchases, home improvement, and more.
How To Obtain a Borrowell Personal Loan
Obtaining a personal loan through Borrowell is easy and fast.
- Open an account (skip this step if you already have an account to check your credit score)
- Request a quote: you can do this from your account dashboard, which takes less than 2 minutes. The free loan rate quote does not affect your credit score.
- Verify your identity (proof of income and bank account)
- Have money deposited in your account in about two days if eligible.
Are There Any Other Fees?
You will pay Borrowell an origination fee of 1-5% of your loan amount. This amount is included in the annual percentage rate (APR) quoted for your loan.
Also, if your payments bounce, a $25 NSF fee applies.
3. Credit Cards
Borrowell also offers a portal to compare different kinds of credit cards, including:
- Cash-Back Cards
- Travel Cards
- Low-Interest Cards
- Rewards Cards
- Balance Transfer Cards
On their comparison site, you can compare credit card annual fees, interest rates, card features, etc.
4. Mortgage Rates
If you are in the process of buying a home and are looking for the best mortgage rates available, Borrowell offers a platform to compare rates and financing options.
They also offer mortgage calculators and other tools to make your home purchase less stressful. In addition, you get access to your credit score and tips on how to improve it.
5. Insurance and More
If you need auto or home insurance, you can compare rates online via Borrowell. They also offer various banking products from leading financial institutions, including savings, chequing, and investments.
The company recently introduced two products that members can use to stay ahead of their finances, including:
- Bill Tracking: This free tool helps you to monitor up to 15 bills and sends you reminders so you can pay your bills on time.
- Rent Advantage: This subscription service reports your rent payment to credit bureaus and can help improve your credit score.
- Credit Building: You can use the Credit Building product to grow your credit score. It costs $10 monthly, and after 36 months, you get $240 back in savings.
Is Borrowell Safe and Legit?
As per their website, they “use the same level of encryption as the big banks to ensure your information stays safe.” They use 256 encryption to protect your private information.
The personal information they collect when you sign up is used to provide you with other personalized financial product recommendations, such as credit cards, mortgages, etc. Your permission is always required to share your information with other providers.
Some of the frequently asked questions people have about their credit scores and Borrowell include:
The credit score you receive when you sign up with them is based on Equifax’s proprietary model (Equifax is one of two major credit bureaus in Canada). Other third parties may calculate your credit score differently.
No, checking your credit score does not affect it one way or the other. When you look at your score, it is considered a “soft inquiry” and does not impact your score or show up on your credit report.
You will create your account and have your credit score in 2 minutes…literally!
Borrowell is just as secure as your traditional bank since they use similar technology to protect your personal details.
Your score is ranked between 300 and 900, which represents your creditworthiness ranging from poor to excellent. A ‘very good’ to ‘excellent’ credit score means that you can qualify for loans and other credit at competitive interest rates.
Your credit report shows your credit history and how you have managed your personal finances over time. Information present includes credit inquiries, credit accounts, collections, consumer statements, and more.
If you obtain a loan or credit card through Borrowell, they are paid a “referral fee” or “origination” fee. If all you use them for is to get a free credit score, no fees are applicable.
Their customer support email is [email protected], and their physical location is 33 Yonge St, Suite 1301, Toronto, ON M5E 1G4. You can reach their customer service between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday.
Yes, Borrowell offers its free credit score and report monitoring service in Quebec as well.
The main alternative to Borrowell for checking your credit score in Canada are Credit Karma and ClearScore.
While Borrowell is a leader in the online lending space, they are not alone. Their competitors include LoanConnect, Loans Canada and Mogo.
The free credit score and report offered by Borrowell can save you hundreds of dollars per year in credit monitoring fees, and you also get peace of mind knowing that you are staying on top of your finances.
Knowing where your credit profile stands is not only good for your overall financial health, but it can also save you from falling victim to fraudulent activities, including identity theft.