If you have searched online for how to obtain your free credit score in Canada, then you will likely have come across Mogo, one of three companies offering this service. The other two are Borrowell and Credit Karma.
In addition to free credit scores, Mogo offers online personal loans, mortgages, identity protection, a prepaid debit card and cryptocurrency exchange.
Read this Mogo review to find out all you need to know about the company.
Who is Mogo?
Mogo Inc. is a fintech company that was founded in Canada in 2003. They are headquartered in Vancouver and also have offices in Toronto and Winnipeg.
Mogo is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, and the Mogo stock goes by the ticker symbol “MOGO.”
As of 2019, Mogo states that it has over 800,000 members and 250 employees.
The company currently offers six different products including personal loans, identity fraud protection, mortgages, prepaid debit card, free Equifax credit scores and a bitcoin exchange.
Users can easily access all these services using the Mogo app that is available on both iPhone and Android.
1. Mogo Credit Scores
The days when Canadians paid $20 a pop to access their credit scores are gone. Now you can easily obtain your free score and credit report from three fintech companies:
- Borrowell: Equifax credit score and report that is updated monthly.
- Credit Karma: TransUnion credit score and report (updated weekly).
- Mogo: Equifax credit score (updated monthly).
Some banks also offer these free service, so check your bank account dashboard to see if free credit scores are available.
The two main credit bureaus in Canada are Equifax and TransUnion. It is advisable that you monitor your credit using both services since their credit rating and reports can be different.
Note that while the credit score check is free, these companies may send you credit card offers through email based on your credit rating information. If you choose to apply for a credit card based on these emails, they are a paid a commission by the card issuers.
2. Identity Theft and Fraud Protection
This service is referred to as MogoProtect and alerts you of potential threats to your identity e.g. if they suspect that a fraudster is using your personal information to apply for credit.
This service is similar to the credit monitoring service offered by TransUnion and Equifax and comes with an $8.99 per month fee ($89.99/year).
Personally, I look through the free credit reports available on my Borrowell and Credit Karma dashboard every month for any odd transactions or credit application in order to avoid paying for credit monitoring.
If all you want is your credit report, the credit bureaus are obligated to provide that to you once a year upon request. That being said, if you prefer to receive notification of credit inquiries on your account within 24 hours, you may find Mogo’s service useful.
3. Mogo Mortgage
Mogo’s mortgage brokerage service is exclusively online and offers fixed and variable rates. I have actually found their posted rates to be highly competitive compared to those posted by the Big banks.
As per the Mogo website, you can apply for a preapproval if you have a minimum credit score of 640, a minimum 5% down payment and a source of income to cover your monthly payments.
Looking for the best mortgage rates in your area? Check out Intellimortgage.
4. Mogo Prepaid Debit Card
The Mogo Visa Platinum Prepaid card is currently only available to a select group of Mogo members. You can load up the card with up to a maximum of $10,000 CAD and easily link it to your bank account.
Similar to the other prepaid cards in Canada (STACK and KOHO) which offer cashback rewards and budgeting capabilities, this MogoCard offers:
- No monthly account fees
- 1.5% unlimited cash back on Canadian dollar purchases
- 3% unlimited cash back on foreign currency purchases
- Real-time notifications and spending insights
Some of the fees that may become applicable depending on your use of the card and which can add up are:
- Domestic ATM: $1.50
- International ATM: $3.00
- Cashload at Canada Post: $3.00
- Account inactivity fee: $1.99
- Foreign currency transaction fee: 2.5%
- NSF fee: $25
Interested in a no-fee prepaid Mastercard that totally waives the 2.5% FX fee? Check out STACK (includes a $25 signup bonus).
5. Mogo Cryptocurrency
If you are looking to purchase bitcoin easily in Canada, MogoCrypto makes it super-easy. On your Mogo account, click on “Crypto” to buy or sell bitcoin in just a few clicks. This service comes with a 1% fee charged by Mogo.
Compared to many of the cryptocurrency exchanges available on the internet, Mogo is the only one I know that is publicly traded. (Hint: Unlike Quadriga, Mogo will likely not disappear overnight).
It is important to note here that trading in cryptocurrencies is a highly speculative activity that can easily result in a 100% loss of your money.
New users get a $5 bonus after signing up and $5 for every friend who joins Mogo using their referral link.
6. Mogo Personal Loans
Mogo offers a variety of online installment loans – MogoLiquid, MogoMini and MogoZip.
This personal loan service is similar to the kinds of loans that you can obtain through LoanConnect, a personal loan search engine in Canada.
MogoLiquid offers borrowers $5,000 to $35,000 for up to a 5-year term. The interest rates on MogoLiquid loans are from 5.9% to 45.9%.
MogoMini offers borrowers loans from $1,000 to $3,500 with a 47.42% AIR! For example, if you borrow $1,000 for 1 year, your total repayment is $1,474.20 (excluding optional fees and services).
This is Mogo’s loan service for people with very bad credit. The terms of this loan used to be available online but appears to have been de-indexed as of this writing.
Available information online show that while you may save a bit on this loan compared to payday loans (i.e. CashMoney and MoneyMart), you could still be paying effective annual interest rates as high as 250%!
These payday-type loans are the ones I tell people to avoid at all costs if they ever want to become debt-free.
Bad Credit Loans in Canada
The fact is that if you have bad to poor credit, your chances of qualifying for a loan at competitive rates is really low.
What are your choices if you need to borrow money with bad credit?
Bank: Visit your bank and find out if you qualify for a loan. They may deny you outright, or you may be offered a high-interest loan that is significantly cheaper than a credit card or payday loan. Motusbank offers online personal loans starting at 5.15%.
Use a Credit Card: Cash advances on credit cards come with interest rates in the 20% to 25% range (plus upfront fees of 1-3%). While this will cost you dearly, it is cheaper than a 600% APR payday loan.
There are also credit cards for bad credit you can consider with lower rates on cash advances. Pay off your credit card balance in full as soon as possible.
Apply for a Loan Online: Companies like LoanConnect, Borrowell and Mogo offer personal loans for all kinds of credit.
- Loan Connect: A search engine for loans up to $50,000 and rates from 4.6% APR to 46.96% APR.
- Borrowell Loans: Offer loans up to $35,000 with rates from 5.6% to 29.19%.
- Mogo Loans: Offer loans up to $35,000 with rates from 5.9% to 200%+ APR.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Mogo affect your credit score? Checking your score won’t affect it because it is considered a soft inquiry or check. However, if you proceed to apply for their other products e.g. mortgage or loans, a hard check is conducted and may impact your credit score.
2. What is considered a good credit score in Canada? A credit score of less than 650 is seen as bad to fair; 650-750 is considered a good credit score, and 750-900 is excellent.
3. How do I contact Mogo? You can chat with their customer service online or call them at 1-800-980-6646.
4. What is MogoCard? MogoCard is their Visa prepaid card which is currently available on a limited basis.
5. What is the Mogo App? The Mogo app allows members to access all Mogo services using their smartphone. It is available on the App Store and Google Play.
6. Is Mogo a Payday Loan? Mogo is not a payday company. However, their MogoZip loans offer payday-like interest rates and should only be used as a last resort. Avoid if you can so you don’t end up getting sucked into a vicious cycle of debt.
7. Is Borrowell legit? Yes, Borrowell is a legitimate company with over 1 million members in Canada. They use bank-level encryption to protect your private information.
If you choose to apply for a credit card through Borrowell, the credit card companies pay them a referral fee. Checking your credit score with Borrowell does not hurt it.
8. Is CreditKarma Legit? Yes, Credit Karma is a legitimate company that offers free credit score checks in Canada and the United States. Read more about their service offerings here.
Is Mogo Legit?
Yes, Mogo is a legitimate company that is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. As per their website, they use bank-type security to protect your data.
They may also share your information with their marketing and affiliate partners.