What is a credit score?
In Canada, credit scores range from 300 (just getting started) up to 900 points, which is the best score (you walk on water). According to TransUnion, 650 is the magic middle number – a score above 650 will likely qualify you for a standard loan while a score under 650 will likely bring difficulty in receiving new credit.
Lenders who pull your credit bureau file may see a slightly different number than you see when you pull your own file. This is due to the fact that each creditor applies a specific set of risk rules, giving and taking points for different purposes or preferences. This proprietary method of scoring will make a difference in the final calculation. The score you pull for yourself is calculated using an algorithm created for consumers that approximates these different formulas, and should still be in the same numerical range as the lenders’ scores.
Order your credit report from both credit reporting agencies in Canada – Equifax and TransUnion – at least once per year for free (when requested by mail, fax, telephone, or in person), and you can pay to see your credit score if you choose.