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Mortgage Help - What's Credit Score & Why It's Important

Posted On: 17.11.03

Mortgage Help - What's Credit Score & Why It's Important

While most property buyers understand the basics of their credit score, it can be confusing to understand what exactly this number means when applying for a mortgage. If your credit score is too low, it can be difficult to get approval for a loan. The better your credit score... the easier it is. How do you get started? Here are some helpful tips from Loans Canada*.

What Your Credit Score Range Really Means

Knowing where your credit lies on the credit score range is important. Depending on your score and ranking, you will receive lower interest rates and are more likely to be approved for loans and credit cards. 

There are two different credit reporting agencies in Canada, Equifax and Transunion. Each has their own approach to determining scores, but overall, they report similar results. Generally, a credit company or lender will look at both your credit score and your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. This makes understanding your credit score that much more important, as you are the only one who can improve your credit score.

Credit Ratings and What They Mean

Excellent (Scores 780+) – Individuals with a rate of 780 or over will enjoy the best interest rates on the market. They also will typically always be approved for a loan.

Very Good (Scores 779-720) – This is considered near perfect and individuals with a rate in this range will still enjoy some of the best rates available.

Good (Scores 719-680) – An individual who has a credit score that falls within this range has good credit and will typically have little to no trouble getting approved for the new credit.

Average (Scores 679-620) – While this is still a good range, individuals with this score will receive slightly higher interest rates than those with higher scores. According to Equifax, at the end of 2012, the average national credit score was 696.

Poor (Scores 619-580) – Scores in this range indicate the individual to be a high risk. It may be difficult to obtain loans and if approved, they will be paying a lot in terms of interest. 

Very Poor (Scores 579- 500) – Scores in this range are rarely approved for anything, but credit can be repaired.

Terrible (less than 500) –  Individuals whose credit scores are less than 500 will not get approved for new credit and should seek credit improvement help.

Factors That Affect A Credit Score

There are 5 main factors that affect the calculation of your credit score. If you’re interested in improving your credit score these are the areas that you should focus on.

1.History of Payments (35%) – This is determined by the payments they have made to lenders or creditors. This ultimately reflects on how frequent they pay their loans or bills on time. Anyone looking to improve their credit score should always make their payments on time, without fail.

2.Debt/ Utilization (30%) – This shows the amount of outstanding debt a consumer has and is also compared to the amount of available credit they have. For example, if you have a total credit limit of $5,000 and consistently carry a high balance, your credit score will be negatively affected. To improve your credit score, pay down your debt and make sure you need your balance to lower than 35% of your available credit.

3.Credit Length (15%) – This factor is straightforward, the longer a credit account has been open, the better it is for your credit score. If you’re considering canceling a credit card, make sure you cancel a new one and keep the older ones open.

4.New Inquiries (10%) – Every time a potential lender or creditor pulls your credit, your credit score will take a small and temporary hit. If you apply for a lot of new credit within a short period of time, your credit score will drop and other creditors will be able to see that you’ve recently applied for a lot of credit which they may consider be a red flag.

5.Diversity (10%) – The more diversity in the credit accounts you have open, the better it is for your credit score. This shows potential creditors and lenders that you are a responsible borrower and can handle the responsibility that comes with having several different credit accounts.

Credit Improvement

The good news is that the health of your credit score is completely in your hands and you have the power to improve it simply through the way you manage your credit products. Responsible use of your credit cards and loans, over time, will greatly improve your credit score and therefore allow you to qualify for other larger loans, for example, a mortgage, in the future.

* Credits/ References...

     You don't have to be a financial expert to make an informed purchase decision. CottageClub is committed to ensuring the best financial information and options are available to you. Contact us or come by for a visit! We'd love to see you.

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