Determining your credit score and credit report can be an overwhelming task for most. What is the difference? Why do you need to know and understand each? How do you fix them?
Re-Focus is here to help you understand both completely, no confusion necessary!
Let’s start with the difference between a credit score and a credit report. Your credit score shows a moment in time in your credit history. A credit report is an overview of your entire credit history in detail.
ABOUT CREDIT SCORES
Credit scores range from 400 to 900, with good standing being 600 and higher. Anything over 750 is considered an excellent credit score. If you fall into the lower end of the spectrum the best way to increase your score is to work on paying debts on time and consistently. Credit scores change based on your behaviours and actions.
WHAT LOWERS YOUR CREDIT SCORE
1. Missed / Late payments
2. Holding too much maxed out debt
WHAT IMPROVES YOUR CREDIT SCORE
1. Reducing credit card / line of credit debt
2. Keeping a rotating balance below 75% of allowable limit
If you have any debt in collections, you can improve your credit score by paying these debts off and requesting that those creditors remove their collection notations from your credit report. For more serious negatives against your credit score, only time can improve it.
ABOUT CREDIT REPORTS
A credit report includes:
- How often you make your payments on time
- How much credit you have
- How much credit is available to you
- How much credit you typically use
- Whether you have any debts in collections
Credit reports can also include rental payment information, and public records such as liens, bankruptcies, etc. Lenders use credit reports to help decide if they are willing to lend you money, and what interest rates they can offer you. Other companies use credit reports to determine if they will rent their home to you, provide cable and internet services, provide utility services and more.
WHERE TO GET YOUR CREDIT INFORMATION
In Canada, we have two main options to obtain our credit scores and credit reports. Transunion and Equifax are the two options. It is an affordable cost to review your credit score and report or if you are not in a rush you can order a free report.
We cannot say enough how important it is to know your credit score/report and correct any information to ensure your records are correct. Knowing your credit score and report allows you to work on maintaining an ideal level now and in the future.