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What is credit history in Canada

General Information

A credit history is a record of a borrower's responsible repayment of debts. A credit report is a record of the borrower's credit history from a number of sources, including banks, credit card companies, collection agencies, and governments.
If You have a credit card or a loan from a bank, you have a credit history. Companies collect information about your loans and credit cards. Companies also collect information about how you pay your bills. They put this information in one place: your credit report.
Everyone who's ever borrowed money to buy a car or a house or applied for a credit card or any other personal loan has a credit file.
Because we love to borrow money, that means almost everybody has a credit file. And most of us have no idea what's in them.
Are there mistakes? Have you been denied credit and don't know why? Is someone trying to steal your identity? A simple check of your credit report will probably answer all those questions. And it's free for the asking.

So what's in a credit report?

You may be surprised by the amount of personal financial data in your credit report. It contains information about every loan you've taken out in the last six years — whether you regularly pay on time, how much you owe, what your credit limit is on each account and a list of authorized credit grantors who have accessed your file.
Each of the accounts includes a notation that includes a letter and a number. The letter "R" refers to a revolving debt, while the letter "I" stands for an instalment account. The numbers go from 0 (too new to rate) to 9 (bad debt or placed for collection or bankruptcy.) For a revolving account, an R1 rating is the notation to have. That means you pay your bills within 30 days, or "as agreed."
Any company that's thinking of granting you credit or providing you with a service that involves you receiving something before you pay for it (like phone service or a rental apartment) can get a copy of your credit report. Needless to say, they want to see lots of "Paid as agreed" notations in your file. And your credit report has a long history. Credit information (good and bad) remains on file for at least six years.

What's a credit score? And why is it so important?

A credit rating or score (also called a Beacon or a FICO score) is not part of a regular credit report. Basically, it's a mathematical formula that translates the data in the credit report into a three-digit number that lenders use to make credit decisions.
The numbers go from 300 to 900. The higher the number, the better. For example, a number of 750 to 799 is shared by 27 per cent of the population. Statistics show that only two per cent of the borrowers in this category will default on a loan or go bankrupt in the next two years. That means that anyone with this score is very likely to get that loan or mortgage they've applied for.
What are the cutoff points? TransUnion says someone with a credit score below 650 may have trouble receiving new credit. Some mortgage lenders will want to see a minimum score of 680 to get the best interest rate.
The exact formula bureaus use to calculate credit scores is secret. Paying bills on time is clearly the key factor. But because lenders don't make any money off you if you pay your bills in full each month, people who carry a balance month-to-month (but who pay their minimum monthly balances on time) can be given a higher score than people who pay their amount due in full.
This isn't too surprising when you realize that credit bureaus are primarily funded by banks, lenders, and businesses, not by consumers.

Credit score range

  1. Below 600: Bad Credit
    It is generally accepted that credit scores below 600 are going to result in a rejection of credit every time. If your score has fallen into this range, you need to work to improve your score. Often a bankruptcy filing will bring a score down to this level; over time, the score will improve if you make your payments on time, every time. Statistically, borrowers with scores this low are delinquent approximately 75% of the time.
  2. 600-700: Acceptable Credit
    Scores in the 600’s mean You will most likely be given credit when You apply for it. You still won’t get the best interest rates, but borrowers with scores over 600 are considered less risky and are therefore likely to be approved. In this range, borrowers can expect to qualify for a prime rate. Delinquency rates in this range are between 15 and 30%.
  3. 700-800: Good Credit
    This score is considered the threshold to «good» credit. Borrowers in this range will almost always be approved for a loan, and be offered very good interest rates. At this credit score, lenders are comfortable with the borrower, and the decision to extend credit is much easier.
  4. Above 800: Excellent Credit
    Anything above 800 is considered excellent credit, and will be greeted by easy credit approvals and the very best interest rates. In this high-end of credit scoring, extra points don’t improve your loan terms much. Most lenders count a credit score of 760 as just as good as a score over 800. Some people take this to mean that it’s not worth the effort to continue to improve your score after you get into this range, but as always, the higher your score, the better. Even if an extra 50 points in this range doesn’t help You get a better interest rate on your next loan, they can serve as a buffer if you have a negative item show up on your report (maxing out a credit card can penalize You 30-50 points. If your score is above 800, the resulting damage won’t push You down into a lower tier). The delinquency rate in this range is approximately 2%.
 
 
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