Your credit score is a reflection of your financial integrity and creditworthiness. It reveals the level of your credit risk to potential lenders. Knowing your credit score is essential as those three digits can go a long way in determining your future financial situation.
There’s no secret affair with credit scores and credit reports. It can be pulled for evaluation by potential employers, landlords, car dealers, potential lenders, governments, mobile phone companies, car leasing companies, and financial institutions to ascertain how you can handle debts as well as your payment history.
As a result, it is essential always to ensure that it’s in good standing. There’s no better way to do that than knowing where you stand in the ratings, predetermine whether you’ll be approved for a loan, and devise ways of improving your overall score.
Unlike before, when you had to part with a few bucks to check your credit ratings, you can now access your credit score without paying for the service. Thanks to two major credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion, Canadians can directly obtain free credit scores and credit reports.
Apart from these credit bureaus, there are other free methods of obtaining a free credit score in Canada. This piece will provide you with the necessary information you need to get your credit score free of charge in Canada.
What is a Credit Score?
A credit score is a three-digit assessment and evaluation number calculated from the information obtained in your credit report. This three-digit number, ranging between 300 and 900, determines your creditworthiness. Your credit score usually falls into any of the five categories of ratings, ranging from poor to excellent.
|300 – 559||Poor|
|560 – 659||Fair|
|660 – 724||Good|
|725 – 759||Very Good|
|760 – 900||Excellent|
While each credit bureau and credit score provider uses different parameters to determine their ratings, your credit score is determined mainly by five major factors, including:
- Your payment history
- Your debt or credit utilization
- Your credit history
- Credit account types
- New credit inquiries
What is a Credit Report?
Unlike a credit score, a credit report is a summary of your credit or debit history. The credit report also contains your personal and financial information, which lenders use in determining your creditworthiness.
There are two types of credit score and credit report inquiries: Soft inquiry and hard inquiry. While a soft credit inquiry does not impact your credit score, a hard inquiry will reflect and affect your credit score. Hard inquiries are usually requested by loan companies, credit card companies, etc.
How to Get Free Credit Score in Canada
There are multiple options for getting your credit score free of charge in Canada. This ranges from using the services of a credit bureau to credit score providers.
Option #1 – Credit Bureaus in Canada
There are two national reporting agencies or credit bureaus in Canada that provide credit score and credit report services – Equifax and TransUnion. In terms of credit scores to Canadians, only Equifax offers the service free. The only exception is Québec residents.
In February, the government of Québec passed legislation that mandated credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax, to allow Québec residents access their credit reports and credit scores for free.
Although this law only applies to Québec, Equifax decided to extend the free credit score service to all Canadians. If you’re a Québec resident, you can check your credit score from any credit bureaus free of charge.
You can check your credit score and other credit information at the Equifax Canada homepage or TransUnion homepage with your details and Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Option #2 – Canadian Banks Free Credit Score Service
Do you know you can get your credit score from your bank free of charge? Some of Canada’s major banks, including RBC, CIBC, and Scotiabank, offer free credit score services to their customers.
If you’re an online banking client of RBC, you’ll have access to a free credit score from TransUnion CreditView. Similarly, Scotiabank provides TransUnion credit scores to all its customers at no additional cost. The free service is accessible via Scotiabank’s mobile app and online banking platform.
CIBC customers can also check their credit score free of charge through the CIBC Mobile Banking app. CIBC clients get their free credit score from Equifax.
Option #3 – Online Credit Score Providers
You can now check your credit score for free using online credit score providers. The online credit score services provide instant and free of charge access to not just your credit score but your overall credit ratings.
It’s important to note that the online services rely on the credit assessment from at least one of the two major credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion, to give an accurate evaluation of your credit.
Although many, here are some of the reliable platforms that guarantee accurate and free access to your credit:
Mogo is a fintech platform providing innovative financial services to Canadians, with over 1.6 million members. Mogo offers a wide range of financial products, including credit scores, card services, personal loans, mortgages, wealth management, coverage, and cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) trading.
Free membership registration with Mogo gives you access to a free credit score check from Equifax using soft inquiry. The platform also provides monthly credit monitoring and update, and insights into improving your credit and achieving financial goals.
You can check your credit score on Mogo via the Mogo Mobile app, available on Google Play (Android) and the App Store (iOS).
Borrowell is another financial service company that offers several financial products and services, including free credit scores, loans, credit cards, banking, and more. Borrowell conducts a soft credit inquiry that has no impact on your score.
You need to sign up on the platform to gain access to the free credit check provided by Equifax. You can also download your free Equifax credit report with weekly credit score updates and monitoring. Users of the platform can check their credit scores online or the Borrowell mobile app.
Until recently, Ratehub Canada provided free credit scores and report in partnership with Equifax. The credit score obtained on Ratehub does not update and doesn’t impact your score. The service has since been temporarily suspended for new inquiries and could be restored any time soon.
Credit Karma provides free credit scores and reports with accurate insights and monitoring. When you sign up on the credit karma Canada platform, you’ll have access to check your credit score from Equifax and TransUnion.
Besides, you’ll also be able to check your credit report from TransUnion, with access to free credit monitoring tools. All the credit-related services of Credit Karma are provided free of charge.
Refresh financial is a credit-related tech platform providing loan and credit services. With your personal information and address, the platform offers a free credit score from TransUnion.
Lowest Rates Canada
The comparison platform provides free credit score services that have no impact on your credit score. LowestRates offers secure, safe, and free soft credit inquiry with insight into your overall credit ratings.
Regardless of the platform you choose to check your credit score, your credit ratings will either come from Equifax or TransUnion. These two credit bureaus use different algorithms to evaluate and assess your credit score. Therefore the score may vary from one another. It is advisable to check your credit score from both Equifax and TransUnion.