Improve Your Credit Score - Credit Score Checklist

Official blog of Refresh Financial

Improve Your Credit Score – Credit Score Checklist

Improve your credit score

So many Canadians tackle credit blind with no idea the precise factors that go into a credit score, and therefore what needs to be done to improve your credit score. Surely if you pay your bills  that will be enough to get it growing. Without researching how to build credit for ourselves, we just follow what little we learned growing up. Outdated and desperately insufficient knowledge at best that helps us get precisely nowhere.

When you need to improve your credit score quickly, it truly helps to ditch your mom and dad’s method and really understand what goes into the calculation that makes up your score. So, for those of you who don’t really have any idea what makes up your credit score, here’s a handy list of factors to keep in mind as you work to increase your score:

What is your payment history like and can you improve it?

The vast majority of your score is going to come from your personal payment habits. Do you pay your bills on time, to both creditors and your utilities? Have you ever had anything go to collections? Do you pay the minimum payment? Do you pay more than that? If there is a way you can improve on these habits, do it. Part of this is going to be how much you pay vs. how much your minimum payment is. If you can throw more than your minimum payment at your debts each month, on time, you’re going to have this factor - the most important one - covered.

Is your usage percentage too high and can you bring it down to below 30%?

Your credit usage percentage is how much of your total credit you have in use. For instance, if you have two credit cards with a $5,000 limit and a line of credit with a $10,000 limit, your total credit is $20,000. If you owe, in total, $5,000 across all of these three credit products, your usage percentage is 25%. Many people face a dropping credit score because their usage is out of hand. If you can bring your usage down to below 30%, it will improve your credit score.

Have you applied for too much credit lately and had a lot of inquiries to your credit report?

When considering credit usage percentage, you might get the idea that obtaining more credit will lower your percentage. Increasing your total credit does lower your usage, however, applying for credit in multiple places can raise some red flags on your credit report. What it looks like to potential lenders is that you’re desperate for cash and not the sort of person they want to be lending money to. If you apply for credit, space each application out by a few months to avoid losing points on your credit score.

How long have you had your credit?

If you’ve only just begun to use credit in the past few months, you’re not going to have had enough time to build a decent credit score. Lenders want to see a lengthy pattern of paying what you owe on time. This can make patience a true virtue when you’re trying to improve your credit score after a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal. Like all important things, it’s going to take time, hard work, and discipline to get back to where you were.

What mix of credit products do you have?

If all you have is one credit card to report good payment habits to a credit bureau, you’re not going to have enough to build a really good score. You need to mix it up a little - this shows lenders that you can handle multiple creditors at once. Consider a line of credit or a loan to mix in with your credit card in good standing.

If you’ve got all of these factors covered, it really just comes down to a waiting game. Wait and see your credit improve over time.

If you want to make sure it happens even faster, consider a credit building program - the low risk, high reward route to an excellent credit score.


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    What Canadians are saying about Refresh

    I would like to thank Refresh Financial for helping me get out of a bad spot. I never thought it was possible and almost gave up on things and then I saw Refresh Financial and and gave it a try. At first I was unsure of things but to see my credit score now makes me a believer in this program.

    – Aaron A

    “It hasn’t even been a year yet, possibly only 6-7 months, and my TransUnion score has gone up over 100 points. That was only the tip of the iceberg as recently I was able to get a consolidation loan from my bank that allowed me to move forward and make things easier for me. Talk about second chances!”

    – Angelica M

    “I am now in a position where I am able to obtain credit (just bought a brand-new car and refinanced my mortgage for a fantastic rate) and it took little to no time at all. I would 100% recommend Refresh to anyone looking to rebuild credit with as little hassle as possible.”

    – Cathy M

    “I had not heard of a company doing such a thing before someone suggested it to me and it made sense. I am not very good at saving money and Refresh Financial helped me. I have dealt with them for years now and never had a problem. The customer service is excellent and fast.”

    – Chris C

    Refresh helped me regain credit following a nasty divorce, which left me with a very poor rating. They were able to remarkably help me go from a 480 to a 600 score, in just over a year. Thank you Refresh!”

    – Deb K

    I have watched my credit score jump since being with Refresh and I have already recommended it to friends and family. Thank you for helping me build my credit faster for my future and my children’s future :)”

    – Heather T

    At first I was skeptical because I wasn’t getting funds upfront and had to make payments when I really needed the money. I’ve been in the program a year now and have noticed my credit has improved drastically!”

    – Irene L

    I have been a client of Refresh Financial for approximately 3 years. Since being a client they have improved my credit immensely. Definitely recommend this company to anybody that needs help re-establishing credit.”

    – Jason I

    “I recommend this program to anyone having credit issues. At the end of the agreement, your money is refunded to you. There were times I found myself short on cash and Refresh, with permission, used a portion of my money to clear up my arrears.”

    – Margaret L

    “I would like to thank Refresh Financial for their professionalism, great customer service and for helping get back to a better financial situation. I have always been treated with the utmost respect.”

    – Martine B

    Refresh Financial is an amazing program to help people get back on their feet. I was rock bottom with nowhere to turn. My credit was beyond poor. I would recommend them to anyone. If I can do it surely anyone else can.”

    – Matthew S

    “Great company to deal with for rebuilding credit, very simple process to get started. Good service if you ever have questions.”

    – Mike L

    This business truly cares about its clients. The customer service is always quick to return calls or emails. Their online portal functions very well so as a customer you are always updated as you progress with your loan.

    – Phil J

    “Refresh Financial has made us more aware of how to take care of our financial situation and be more responsible, and making payments on time is rewarding in the end for credit. Thank You sincerely.”

    – Rocky M.

    “Refresh financial is great!!! They boosted my credit score, helped me save money and helped my husband and I buy our house;) I was not only a number to them, they stayed in touch and helped me out along the way. Answered all my questions and concerns.”

    – Sara B

    “Refresh Financial had been exceptionally good to me! I’ve just been out on medical leave and they have accommodated me with my payments without hesitation!! I was in a really bad spot with my credit and they have helped me to try and correct it!! Bravo!”

    – Shannon B

    This company has been nothing but fantastic. They have gone above and beyond to help me. This program has given me the relief and peace of mind I need. I would certainly go back to them and give them names of people who could use this.”

    – Shirley K

    The financial services products are excellent for new immigrants, low-income earners and small business owners. Loans, savings and credit building all in one solution is a perfect fit to help with financial goals and stability.”

    – Soraya H

    “After successfully going through a credit rebuilding loan, I was able to use my built-up equity to purchase a newer vehicle and I have since been approved through a financial institution for a loan.”

    – Tanya W

    “I made some poor credit choices when I turned 18 and have always had this lingering thought of how am I ever going to better my score. Since being with Refresh I have realized that I took the right step towards bettering my future.”

    – Taylor B

    “Thank you Refresh, and my relationship manager for giving me the tools for a better score with a secured card and two credit builder loans. I feel absolutely confident I’m on a better path to financial success. I am happy to be a long term client.”

    – Trevor P

    I’m so excited I’ve joined refresh! I’ve already seen a huge increase on my credit after the first month! The staff are a delight and make this so easy to understand. I strongly recommend Refresh Financial even if you have good credit this will give you a boost and you’re saving money with the reverse loan!”

    – Wayne B