What's the average credit score in Canada and how do you compare? | Refresh Financial

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What’s the average credit score in Canada and how do you compare?

average credit score in Canada

Your credit score is a number between 300 and 900, which represents everything on your credit report. Your score is created by a computer program that reviews what is on your credit report and converts all that information into a score.  To see where you stand,  you can compare your credit score against the average credit score in Canada.  

The average credit score in Canada is around 650  according to both credit bureaus,  and this varies from province to province. Once you have increased your credit score to 650 or higher, you'll be able to qualify for more financial  products. A credit score below 650 is going to make it hard to qualify for new credit, also anything you are approved for will likely come with very high-interest rates. 

Do you know your current credit score? If not,  check  your free  instant credit score  with Refresh Financial. 

build credit, credit score, build your credit

What determines your credit score? 

Here’s a quick summary of  how  credit works in Canada: 

 1.    Payment history makes up 35% of your score.  Paying your bills on time and in full will boost your credit score. Anything other than this will negatively affect your score.  

 2.    The credit  utilization ratio  makes up 30% of your score.  Credit usage percentage is the total amount of credit you have to your name versus how much of it you have used. For the best impact on your credit score, bring your credit usage below 30-35%. 

 3.    The length of credit makes up 15% of your score.  If you've been making steady payments (on-time and in-full) towards a loan for several years, it indicates that you are a responsible borrower, and your score will reflect that. This is a good reason why you should start building credit as soon as possible, even if you're a  student or going through a bankruptcy/consumer  proposal. 

 4.    Various different types of credit  products  make up 10% of your score.  Credit cards are revolving credit. You want  both  a revolving trade line  as well as an installment line, such as a loan with a fixed repayment amount each month. Having a variety of credit products will have the biggest impact on your score.  

 5.    Credit inquiries make up 10% of your score. Every time someone does a 'hard check' on your credit, your score takes a hit as it can look like you're desperate to find a source of credit. Limit your hard inquiries, particularly if you have been declined. Hard credit inquiries include: 

  • Cash loans 
  • Credit cards 
  • Cell phones 
  • Electricity bills 
  • Car loans  

What  ia  “good” credit  score in Canada? 

To have a good credit score in Canada you want to aim for a credit score above 700. Even though “good” technically starts at 660, getting your credit score above 700 is going to open up many new options for you.  If you have a good  credit score in Canada,  you  have access to far better interest rates across all  financial  products  – saving you thousands in the long run. Even more,  you get a  better chance of getting approved for credit products that you really want. 

Understanding  credit  score  ranges  in Canada 

The range of credit scores you can have in Canada is between 300 and 900, the higher the better. Here’s a  quick breakdown of what each credit score range  means: 

good credit score

Excellent credit (760-900) 

If your credit score falls within the excellent range, the world is pretty much your oyster. You are guaranteed approval for any financing you apply for when your income supports the payments. You’re also going to be offered the best interest rates and be able to save cash on your borrowed money. 

Good credit (725-759) 

If your credit score is good, you’re still going to get decent interest rates, but it’s worth it to spend a short period of time working your way up to excellent credit - just to be able to unlock even better interest rates. The few months of being patient and disciplined could save you thousands of dollars. 

Average credit (660-724) 

Similar to a good score, you’re probably going to get approved for credit you apply for and you might get some okay interest rates, but it wouldn’t take you that long or very much pain to get up there to a better score. Take the time to build your score from here, then apply for credit.  

Poor credit (560-659) 

You likely won’t be approved for much, outside of secured credit products with scores in this range. Interest rates you’re offered will be high. 

Very Poor credit (300-559) 

Similar to the poor range, your score is going to  deny you any product or  limit you to secured credit products with very high-interest rates. 

4 ways to build your credit score in Canada 

If you’re on the lower end of the credit score spectrum, the good news is that your situation is reversible. Even those who  have  been  through a bankruptcy or consumer proposal can recover and can do it quicker than you might realize. Take a look at the  Refresh Credit Builder Program  for options. 

1. Check and understand credit reports and scores 

There are two credit bureaus in Canada   Equifax  and TransUnion. All your financial activities are listed in these reports. For example, if you open a bank account  or apply for a credit card,  this is listed in your credit report. Lenders go to the two credit bureaus and check your report before deciding to give you credit. 

2. Keep a low credit card balance 

The rule of thumb is to keep your credit to less than 30% of your available limit. Making consistent payments on your credit card month after month  -  ensuring not to max out your card will help boost your credit score. 

3. Get a secured credit card 

One of the easiest ways to build or rebuild your credit is by opening a secured credit card account. A secured credit card is the perfect solution if you are working on building your credit or you are having a hard time getting a credit card. With a secured credit card, you are required to put a security deposit on your card,  and this is  the  maximum credit  that’s available for you to use.  A secured credit card  helps you spend money responsibly while building your credit score. 

secured credit card

Apply today!

4. Monitor your credit score 

Your credit score gives you a picture of the overall health of your credit. You can get  your  free credit  score  from the two credit bureaus in Canada.  Another quick way to get your credit score checked is through  Refresh's credit score checker. 

 You now  have all the information you need  about credit scores in Canada. You’reven  more equipped and confident to  start improving your credit and unlocking access to financial products at better interest rates. 

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