Many Canadians who are planning to secure a new mortgage or rent an apartment have no idea if they have a good credit score, or even what would be considered good. A study by BMO Bank of Montreal has found that more than half (56 per cent) of Canadians have never checked their score and just 14 per cent do so at least annually. Millennials were found to be more aware of credit scores and how it might affect lending decisions but across all age groups around a third of respondents don’t know how to improve their rating.
BMO advises that one of the best ways is to pay your bills on time, and if you’re behind with payments then get up to date as soon as you can. Secondly, manage your credit cards but don’t cancel them; having them can improve your score but only if you use them wisely. Thirdly the bank advises checking your score through credit agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Check that the information they hold on you is accurate.
Tony Tintinalli, from BMO Bank of Montreal commented: "A poor credit rating results in significant financial limitations – everything from being approved for a loan to renting an apartment. A financial advisor can help advise you on the factors and behaviours that can build or maintain a good credit score."