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Credit 101

Credit is essential when applying for a mortgage.  These are some tips on how to improve your FICO (mortgage) Credit Score.  If you have bruised credit don’t worry, i’m here to help!

Quick Answer...

Good credit in Canada, as in many other countries, is obtained by managing your finances responsibly and building a positive credit history. A good credit score is essential for various financial activities, such as obtaining loans, credit cards, and mortgages, and it can also affect the interest rates you receive on these financial products. Here are some steps to help you build and maintain good credit in Canada:

  1. Understand Your Credit Report: Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report from one of the major credit bureaus in Canada, such as Equifax or TransUnion. Review it for any errors or inaccuracies, and dispute any discrepancies you find.

  2. Pay Bills on Time: One of the most crucial factors in building good credit is paying your bills on time. Late or missed payments can significantly damage your credit score. Set up reminders or automatic payments to ensure you never miss a due date.

  3. Use Credit Responsibly: Having and using credit is important for building a credit history. However, it's essential to use it responsibly. Avoid maxing out your credit cards, and aim to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%. In other words, don't use more than 30% of your available credit.

  4. Diversify Your Credit: A diverse credit mix, which includes different types of credit (e.g., credit cards, installment loans, and a mortgage), can positively impact your credit score. Having a mix of credit accounts and managing them well demonstrates your ability to handle various financial responsibilities.

  5. Apply for Credit Wisely: Be selective when applying for new credit. Each credit application generates a hard inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score. Avoid applying for multiple credit products within a short period.

  6. Maintain Long-Term Relationships: The length of your credit history matters. Keeping older accounts open and in good standing can positively affect your credit score.

  7. Limit Credit Inquiries: Be cautious about multiple credit inquiries in a short time, as this can negatively impact your credit score. For instance, if you're shopping for a mortgage, try to do so within a limited timeframe, as multiple mortgage-related inquiries are often treated as a single inquiry.

  8. Be Responsible with Co-Signing: When you co-sign a loan for someone, you are equally responsible for the debt. Ensure you trust the person and that they will make timely payments, as any missed payments will affect your credit.

  9. Monitor Your Credit Score: Regularly check your credit score and credit report. Many websites and financial institutions offer free credit monitoring services. Monitoring your credit allows you to spot errors, track your progress, and address issues promptly.

  10. Seek Professional Advice: If you're struggling to manage your credit or have made financial mistakes in the past, consider seeking advice from a credit counselor or myself who can help you develop a plan to improve your credit.


Remember that building good credit takes time, so be patient and consistent in your efforts. Your credit score can change over time as you demonstrate responsible financial behavior, and it's important to maintain good credit once you've achieved it.

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