Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Almost time to check my credit score!

It’s been almost a year since I last checked my credit score, so I thought I should probably check it again pretty soon. Back then, my score was 776. Which is pretty good. But I’d like to know what it is now. Since last year, I’ve gotten 1 new credit card and I’ve also taken out a $3,000 loan for my LASIK eye surgery.

In Canada, scores range from 300-900, with most Canadians ranking in around the 700s.

Back in the day, I used to not care about my credit score – why would I? But now, I’m taking every precaution to make sure I have a fabulous credit score. Because really, the credit score is the key to pretty much everything grown-up. Like getting a fantastic interest rate on your mortgage, or getting approved for no-interest loans (like the one I got for my LASIK surgery – if I hadn’t gotten 0% interest, I wouldn’t have done it). Without a great credit score, you could either not get approved for the loans that you want, or if you do, you’ll only get what you want with a ridiculous interest rate and dumb restrictions.

So it’s really important to 1) know what your credit score is, and 2) take all the precautionary steps to make sure you are doing all that you can to maintain and/or increase your score.

Here are some tips that CBC Marketplace has for improving your credit score:

  • Establish a credit history.
  • Maintain low-to-moderate balances, and be sure to make all of your payments on time!
  • Don’t apply for credit unless you really need it. (I’m guilty of this one – I didn’t need the Amex card, or that LASIK loan)
  • Check your credit report every year and report any errors. (I found an error last year on my report but didn’t get around to reporting it. If it’s still on there, which I’m assuming that it is, I will do it this time around)

I’m assuming there still isn’t anywhere for Canadians to check their credit score for free?

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


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