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Best Ways to Improve Your Credit Score as a Canadian

Best Ways to Improve Your Credit Score as a Canadian

A robust credit score is your passport to competitive interest rates for mortgages, cars, credit card offers, job offers, insurance premiums and more. A strong score is worth money because it saves you in excess costs. This article will guide you through practical steps to boost your credit score in Canada.

Understanding Your Credit Score

What Exactly is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a numerical expression based on a level analysis of a person's credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of an individual. Predominantly, it is based on report information typically sourced from credit bureaus.

Factors That Determine Your Credit Score

These include your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used.

Steps to Improve Your Credit Score

Regular Checks on Your Credit Report

The foundation of credit score improvement is to understand and monitor your credit report regularly. Canadians are entitled to a free annual credit report from major credit bureaus.

Timely Bill Payments

Paying your bills on time is possibly the single most important factor in a credit score calculation.

Debt Management

It’s crucial to keep your revolving credit balances low and to pay off debt rather than moving it around.

Specific Strategies

Credit Card Use

Keep your credit card balances well below the limits. High outstanding debt can affect a score negatively.

Smart Credit Applications

Apply for new credit accounts only as needed. Don’t open accounts just to have a better credit mix—it probably won’t improve your score.

The Role of Credit History

Importance of Old Accounts

The longer your history of good debt management, the better your score will be because credit bureaus have more data to assess your creditworthiness.

Importance of Credit Mix

Variety of Debt Types

Having a mix of different credit types might help to improve your score, such as a mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans.

Handling Credit Inquiries

Soft vs. Hard Inquiries

Understand the difference between soft and hard inquiries and how they affect your score. A hard inquiry is triggered by applying for new credit, which can lower your score temporarily.

Dealing with Negative Information

Late Payments and Collections

Late payments and collections can have a major negative impact on your score. If you have missed payments, catch up and stay current.

Using Tools and Resources

Credit Monitoring

Consider using credit monitoring services to prevent identity theft and to keep a tab on your score changes.

Legal Considerations

Know Your Rights

Canadian law requires that credit bureaus maintain fair and accurate credit reporting. Know your rights and utilize them.

Learning from Mistakes

Avoid Common Pitfalls

Learn from common mistakes others have made with their credit so you can avoid them.

Professional Help

Credit Counseling

If you are overwhelmed, consider consulting a professional credit counselor who can help manage your credit and debt.

Advanced Tips

Negotiation and Borrowing Strategies

Sometimes, negotiating with a creditor for better payment terms can improve your credit score if handled correctly.


Improving your credit score is a journey, not a sprint. Start by applying these practical tips and watch your credit health grow over time.

FAQ Section

How often should I check my credit report? It’s advisable to check your credit report at least once a year, which you can do for free through the major credit bureaus in Canada.

Can paying off loans early improve my credit score? Yes, paying off loans early can sometimes help to improve your credit score because it reduces your overall debt burden.

What is the quickest way to improve a credit score? The quickest way might involve paying down large credit card balances and avoiding new credit applications for a while.

How long do negative items stay on my credit report? Most negative items are required by law to be removed from your credit report after seven years.

Does closing old credit accounts affect my credit score? Yes, closing old credit accounts can affect your credit score negatively, as it might shorten your perceived credit history.

Categories: Credit