Tips to improve your credit report
By Leanne Salyzyn 30 September 2015 Share this story
Guest blogger Leanne Salyzyn is an insolvency counselor, licensed restructuring professional and trustee in bankruptcy. Post a comment or contact her on Twitter with your personal-finance questions.
In today’s world, we need credit to buy the things we desire. Rarely do you hear someone buying a home, a car or paying for a vacation with cash. Credit provides us the opportunity to fulfill our wants now instead of waiting. Credit begets credit. The better the credit history, the greater chance you will obtain more credit and at good rates.
Credit bureaus collect information on you and report this information to their subscribers (members) in a report format. This information details your credit, payment history, credit inquiries and other personal information about you. Lenders view this information and determine how much credit risk you present.
But what if your history has seen its share of ups and downs? Can it be repaired? Yes, with a few simple tips.
On time & in full
It’s important to pay your bills when they come due and pay debts in full instead of paying partial amounts. Late payments can affect your credit score. Be aware of due dates and plan all payments accordingly. The responsible use of credit can improve your credit score over time.
Credit lenders like stability. Working for the same employer for a period of time and living at the same address shows that you are consistent. In most cases, this equates to less credit risk.
Delinquent debts do get reported to the credit bureaus. Bad debts, collections agencies and judgments will affect you getting credit in the future. It’s important to pay or settle all outstanding debts to rebuild your credit history. You must repair the past before you can consider the future.
Don’t over shop for credit
If you apply for too much credit within a short period of time, lenders may see this as “shopping for credit” which is one indication of financial difficulties. Limit the number of credit inquiries by pacing your credit applications. Time is a great healer.
Don’t max your limit
Stay below 75 per cent of your available credit limit. If your credit exceeds this amount, it can bring down your credit score. Most individuals who max-out their credit cards each month live beyond their means. If this is you, consider meeting with a licensed debt professional to get your financial situation under control.
Do a credit check
It’s also important to review your credit rating from time to time. Outdated or incorrect information reflected on your credit history can affect you getting credit or obtaining the best lending rates. Ensure your credit information is accurate and up-to-date. Credit checks can be done through Equifax Canada Inc. and TransUnion of Canada Inc. Both offer online credit checks for a fee, as well as free credit checks if done in person.
This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.
Plus: Local History — recalling the early days of aviation in Halifax The World Health Organization is calling on governments to do more to protect the welfare of health-care workers as they gra [...]
A small park offers a tantalizing glimpse of the early days of aviation in the city Travelling on Chebucto Road, you've probably noticed that narrow little park between the road and the houses, bu [...]
Plus: A life of luck — the adventures of a famous Halifax sea captain Ten days after post-tropical storm Fiona hit the province, thousands are still without Nova Scotia Power service. As of 8 a. [...]
Plus: Straight from the source — a different kind of grocery shop Six days after the remnants of hurricane Fiona hit the province, about 78,000 customers are still without Nova Scotia Power serv [...]
Plus: Halifax's first marine disaster, and the plucky boy who came to the rescue — recalling the sinking of HMS Tribune Hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians are starting another day without el [...]
Plus: One year of Unravel Halifax — an evolving magazine for a changing city Questions are mounting about the reliability of the region's cell-phone service, with many Nova Scotians having diffi [...]