What Is A Credit Score and Why Should You Care?

What Is A Credit Score and Why Should You Care?

A credit rating or score (also called a Beacon or a FICO score) is not part of a regular credit report. In other words, it is a mathematical formula that translates the data in the credit report into a three-digit number that lenders use to make credit decisions.

The numbers go from 300 to 900. The higher the number, the better. For example, a number of 750 to 799 is shared by 27 per cent of the population. Statistics show that only two per cent of the borrowers in this category will default on a loan or go bankrupt in the next two years. That means that anyone with this score is very likely to get that loan or mortgage they’ve applied for.

What is the cutoff point? TransUnion says someone with a credit score below 650 may have trouble receiving new credit. Some mortgage lenders will want to see a minimum score of 680 to get the best interest rate.

The exact formula bureaus use to calculate credit scores is secret. Paying bills on time is clearly the key factor. But because lenders don’t make any money off you if you pay your bills in full each month, people who carry a balance month-to-month (but who pay their minimum monthly balances on time) can be given a higher score than people who pay their amount due in full.

This isn’t too surprising when you realize that credit bureaus are primarily funded by banks, lenders, and businesses, not by consumers. If you’re looking for a credit counsellor in Toronto, get a quick assessment with us today or call us at 416.900.2324. We will help you develop a plan, reduce your interest costs and get out of debt over time.

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