The importance of increasing your credit score can’t be overemphasized as it opens doors to many financial opportunities. This post explores 6 ways to Increase Your Credit Score Fast in Canada.
With a good credit score, you can access favourable terms and rates on loans, mortgages, credit cards and other credits.
However, increasing a credit score can be challenging as there are many things you need to do.
Here I discuss some of the proven tips that can help you increase your credit score fast in Canada.
Table of Contents
Understanding Credit Score
In Canada, the following are the range of credit scores and their meanings:
- 760 – 900 = Excellent
- 725 – 759 = Very good
- 660 – 724 = Good
- 560-659 = Fair
- 300 – 559 = Poor
Understanding how these scores are calculated is crucial in knowing how to better maintain your credit profile.
Below is a brief explanation of the factors used to calculate credit scores in Canada.
1. Payment History
Payment history is the most significant factor used to calculate a credit score in Canada.
It accounts for 35% of the overall credit score and reflects your ability to repay loans on time.
Late or missed payments can have a negative impact on your credit score.
On the other hand, consistent and on-time payment history can greatly improve your credit score.
2. Accurate Credit Utilization
Credit utilization accounts for 30% of the total credit scoring.
This refers to the amount of credit you used compared to the amount available.
A high credit utilization rate indicates that you’re using a lot of your available credit and could pose a higher risk for lenders.
On the other hand, a low credit utilization ratio shows that you’re using a small amount of your available credit which is a good practice.
It’s recommended to keep your credit utilization below 30% to maintain a good credit score.
3. Length of Credit History
Length of credit history refers to the amount of time that you have been using a credit account.
This factor accounts for 15% of your overall score rating. A longer credit history shows lenders that you have a proven track record of responsible credit usage.
On the other hand, a short credit history raises concerns about your ability to handle credit.
4. Use of a Credit Mix
In Canada, credit mix accounts for 10% of the total credit score calculation.
Credit mix simply means the variety of credit products you have taken out. This includes:
- Credit cards,
- Student loans
- Car loans
- Personal loans
- Line of credit
By having multiple credits and managing them responsibly, you demonstrate a good indicator of creditworthiness.
5. Credit Inquiries
Credit inquiries refer to the number of times your credit profile has been requested by lenders or financial institutions.
This factor makes up 10% of the overall credit score calculation.
A high number of credit inquiries within a short period can signal to lenders that you’re taking multiple loans or credit products.
That can negatively impact your credit score!
On the other hand, a low number of credit inquiries over an extended period shows stability and responsible credit usage.
Also, the impact of credit inquiry depends on hard or soft checks. A hard check affects your credit score while a soft check doesn’t.
How to Increase your Score
Based on the above factors, below are the 6 ways you can increase your credit score fast in Canada.
1. Pay Your Bills on Time
Paying your bills on time is one of the most important factors in building a good credit score in Canada.
Late payments can have a negative impact on your credit score and stay on your credit report for up to six years.
By paying your bills on time, you are demonstrating to lenders and creditors that you are responsible and can be trusted to repay debts.
To avoid late or missed payments, you should set up automatic payments or reminders on your smartphone.
2. Improve Credit Utilization Ratio
As noted earlier, a credit utilization ratio refers to the amount of credit used compared to the amount available.
To improve your credit utilization ratio, you should reduce the amount of credit you used and increase your credit amount.
This can be done by paying off debt, requesting a credit limit increase, or opening a new line of credit.
The goal is to maintain a credit utilization ratio of less than 30% as a higher ratio can indicate financial stress and negatively impact the credit score.
However, you should not apply for multiple credits for the sake of improving your credit utilization ratio.
Applying for multiple credits within a short time could hurt your score due to hard checks.
3. Maintain All Credit Accounts
Keeping old credit accounts active is one of the effective ways of increasing credit scores fast in Canada.
Even if you’re no longer using a credit account, ensure you keep it active. This is because the length of your credit history is a significant factor in determining your credit score.
So keeping old credit accounts active helps to establish a long and stable credit history, which will in turn help to improve your credit score.
Additionally, when you keep an old credit account active, you are demonstrating to lenders that you are responsible for credit and can manage multiple credit accounts at the same time.
4. Use a Mix of Credit
Using a mix of credit types is another effective way to increase your credit score fast in Canada.
This involves utilizing different forms of credit, such as a credit card, a personal loan, a line of credit, and a mortgage.
By having a variety of credit types on your credit report, lenders and credit bureaus can see that you have experience managing different types of debt.
That demonstrates your ability to handle credit responsibly!
Having a mix of credit types also helps to diversify your credit history and decrease the risk of being too heavily on one form of credit.
5. Minimize Hard Inquiries
A hard inquiry is a type of credit check that occurs when a lender or financial institution requests access to your credit profile when assessing your credit or loan application.
Multiple hard inquiries on your profile can lower your credit score and affect your ability to obtain loans, credit cards or other forms of credit in the future.
To minimize hard inquiries, you should only apply for credit when you really need to.
You should also avoid applying for multiple credit products at once, as this can result in multiple hard inquiries.
6. Track Your Score
Tracking your credit score regularly allows you to monitor the changes in your credit score and assess the impact of various financial decisions on your credit score.
By regularly tracking your credit score, you can identify any errors or discrepancies in your credit report and take corrective measures promptly.
How to Protect Your Credit Profile From Fraudsters
One of the common challenges Canadians face when building their credit score is fraud.
Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated by the day in how they can impersonate or exploit your hard-earned money.
In addition to monitoring your credit report regularly, below are other measures you need to take to protect your credit profile from fraudsters.
- Secure your personal information: Be cautious about sharing your personal information like SIN, birth date, email, phone number and address.
- Secure your account and devices: Use complex passwords for all your accounts and change them when you suspect anything. You should also install an antivirus on your desktop, laptop and smartphone devices.
- Shop smartly online: Only provide your personal and financial information on secure websites (ones that start with “https”).
- Be wary of phishing scams: Do not respond to emails or texts from unknown sources that request your personal information.
- Use two-factor authentication: When possible, use two-factor authentication for logging into your online accounts.
- Dispose of your information securely: Shred any documents that contain your personal information before discarding them.
- Use public WiFi with caution
- Use ATMs securely
- Avoid clicking links on unsolicited emails.
Increasing a credit score fast in Canada requires discipline and commitment.
The first step is to understand the credit reporting system and the factors that influence your credit score.
You can be confident of achieving the desired result fast by:
- Paying your bills on time,
- Improving your credit utilization ratio,
- Keeping your old credit account active,
- Using a mix of credit types
- Minimizing hard inquiries and t
- Tracking your credit score regularly
With persistence and responsible credit management, you can achieve a strong credit score and enjoy the financial benefits it brings.
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