If you’re looking for a free credit score service provider in Canada, Mogo is one of the few options you will find.
Besides free credit score services, Mogo is also popular for its unique spending, borrowing and investing solutions. This includes prepaid cards, cryptocurrency, personal loans, mortgages and an automated investing platform. This makes Mogo a one-stop-shop fintech company in Canada.
But what are the pros and cons of using Mogo? Is Mogo suitable for you? What are the best alternatives to Mogo in Canada?
In this Mogo review, you will learn everything that the company entails including how it compares with similar credit score service providers in Canada.
Table of Contents
Who is Mogo?
Mogo is a fintech company that operates as one of the popular free credit score service providers in Canada. The company was founded in 2003 to help Canadians achieve financial freedom while impacting society through carbon emissions.
In addition to free credit score, report and monitoring services, Mogo also provides access to a wide range of financial products ranging from:
- Prepaid cards
- Personal loans
- Self-directed trading platform
- Automated investing platform
With these products and services, Mogo has attracted about 2 million clients in Canada. The company has over 300 staff and has planted 1.8+ million trees toward fighting climate change.
Unlike other credit service providers in Canada, Mogo is traded publicly on the TSX and NASDAQ exchanges with “MOGO” as the ticker symbol.
Is Mogo Safe and Legit?
Absolutely. Mogo is safe and legit as per the standard of similar fintech companies in Canada.
Mogo’s self-directed brokerage and automated investment platforms are regulated by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
In addition, assets on Mogo self-directed brokerage and automated investment platforms are covered by up to $1 million per insured account by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
Security-wise, Mogo protects your personal information using multiple measures such as the Latest encryption technologies and Centralized Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM).
What Does Mogo Offer?
Mogo offers a wide range of financial and investment solutions that are far more than what similar fintech companies offer in Canada.
In what follows, we will take a detailed view of all the products and services available at Mogo.
1. Mogo Credit Score Services
Mogo is more popular for its credit score services which range from free credit scores, reports, monitoring and protection.
With Mogo, you will get your Equifax credit score and report for free each month. You will also get 90-day free identity fraud protection or unlimited free protection when you activate a MogoCard.
Unlike other free credit score service providers in Canada, Mogo offers a $200 bonus each month to the client (s) with the most improved credit score. This is a great way to motivate credit building among Canadians.
The MogoCard we have been talking about above is a prepaid card operating under the Visa network. The card operates like other prepaid cards but doesn’t charge interest and monthly fees.
Instead, the MogoCard gives you access to free transactions on POS, e-Transfers and direct deposits.
The interesting part is that you will be issued the card for free. And for every purchase you make with the card, Mogo will plant a free carbon emission and carbon-sucking tree on your behalf. This automatically makes you an ambassador of carbon emissions without any commitment.
As noted above, the MogoCard gives you access to unlimited free credit score monitoring and protection. This will help you save a couple of dollars charged by credit bureaus.
With Visa Zero Liability Policy, you don’t have to worry about unauthorized purchases with your MogoCard.
That said, below are fees associated with the MogoCard:
- Inactivity fee per month: $1.99
- ATM withdrawal fee: $1.50+ ATM fee in Canada and $3+ ATM fee outside Canada
- FX fee: 2.5%
The maximum balance of the MogoCard is $10,000 and the following are the transaction limits:
|Transfer within 24 hours
|A single transfer (excluding Canada Post)
|A single cash withdrawal
|Purchase within 24 hours
|A single purchase
It’s worth noting that you can only withdraw once in 24 hours with the MogoCard. With a low maximum cash withdrawal amount of $500 within 24 hours, the MogoCard could be too restrictive.
If you’re looking for flexible transaction limits while building your credit score at the same time, I recommend the best credit cards in Canada.
3. Mogo Personal Loans (MogoMoney)
You can access between $500 to $35,000 personal loans through Mogo. The APR ranges from 9.9% to 45.9%. While I don’t recommend taking a loan with such a high rate of APR, Mogo could be your last option.
The interesting part is that you can qualify for a Mogo loan regardless of your credit score. You can get a free no-obligation loan pre-approval to understand what you’re going into. The pre-approval will not impact your credit score, but the loan application could hurt your credit since it involves a hard credit check.
With a 100-day test drive, Mogo allows you to refund only the principal of a loan you’re not satisfied with. In that case, any fees and interest charged will be returned to you.
To qualify for a Mogo personal loan, you must meet the following eligibility:
- Reside in any Canadian province or territory excluding Québec
- Reach the age of majority in your province/territory
- Have a $13,000 average annual net income
- Have eligible income for a minimum of 30 days
- Have supporting documents
MogoMortgage is a mortgage brokerage that showcases the mortgages of several partner mortgage providers including the big banks.
The brokerage has the following mortgage terms and rates as of the time of writing:
- 3-year fixed: 4.79%
- 5-year fixed: 4.69%
- 5-year variable: 4.45%
Even though the Mogo mortgage rates are competitive, you can access better rates under the best mortgage rates in Canada.
It’s worth noting that the Mogo mortgage brokerage offers only a high-ratio mortgage. That’s a mortgage whose down payment is less than 20% of the property value. Of course, this means high mortgage costs as you will be required to take insurance to protect the mortgage provider.
To qualify for a mortgage, MogoMortgage requires you to have a minimum of 5% down payment, a minimum of 640 credit score and a steady income stream.
Are you a self-directed trader? You can trade stocks and ETFs commission-free through MogoTrade.
This online discount brokerage allows you to trade your favourite securities listed on TSX, TSX-V, NASDAQ, NYE and BATS exchanges without commission.
In addition, the brokerage doesn’t charge annual fees and trading fees. It doesn’t also require a minimum balance.
As if that’s not enough, MogoTrade gives you free access to live-streaming stock prices. The only fee involved is 0.75% per FX transaction. Even at that, the FX fee is extremely lower compared to what many trading platforms charge in Canada.
By investing in MogoTrade, you will help fight climate change by supporting the planting of trees in and outside Canada.
That said, MogoTrade is regulated by IIROC and your assets on the platform are covered by up to $1 million per insured account by the CIPF. You can invest through TFSA, RRSP or a personal account on MogoTrade.
Learn more: MogoTrade Review
Mogo also supports crypto trading through climate-positive Bitcoin. This type of Bitcoin is the first of its kind in the whole world.
With a Mogo account, you can trade Bitcoin with any amount as there’s no minimum balance required.
While MogoCrypto doesn’t charge deposit and withdrawal fees, it charges a 1% fee on buying and selling Bitcoin. The fee is lower compared to the trading fees of other crypto exchanges.
However, some crypto trading platforms — such as Newton and Wealthsimple Crypto — don’t charge fees on cryo trading. These platforms also offer access to multiple cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin.
But if you’re only concerned about trading a climate-positive Bitcoin, you can’t go wrong with MogoCrypto.
6. Mogo Wealth
If you’re looking for an automated investing solution, Mogo also got you covered. Mogo acquired Moka in 2021 to help its clients save more, spend less and invest smartly.
Moka, which was formerly called Mylo, is a popular automated investment platform in Canada. Besides offering automated investing solutions, the platform also offers savings, debt payment and financial coaching solutions.
The notable features of Moka are highlighted below:
- Roundup on purchases
- Cashback on purchases
- Commission-free investing
- Automated personalized debt payment plan
- Personalized financial coaching
Click here to learn more about Moka.
Related: Best Investments in Canada
Mogo Pros and Cons
Based on the foregoing review, we can easily identify the following pros and cons of Mogo:
Pros of Mogo
- Free credit score, monitoring and protection services
- Free prepaid card with no monthly fees, transaction fees and interest
- Multiple financial and investment solutions including self-directed and automated investing platforms
- Climate-friendly fintech company
- 100-day test drive offer on personal loans
- $200 bonus for clients with the most improved credit scores
Cons of Mogo
- No CDIC coverage on Mogo account deposits
- High APRs on personal loans
- Long credit score report frequency (other credit bureaus offer reports on a weekly interval against the monthly interval of Mogo)
With the above, you should be able to decide by now if Mogo is ideal for you. To make an informed decision, I recommend that you compare your desired Mogo product with other options before finalizing your decision.
You can jump to the “alternatives” section to get an overview of how Mogo compares.
But if you’re sure that Mogo is suitable for you, kindly proceed to the subsequent section to learn about the signing process.
How to Open a Mogo Account
Because Mogo operates completely online, you can sign-up with it within a few minutes. However, the application process and eligibility vary from one Mogo product to the other.
Notwithstanding, one general eligibility is that you must live in any Canadian province or territory (excluding Québec) to qualify for Mogo.
That being said, below are the step-by-step processes for opening a Mogo account:
- Visit the sign-up page here
- Enter your email address
- Create a password
- Verify your email address
- Follow the instructions
Mogo is just one of the three popular free credit score providers in Canada. Others include Borrowell and Credit Karma. Since Mogo is popular for its free credit score service, we shall limit our comparison to Borrowell and Credit Karma.
But if we’re to recommend the best alternatives to other Mogo products, I will recommend the following:
- Wealthsimple Invest against Mogo Wealth
- Wealthsimple Trade against MogoTrade
- Newton against MogoCrypto
- Koho Prepaid Card against MogoCard
- Butler Mortgage against MogoMortgage
- Loans Canada against Mogo Personal Loans
For the purpose of this review, we shall not go into the details of the above alternatives. However, you can click on the link of your desired product/company to learn more.
Let us now turn to the best Mogo alternatives for credit score services in Canada.
Borrowell prides itself as the first fintech company to offer free credit score service in Canada. Like Mogo, Borrowell also offers free access to Equifax credit scores and reports.
What makes the difference? Borrowell offers a weekly credit report while Mogo offers a monthly report. While the report interval may not be a problem to some, it will be a problem to those looking to improve their credit score aggressively.
Another difference is that Mogo has more product collections than Borrowell. With the exception of credit score services, most of the products available on Borrowell are offered by partner companies. This includes:
- Personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, insurance product
- Investment products
- Bank accounts
Notwithstanding, you can’t go wrong with Borrowell if you’re mainly looking for credit-building services.
Learn more: Borrowell Review
Credit Karma is an American-based company that expanded to Canada in 2016. It’s the third fintech company that offers free credit score and report services in Canada.
The major difference is that Credit Karma uses the TransUnion scoring model in providing credit score and report services in Canada.
In addition, Credit Karma also offers weekly credit reports against Mogo’s monthly reports. But since both companies offer free services, you can use the two of them at once to access your Equifax and TransUnion scores and reports.
Like Borrowell, Credit Karma also makes money by recommending the products of partner companies — such as personal loans, mortgages and credit cards.
Learn more: Credit Karma Canada Review
Verdict on Mogo Review
Mogo is no doubt a reputable fintech company that has attracted the attention of more than 1.8 million Canadians.
If you were contemplating opening a Mogo account, now you can make an informed decision knowing the pros and cons of Mogo.
But as shown above, there are worthy alternatives across all the products and services offered by Mogo. It’s up to you to decide whether to sign-up with Mogo or go with an alternative.
Where do you go from here? Please let me know in the comment section. Before leaving, kindly check out our blog section for more information on the best financial solutions in Canada.
Mogo Review FAQs
Is Mogo credit score accurate?
Mogo credit score is accurate as per Equifax’s credit scoring model. One thing to note is that the Mogo score will likely differ from other credit scores such as the ones calculated by the TransUnion scoring model.
Does Mogo hurt your credit score?
Opening a Mogo account, checking your credit score, and applying for loan pre-approval will not hurt your credit score on Mogo. However, a Mogo loan application will likely hurt your credit score because a hard check is involved.
Is it hard to get a Mogo loan?
It’s not hard to get a loan on Mogo because you can be approved even if you have a bad credit score. What you should be concerned about is that Mogo loans have some of the highest APRs out there ranging from 9.9% to 45.9%.
How do I cancel my Mogo account?
To cancel your Mogo account, you need to send an account cancellation request through the Mogo in-app chat. Once a Mogo representative views your request, you will be directed on what to do.