At least two of the banks I deal with offer a no-cost way to check my credit score online.
I say at least because I have accounts at many banks and haven’t visited them all lately. But if I want to check my credit score, I know I have a couple of go-to options. What about you?
Your credit score is increasingly important as an indicator of how you manage not only your debts, but also your life. Lenders check your credit score, of course. Landlords may also take a look, and insurance companies and prospective employers.
Given the importance of your credit score, it’s important to see where you stand at least once per year. For ideas on where to find your score at no cost, I asked people in my Twitter community what they do. Check out the replies for a wide range of options that include:
- Bank websites and mobile apps: Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Royal Bank of Canada are among the banks that offer access to credit scores.
- Equifax: This credit-monitoring company offers free access to your credit score.
- Borrowell: An online marketplace for loans and other financial products.
- Credit Karma: Matches you to financial products and receives referral fees.
- Verified.Me: A service from Interac that helps you verify your identity online; Toronto-Dominion Bank offers access to credit scores through this channel.
Credit scores range from 300 to 900, with 760 and up considered excellent. Between 660 and 724 is considered good, while 725 to 759 is very good.
Use the credit scores you get for free as a rough guide to your credit score. Lenders and others may access somewhat different numbers when they connect with Equifax and TransUnion, the other big credit monitoring company in Canada.
Checking your credit score online is considered a “soft inquiry,” which means it has no effect on your score. A “hard inquiry,” where a lender sizes you up as a client, is a different story. Your credit score could drop if you have multiple hard inquiries.
PERSONAL FINANCE COLUMNIST
The Globe and Mail, November 24, 2022