While it’s always important to check your credit report to spot any errors, a credit score gives you a quick understanding of where your credit is at, helping you get the best lending rates and increasing your chances of credit card approval.
By law, both credit reporting agencies in Canada, TransUnion and Equifax, have to provide you with a credit report by mail on request. However, there is no legal requirement to provide a credit score, and both companies will typically upsell you to get a score.
A number of companies in Canada have started offering your credit score for free. This post will provide a list of those providers. Note that the score provided is called a consumer disclosure score. Anytime a lender pulls your credit, your score will be different. Each lender has their own formula, so do each of the following companies. That is, the score you see on any of the following websites doesn’t reflect your actual score, because there is no actual score out there – whoever checks your credit will determine a score based on their own formula. However, these scores provide an accurate prediction of where your credit health is at.
Using any of these websites will not impact your credit score as they do a “soft pull” on your bureau. DCTA doesn’t have any financial or other relationship with any of the following companies.
Credit Karma is making their debut in Canada with their beta. They are currently the only company offering a free score for TransUnion, which is the most important bureau for the Canadian churner (American Express, Chase). Since they’re in a beta, I don’t see any advertisements, and signing up is quick. They’re also the only company offering the details of your TransUnion bureau, which you can verify for accuracy. You can update your score as often as once a week, and I’d say they’re currently the best program in Canada.
This system is OK, but I couldn’t get it to work for me. Apparently, you can access your score every three months, and they provide personalized financial advice based on your score.
My understanding is that Mogo is a subprime lender, and they’ll let you check your score once a month. I was able to get my score, but I found the interface clunky.
This is probably my favourite company that checks Equifax – they’re a new contender, and their interface is clean and easy to use. Unfortunately, it’s not clear how often you can update your credit score.
Have you used any of these websites? Which is your favourite?