Are you thinking about buying a home in Kamloops and are wondering what role your credit score plays? I have included some information below regarding credit scores and mortgage financing and how it will affect your real estate purchase.
Your credit score, also known as a beacon score, is generated by 2 main organizations in Canada; Equifax and Trans Union. They have a system which tracks any personal loans, credit cards or lines of credit that you have. The system gives you a score somewhere between 300-900, with 300 being the worst and 900 being the best. In order to obtain the very best mortgage rates, you generally need to have a score of 660 or better, however exceptions are made when it makes sense. If your credit score is not this high, there are a whole other group of lenders willing to help you out, but generally at a higher cost.
What determines your score?
All of your creditors will report monthly to Equifax or Trans Union. They report how much you owe, what your monthly payment is, and whether you have made your payment on time. A record is kept for as long as you have the debt, showing how many times you have ever been 30 days late, 60 days late or 90 days late. It will also show if the account has ever been sent to a collection company. The longer that you have had credit reporting to the credit bureau without late payments, the higher your score will climb. Also, if you have credit cards or lines of credit, try to keep your outstanding balance under 50% of the limit. Points are deducted for high balances in comparison to the limit, late payments, collections, and too many inquiries for credit.
Important things to note:
- Your utility bills, cell phone, gym membership, car insurance, etc., do not give you credit for paying on time. They will never show up on the credit bureau unless you don’t pay them. If you plan on arguing or disputing a charge with one of these companies, expect it to show up as a collection on your credit bureau and drastically lower your credit rating. It’s generally better to just pay the amount owing and dispute your case after the fact.
- Unless your mortgage is with a credit union, it probably doesn’t report to the credit bureau either. So, even though you might pay your mortgage perfectly for 5 years, you won’t have any credit score at all unless you have established some unsecured personal credit. (ie..credit card, car loan, personal bank line of credit, etc)
- Bankruptcy and Credit Counseling programs make it near impossible to qualify for a mortgage until you have been finished with the program for at least a year or two, and reestablished some new credit for another year or two. If you are considering one of these options, don’t just take your trustee’s advice. Make sure to talk to a mortgage broker about how this will affect your ability to purchase a home.
It is always important to be conscious of your borrowing habits as they will affect your credit score. Buying a home in Kamloops is a big commitment and you want to make the process as easy and as inexpensive as possible. Feel free to post any questions here about mortgages or contact me directly. I would be happy to help you out.