Before you apply to be approved for a mortgage, it is a good idea to have an idea of what your credit report and credit scores are, as your credit score will help determine your eligibility for mortgage approval. A credit score illustrates your financial status at a particular point in time and provides a picture of your financial history taking into consideration your ability to pay off debts and bills and how consistently you do so or have done so in the past. Your credit score plays a big role in determining whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage.
For a fee, you can obtain a copy of your credit score and credit report. This will provide a summary of your credit history, employment history and personal financial information. There are two credit-reporting agencies in Canada where you can find out your credit score (www.equifax.ca and www.transunion.ca)
Improving your credit score:
If you do not have a credit history, it is important that you start building a credit score. Apply for a credit card and use it responsibly by paying off all bills on time. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provide a few valuable tips on how to improve your credit score:
- Pay off debts as quickly as possible (loans, lines of credit and credit cards)
- Pay bills on time and in full. If for some reason you cannot make a full payment, always be sure to make the minimum payment to avoid penalties.
- Always stay within your credit limit and keep your balances well below your limit
- Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications that you may have (avoid applying for extra credit cards at department stores etc…)
Talk to a mortgage professional to learn more about how you can improve your credit score. Always be aware of where you stand financially and be sure to pay bills off in time and in full.
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