Hey baby, what’s your number?

Mine is 790.

What number is that? My credit score.

It’s been a couple of years since I checked out my own credit report. I decided to do it last week.  I’m glad I did.

According to the folks at TransUnion, my credit score is 790.  What’s that mean? Well, they tell me that I rank above 71.32% of the Canadian population.  That’s nice.  Still lots of room for improvement it seems! Of the various rankings, they tell me my score is “good”. The category that I’d like to occupy is next, which is “very good”.

Specifically, my report noted this:

There are several factors taken into account that help determine your credit score. The factors making the largest impact are listed below. Remember that these factors vary in how strongly they impact your credit score. For example, if you have a very high credit score, the negative factors in your analysis are likely to have a small impact. For very low credit scores, the opposite is true in that negative factors have a very large impact on your credit.

Here are the top factors that make your score lower:

  1. Your loan balances are too high in comparison with your loan amounts. High levels of debt can signal to potential lenders that you are spending more than you can afford. It is a good idea to use your credit cards regularly but remember to keep your balances below 35 percent of your available credit limits. If you have balances above 35-50 percent, you could see your credit score start to drop.
  2. Your most recent bank/national revolving account has not been open very long. Time is one of the most important factors for a healthy credit score. The longer your accounts have been opened, the better they are perceived by lenders. Opening new accounts can cause your credit to appear unstable, because a record of responsible use has not yet been established for the account. Your credit score will improve as you keep your new accounts open, active and paid on-time.

I did have to call TransUnion in order to request an “investigation” as they call it, for information which seems incorrect or inaccurate. First, my address was wrong. When I called them, the rather impatient and abrupt customer service representative said “send me a copy of your driver’s license front and back and SIN card to request a change in your address”. I try to explain that I do not want to change my address, nor have I changed my address in three years, that my address is incorrect – your fault, not mine. I think we got that straightened out.

There was a credit card they record as still being open, although I closed it several years ago. They’re investigating that.

Next year I’ll make myself a note to check myself out again in May, and see if I’ve managed to improve my score any. I’d like to be in the top 25% of Canadians for sure by next year.

I paid a little over $20 for my report, which is money well spent considering they had no idea where I live. (I understand why they are confused – don’t worry, I’m not a victim of identity theft). You can check yourself out for free, but you won’t get a detailed report like I did. You’ve got a couple options:  TransUnion or Equifax.

Maybe when people get less shy about talking about finance, when somebody asks you for your number, they’ll be inquiring about your credit score! (Hopefully, they’ll already have your phone number by the time they ask you this one).

What’s your number?  🙂

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4 responses to this post.

  1. McMom,
    This is a great blog. You explain basic money topics in a very personable style.
    Good reading! I’m adding you to my regular reading list.

    Reply

  2. Thanks for reminding me to check my score. I haven’t actually done that before. It’s good to check for errors and things to be questioned. I think your score is pretty good. Keep up the good work and I hope you are able to reach your goal of improving it over the next year. 🙂

    Reply

  3. […] Your credit score. In May, I checked out my credit score, and it was 790. The CIBC just ran a check, and it’s 727. Ooo, on the decline. I wonder why? I’m […]

    Reply

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