Build a good credit history and you’ll improve your chances of being approved for a mortgage.

What is a credit score?

Your credit score is one of the factors lenders use when they consider you for a mortgage. It’s a number that signals your financial health at a specific time. It also gives information about your financial past, and how consistently you pay off your bills and debts.

Check your credit score

Find your credit score through one of Canada’s credit-reporting agencies:

For a fee, they will provide you with an online copy of your credit score as well as a credit report. Your credit report is a detailed summary of your credit history, employment history and personal financial information. They can also send you a free copy of your credit report by mail.

If you find errors in your report, contact the credit-reporting agency and the organization responsible for the mistake right away.

Build your credit score

Begin building a credit history as early as possible. To start, apply for a credit card, then use it responsibly.

Improve your credit score

Show potential lenders that you can manage credit well:

  • Pay your bills in full and on time. If you can’t pay the full amount, pay at least the required minimum shown on your monthly statement.
  • Pay off your loans, credit cards and lines of credit as quickly as possible.
  • Stay within the limits on your credit cards. Keep your balances as low as possible.
  • Don’t apply for more credit cards or loans than you can comfortably manage.

For more information, download the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s workshop on understanding your credit report and score.

Date Published: March 31, 2018