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Do I have a credit score? Here’s how to check

5 min read

do I have a credit score

Written By

Courtney Johnston
Courtney Johnston

You may have heard a lot of talk about credit scores. But how do you know if you have one? This three digit number is an important barometer of your financial health, and a figure lenders will use often when determining if you’re creditworthy,

Credit reports from credit bureaus detail credit history, determining credit scores. These scores, calculated from various factors, indicate creditworthiness. Maintaining a good credit score hinges on timely payments and managing credit limits responsibly. Understanding credit reports and scores aids in improving financial health and securing favorable credit terms.

But if you’ve just turned eighteen or have never had a credit card, you might be wondering if you even have a credit score. Here’s how to check and to keep a close watch on your credit score and how to determine what exactly those numbers mean.

Do I have a credit score?

Your credit score file contains your own credit report, detailing credit accounts and their impact on your score range. Credit card issuers and lenders use this data to assess your credit health when considering new credit cards or loans. Regularly check your credit to monitor your financial standing and man Fage debt responsibly.

Everyone eighteen or older technically has a credit score, even if they’ve never used credit before. In rare cases, even minors may have a credit report. In Canada, credit scores range from 300 to 900. The higher your score, the better your chances of getting approved for financing or a new credit account.

If you’re new to credit, chances are your score will be on the lower end. That’s OK. Everyone starts off here. You’ll just want to start building your score and practicing good credit habits to bump it up. In some instances, you might start off with a high credit score if your parent or guardian added you as an authorized user to a credit account to help grow your score.

Why does my credit score matter?

Your credit score is important, because it’s needed to get approved for common financing you’ll need throughout your life: car loans, renting apartments, mortgage applications, and credit card accounts.

Although every lender and credit product has its own rules, most look for a credit score that is in the high 600s (at minimum) to approve you for credit. The higher your score, the more favorable your lending terms. For example, if your score is above 800, you might qualify for the lowest advertised interest rate or have certain fees waived.

A credit report is a detailed summary of one's credit history compiled by credit bureaus. Credit scores calculated from this data, determine creditworthiness. Maintaining a good credit score is crucial for favorable credit limits. It's crucial to regularly check your credit file, ensuring the accuracy of your own credit report and monitoring your credit score range. Evaluate credit accounts, debt, and loans to maintain optimal credit standing.

When considering a credit card, be mindful of potential impacts on your credit score. Lenders and credit issuers use your credit file to assess creditworthiness. Keeping a close eye on your credit standing empowers responsible financial management and enhances your ability to secure favorable terms for loans and credit and can also impact credit limit and loan amounts. Stay informed about changes in your credit file to make informed decisions and navigate the financial landscape wisely.

How do I get credit?

Building credit may feel like a catch-22 when you’re just starting out. You need good credit to get approved for credit accounts — but it’s difficult to get approved for these accounts without first having good credit.

Luckily there are a few ways to start building credit, even if your score is at the very bottom. Improving your credit scores and building your credit report with credit reporting agencies can help you improve your standing and financial options.

  • Open a secured credit card. In exchange for a security deposit that serves as your credit line, a secured card can help you begin growing your credit score. They’re easier to get approved for than many cards, and in some cases don’t even require a credit score at all. You can work on your credit history and boost your standing with Canadian credit bureau companies to give you a chance at better credit limit terms.

  • Consider a credit building card. Another option to explore is a credit card designed to build credit. These accounts may come with annual or program fees — but some are free. For example, KOHO offers a no cost credit building product that can help you improve your credit over time. Your payments are reported to the credit bureau and you can monitor your progress with a check of your credit report for free.

  • Apply for a credit builder loan. Many credit unions and non-traditional financial institutions in Canada may offer this option. Here’s how it works: You’ll open a credit builder loan and make monthly payments, plus interest towards the loan, while the lender reports your payments to the credit bureaus. Once you’ve paid off the loan in full, you’ll get access to the loan amount. Since you receive the money at the end of the process, this credit-building option is less risky for lenders, so they typically don’t require a minimum credit score for approval.

  • Ask to be added as an authorized user. If you have a parent or family member with good credit, you can boost your credit score by asking them to add you as an authorized user to their account. This allows you to benefit from every on-time payment they make. But be cautious before jumping at this opportunity — if they miss a payment or fall into debt, this negative information will hit your credit report, too and lower your credit scores.

  • Keep tabs on your progress and take it one step at a time. Your credit file holds your own credit report, encompassing payment history and credit accounts. Equifax, among other credit bureaus, assesses credit health within a credit score range. Multiple credit checks from financial institutions or credit card issuers may impact credit negatively, signaling too many credit inquiries. You can get a good credit score and know what your current score standing is at any time with careful monitoring. when you know how credit score calculated works and what is used in credit reports you can take steps to keep your credit score the best it can be.

Building a good credit score takes time

As long as you’re not a minor, it’s likely that you have a credit score and can start building your credit payment history quickly and easily. If you want to improve your score and increase your credit limit, use one of the above methods to gain access to a credit account, then practice good credit habits like always paying your bills on time and keeping your credit balances low.

It can take several months or a year to see a significant improvement, but keep working at it and you’ll reap the benefits of your hard work. Let your credit history work for you and see how your credit scores can be improved by making smart financial decisions day in and day out. Know whether you have good credit history or a less than stellar one and take steps to keep your credit score the best that it can be. Check your credit and stay on top of your score with help from KOHO!

Note: KOHO product information and/or features may have been updated since this blog post was published. Please refer to our KOHO Plans page for our most up to date account information!

Courtney Johnston

Courtney is a professional writer, editor and financial literacy enthusiast. You can find her writing on CNET, Investopedia, The Motley Fool, Yahoo Finance, MSN and The Balance. She spends her free time exploring different cities across the globe or enjoy some downtime with her two cats and one dog.



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