Numbers play an important role in our lives. We use them every day, from the always reliable alarm clock you ring every morning at 6 a.m., to your car’s license plate, to the hours you clock in at work. These are the numbers you dial on your phone and the number of subscribers you have on your social media account.
But there are significant numbers that have a bigger impact on your life, especially your finances. One of them is your credit score, the three-digit number that is the highlight of an annual credit report. It combines your spending and borrowing habits to inform lenders of your ability to pay all of your financial obligations. It comes down to three important numbers and an adjective to describe your position.
In Canada, credit scores reflect the creditworthiness of the population. While it can vary from city to city and even province to province, knowing the average credit score gives you an overview of how Canadians manage their finances and how they use that number. to increase or reduce their opportunities. The average also gives a standard for measuring your own credit score and for making certain adjustments to meet or even exceed the standard. You can read this article on credit scores to give you additional insight into how these odds are determined and impact your finances. Below are some more details about the role of credit scores in your life.
Canadian Credit Ratings
Credit scores in Canada range from 300 to 900. This is calculated by two credit bureaus — TransUnion and Equifax. Although they may have their specific formula for producing a credit score, the ranges and descriptions are generally the same. Scores are evaluated as:
- Excellent: 760-900
- Very good: 726-759
- Good: 660-725
- Fair: 560-659
- Poor: 300-559
As the list above shows, higher credit scores are better. Good to excellent grades indicate that you are managing your finances well. This commendable score opens up many financial opportunities such as loans and credit products that you can avail now or in the future.
How are they calculated?
The two credit bureaus use different formulas that can give two different scores, but they usually have the same criteria for finding those three numbers. They both consider:
- Payment History (35%): Are you paying on time or running late?
- Credit Usage (30%): Are you maximizing your credit or staying within 30% of your limits?
- Credit history (15%): How long have you obtained credit? How long are your credit accounts?
- Credit mix (10%): How many lines of credit or credit cards do you have?
- Frequency of requests (10%): how often do lenders consult your file?
The information for these categories is based on your credit card statements, mortgage payments, and other financial transactions you make throughout the year. Financial institutions such as credit card collectors and banks send their respective reports to either credit bureau and summarize them as a credit score.
Where can I get my credit score?
In addition to Equifax and TransUnion, Canadian banks such as BMO (via a mobile app), CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and TD provide their clients with credit scores. If you are not signed in to them, you can use third-party service companies that offer free calculations.
Now that you know your rating, you might be wondering how yours stacks up against other Canadians. Does it rank higher or lower? Or is it just the average? Here are some numbers that summarize the average credit scores of Canadians.
What is the average credit score in Canada?
According to TransUnion, most Canadians have a good credit rating, around 650. This shows that Canadians are on average successful in managing their loans and debts. It also turns out that average credit scores in Canada vary by age, city and province. In addition to demographics, financial conditions such as income and debt levels can also influence average credit scores in Canada.
Here are some of the average credit scores in Canada:
- By age
According to a study conducted by Equifax in 2018, average credit scores vary by age. College-level adults have the lowest average credit scores. This is not surprising since they generally do not have a credit history or a shorter credit history than the elderly. Students can remedy this by undertaking sensible steps towards building their credit and possibly their repayment history. Adults 65 and over had a very high average of 750, given their extensive credit history and the financial experience they have gained over time.
- By city
The following Canadian cities are roughly within the national average for credit score:
- Vancouver: 687
- Toronto: 679
- Quebec: 676
- John: 664
- Calgary: 650
- Regina: 642
- Winnipeg: 638
- Halifax: 638
- Charlottetown: 636
- Fredericton: 628
It appears that the statistics are evenly distributed above and below the national average. Four key cities score above the average of 650 while four cities score below. Halifax and Winnipeg even share the same average credit score. This could show that, on average, residents of Canadian cities have good to fair credit scores.
- By province
Average credit scores also vary by province. Quebec has the highest number of residents with a score above 750 while Nunavut has the highest number of people with scores well below the national average at 520. The reason for this disparity is that the territories in Canada offer different financial opportunities and some may even face greater challenges as opposed to those living in another area. It appears that credit scores are affected by job vacancies and placement, cost of living, housing, and debt.
- By income
Credit scores have a direct relationship with income. In Canada, a higher salary equals better credit scores. One increase leads to an increase in the other. For example, those earning CA $ 25,000 and less have an average credit score of 640, while those on the other end of the spectrum of CA $ 150,000 to CA $ 300,000 have an average credit score of 788. This shows that a higher income allows for more flexibility and more attribution. for debt repayment.
What does the average credit score mean?
This number has an impact on how you can access a multitude of financial services. Good credit scores are linked to more variable types of loans and repayment options, as well as lower interest rates. The reverse is also true, because a bad credit rating can limit your borrowing capacity. You can get approved for some types of loans, but you will have to pay higher interest. Banks may not be as accommodating as you might need to find other ways to get loans with bad credit.
Aim for a better credit score
The average credit score for Canada gives us an idea of an overall rating. However, there are times when your credit score may be different than usual. If you find yours at the higher end of the spectrum, then good for you. Your financial strategies are surely working and you have nothing to worry about.
But for those with a credit score below the national average or those who are far from the right category, there are several remedies. Tips on how to improve your credit score understand:
- Checking your credit score for inconsistencies and possible identity theft scenarios
- Hold Credit Card Purchases
- Quick payment of balances
- Establish communication with creditors
- Pay off the debt
- Seek professional help if needed
Doing all of this takes considerable time and effort, but it will pay off in the long run. If you prioritize payments and reduce spending, your credit score will surely improve in the years to come. Keep in mind that credit scores can add up over time and you need patience to make sure they become favorable in the years to come.
Credit scores are important indicators of a person’s credibility. It informs financial institutions of your ability to pay your obligations. It also provides insight into how you manage your debt and how you choose to spend your hard earned money.
Credit scores also indicate how well a certain population is managing their finances. In the case of Canada, its citizens appear to have sound financial judgment. This is reflected in their average scores and good credit rating. This trend is a combination of various factors such as demographics, age and income. It appears that Canadians gain more financial security as they grow older and earn better. Likewise, the presence or absence of a variety of financial opportunities can contribute to the ability of citizens to achieve solvency. Those who are able to obtain various financial and credit products can easily achieve average or higher credit scores.
But the Law of Averages also offers a stark contrast when it comes to cities or territories that fall short of average credit scores. Those who fall below these numbers may suffer from financial hurdles. These challenges can be mitigated by fostering financial literacy among vulnerable populations and providing them with various opportunities to improve not only their credit rating, but also their overall finances in the long term.