Your credit score is that magic number that helps you reach major milestones in your life. Lenders look at your credit score before approving you for credit cards, car loans, and mortgages, so you should know what your score is before applying. It’s also good to know where you stand compared to other Canadians.
According to 2021 data from over 1.6 million Borrowell members, the average credit score in Canada is 660. Having a credit score above this average will make it easier to qualify for credit products, so you should use this as a benchmark to compare your own credit score.
In 2018, the average credit score of Borrowell members was 644. That means the average credit score of our members has improved by 16 points, which is a great result!
We dug deep into our data of over 1.6 million Borrowell members to find the average credit score of major cities across Canada. The data below show 30 selected Canadian cities with Borrowell members. See how your city’s average credit score compares with other Canadian cities.
According to Borrowell’s data, the Canadian city with the highest credit score is…
Out of the 30 cities listed above, 13 cities are above Borrowell’s average credit score of 660, while 17 are below the average credit score. Depending on where you live, the average credit score of your city may skew lower or higher than the average.
Interestingly enough, there is a correlation between age and credit score. Data from both Borrowell and Equifax Canada shows that the average credit score increases by age group. Borrowell members between 20 to 29 years old have an average credit score of 649, while members between 70 to 79 years old have an average credit score of 721.
Equifax Canada surveyed individuals from various age ranges and monitored their credit scores for a full decade. According to their most recent Generational Study, here are the average credit scores by age group.
There are some high-level reasons why credit scores seem to increase with age. Two factors that impact your credit score are your credit history and your credit mix. As you grow older, you might make bigger purchases to reach major milestones. Buying a car or a house involves adding different forms of credit to your credit mix. When you take out a car loan or a mortgage, your credit mix becomes more diverse. As you pay these off, your credit history grows. These two factors both help in increasing your credit score.
A word of caution, though: growing older doesn’t guarantee that your credit score will increase. Building good credit requires strong financial habits, like paying your bills on time and in full.
A good credit score in Canada is any score above 713. Credit scores in Canada range between 300 and 900. There are five distinct categories that your credit score could fall into. These range from poor to excellent. Here’s a simple breakdown of each of these categories.
If your credit score falls in this range, congratulations! An excellent credit score helps you qualify for the best rates and terms on financial products. You’ll have an easier time getting approved for financing on large purchases, such as major appliances, a new car, and your first home. You’re also more likely to receive promotional rates, rewards, and cashback bonuses on new credit cards.
Having a good credit score means lenders see you as a low-risk borrower. You’ll get approved for solid interest rates, but there could be some simple steps you could take to bump up your credit score and access even better rates. With a bit of time, discipline, and patience, your credit score could reach new heights and help you save money on interest in the long run.
A credit score in this range means you’re at or above the 2021 average credit score of Borrowell members. With a fair credit score, you’ll have access to standard rates and terms from lenders. You might not have trouble getting approved for loans or credit cards, but you won’t be able to access the lowest interest rates possible. You can qualify for most credit cards with a fair credit score, but you might not qualify for premium cards with rewards and perks. Small changes to your financial habits can help you reach a good or excellent credit score. This can help qualify for even more financial products in the future.
With a below average credit score, you’ll have a difficult time getting approved for standard rates and terms on credit cards or loans. You may be able to get a secured loan or a secured credit card, but the interest rate you’ll qualify for will be higher than average. To save money in the long run on interest payments, it’s in your best interest to build up your credit score and reach a good or excellent score.
If your credit score falls in this category, you will have an extremely difficult time qualifying for loans, mortgages, or any kind of credit product. You’re considered to be a high-risk borrower, and if you’re approved, you could end up paying a lot in interest. To build up your credit score, you will need to use a secured product and put up some funds as collateral. Making regular payments towards your secured product can help you build up your credit score.
If your credit score falls below the Canadian average of 660, don’t stress. Many individuals fall into this category, and there are concrete steps you can take to build your credit. Here are just a few of the steps you can take:
Paying your bills on time – every time – is one of the best things you can do to improve your credit score. Your payment history is the largest factor that impacts your credit score, and it makes up 35% of your score. Use a free bill tracking app to monitor your bills, or try setting up monthly automatic payments so you don’t miss your bills. If you have any past due accounts, try to pay off the oldest ones first.
Your credit utilization is the second largest factor that impacts your credit score. It’s the amount of credit you’ve used versus the total amount of credit you have available. You should aim to keep your credit utilization below 30%. This means if you have a credit card with a limit of $3,000, then you should keep the balance below $1,000.
A Borrowell study found a correlation between how often members checked their credit score and how much their score improved. Members who consistently log in and check their weekly credit score updates saw their credit scores increase by an average of 20 points. Members with credit scores below 600 saw their scores increase by an average of 43 points! Regularly monitoring your credit score, especially if you have poor credit, can keep you motivated and help you build good financial habits.
If your credit score is below Canada’s average of 660, don’t worry! You can still recover from a bad credit score, even if you’ve been through a bankruptcy or consumer proposal. Building up your credit score takes time, discipline, and determination. But if you pay your bills on time, keep your credit utilization low, and regularly monitor your credit, you’ll start seeing that magic number get bigger and bigger.
Borrowell® is a registered trademark of Borrowell Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Equifax credit score is based on Equifax’s proprietary model and may not be the same score used by third parties to determine your credit profile. The score provided to you for educational use is the Equifax Risk Score.
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