9 tips for an impeccable credit record


Maintaining a good credit report is like presenting a beautiful school report card to your parents: it gives you bargaining power to get what you want. Except that instead of having the right to take the minivan for the weekend, with the credit file, you can buy one.

It is also a determining factor when shopping for a mortgage and financing. It can provide a low interest rate and optimal borrowing conditions. In addition, some employers and homeowners will demand it.

Since it is difficult to escape, you should pay attention.

To finally understand how it works and know the best tips for a folder that will make you the darling of financial institutions, read the following.


Periodically, lenders and service providers (cellular, internet, etc.) submit your account information (balances, payments, limits, opening and closing dates, terms, etc.) to Equifax and TransUnion. These credit reporting agencies compile everything and give you a score ranging from 300 to 900, and a rating from 1 to 9.

A high score indicates that you are good and that we can probably trust you. I say “probably”, because the credit report is not a perfect and omniscient tool. If you owe money to your mother since you maganned her minivan in 2007, the agencies do not know it.

The “1” rating means that an account is paid according to the terms. For each month late, the odds increase by one point to a maximum of “5”, which represents more than 120 days of arrears. The “9” rating is usually given to the account sent to a collection agency or included in a bankruptcy. The “7” indicates that the account is the subject of a particular payment agreement with a creditor.


I had a “credit report” with another passionate about it, Alexandre Demets *, a partner of Sun Life Financial. (Do not judge me, to each his hobbies, OK!)

Here are our tips:

Closes accounts and financing that you do not use

Even if the balances are at zero, having open accounts can scare financial institutions. Alexandre explains: “People do not understand why they have been refused a loan, even if they are good payers. But for the lender, it represents a risk if the person suddenly goes on a shopping spree by filling his credit cards. ”

He advises to keep the equivalent of your monthly salary as a credit limit.

Avoid sticking to your limits

What is even more harmful is to be near the maximum limit. A high debt ratio is the element that makes you most at risk.

Repays high interest rate debt first

Generally, if you have a $ 1,000 debt at 10% interest and a $ 100 to 20% debt, prioritize the second because it costs you more. It’s mathematical!

Raise a budget

You are not taught anything by telling yourself that  planning and planning are the foundation of good financial health. If you want to pay off debts, set a specific amount that you will pay monthly. The surplus will allow you to spoil yourself a little.

Alexander too often sees people full of good will try to repay a maximum each month to finally give up everything. “A budget is like a diet, if you just eat broccoli, you’ll end up tanning yourself and put on a poutine.”

Alex is also a champion of metaphor!

Calmos on funding applications

Submitting several requests for financing over a short period of time sends a not very reassuring signal to the lenders and may decrease your score.

Take out your credit report annually

Alexander explains the best reason to do it: “There are often mistakes.”

As I said above, it’s far from being a perfect system. In order to avoid an embarrassing refusal of funding for a new couch, keep an eye on your credit report. Some information may not have been updated correctly. You could also realize that you have been a victim of identity theft.

Be careful before putting on someone

If for the 3 th time , your new flame brings you a tryst the dealer for you AFFIXED your signature below his, perhaps you should decline the invitation.

In my old life, I too often had to call people to inform them that their ex had declared bankruptcy and that they were therefore the happy owners of a debt.

It is noble to help a loved one, but you must have complete confidence in the reliability of a person for whom you are co-signing a loan.

Mistakes of youth, it repairs itself

The old delays can stay up to seven years on your record, but it is possible to recover. It will require discipline and tight budget tracking. By demonstrating good payment habits and paying off all credit card balances on a monthly basis, your score will go up.

And, if you can not pay the full amount, make sure you make the minimum payment.

Build a safety cushion

If you do not have any more debt, you have to switch to “rescue fund” mode.

Alexandre, my new BFF , suggests placing an amount in a tax-free savings account to pay your bills for 3 months, in the event of a job loss. He admits, however, that for the majority of people, it is more realistic to raise $ 1,000 to $ 1,500 or $ 3,000 to $ 5,000 for a couple with children.


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