Establishing and Maintaining Your Credit

We can help you establish, maintain, or recover your credit rating.

Loans and Credit

Tips to help you apply for credit

Applying for credit shouldn't be a shot in the dark. There are many things that can help you with your credit applications. Watch this video to hear some of the tips that can help you the next time you apply for credit.

You and your credit rating

Credit can be a valuable financial tool; it can make life more comfortable and long-term goals more attainable. We’ve prepared this information to help you understand the credit granting process so that you can establish a healthy credit rating. It’s important to establish and maintain a healthy credit rating because it’s one of the factors in determining the type and amount of credit you may be qualified for.

So, what is a credit score?

Your credit score is an assessment of your ability to fulfill the financial commitment of borrowing credit at a particular time, based on your financial history as reported to the credit bureau. It is important to remember that your credit score is dynamic. This means that it will change as your financial circumstances change.

While most financial institutions offer similar products and collect similar information during the approval process, credit granting policies will vary by product and from one credit grantor to the next.

Regardless of an institution’s credit granting policies, your overall credit rating will be one of the most important factors in determining if you're approved for credit at any given time.

How is my credit score determined?

Your credit score is determined by your credit history. Every time you apply for or receive credit, and every time you make or don’t make a payment on time, and use your credit you are building your credit history.

When you apply for credit, there are three ways your financial institution will evaluate your credit history:

  1. Review your past dealings with them;
  2. Consider any new information you provide in your credit application;
  3. Contact a third party credit agency for a report on your overall credit history.

Credit companies collect information from the companies that provide the credit to you. This builds your credit report, which represents a summary of your activities with a variety of financial institutions.

It is good practice to request the details of your credit report from the credit agencies periodically, to help you understand your rating and ensure that the information is correct. This is important because a strong credit record enhances your ability to get credit in the future, whereas negative reports such as overdue payments or non-payments, could make it more difficult for you to borrow or get credit in the future.

Credit Bureau Agencies

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Why wasn’t your application approved?

The credit granting process (which includes a review of your credit bureau history) can sometimes uncover aspects of your financial situation that you weren't aware of. Sometimes an application is declined due to a combination of marginally weak factors, not just one major factor. In cases like this, we can make suggestions that will improve your eligibility at a later time.

If you have a concern regarding the manner in which your application for credit was handled, please speak with the representative you have been working with. If your concern still remains, please refer to our "If you have a problem or concern" brochure, available at any branch, or online.

Application not approved? Here's some reasons why.

Everyone’s financial situation is unique; here are some common reasons why applications are often declined:

  1. Late or missed payments.
    This will lower your credit score, especially if previous creditors were forced to write off a loss.

  2. Employment history.
    Based on your employment history, it must appear reasonable that your income will continue.

  3. Insufficient income.
    Based on your income, it must show you're able to pay back the loan you've requested. You have the option to add a co-borrower to help you pay this debt in case you are unable to do so

You and your credit history

You create your own credit rating through the way you manage your money. Below is a list of steps you can take that will help you maintain a good history and access to credit in the future. The more you know about what goes into a good credit history, the easier it will be to establish and maintain a good credit score.

Unlike an internet conspiracy theory, credit scores shouldn't be scary. Watch this video to begin learning a little more about credit scores and how you can work to build and maintain a strong one.

Ways to maintain a good credit history

  1. Pay all bills on time.
    Set up pre-authorized payments to ensure payments are made on a regular basis.

  2. Pay more but not less than the minimum payment.
    Flexibility to allow you to pay more than the minimum amount but less than the entire amount.

  3. If you have missed payments, get current.
    What matters most is your long-term pattern of behaviour.

  4. Avoid applying for credit too often.
    Frequent requests may be interpreted as poor money management.

  1. Establish a credit history.
    Responsible use of credit cards will yield a better credit rating than no history at all.

  2. Keep your total debt load in check.
    Several small balances can quickly add up to an unmanageable situation.

  3. Avoid using credit to pay off credit.
    This can be seen as an attempt to avoid paying off debt.

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