Five ways to check your credit score for free

Five ways to check your credit score for free

At least two of the banks I deal with offer a free way to check my credit score online.

I say at least because I have accounts in many banks and haven’t visited all of them lately. But if I want to check my credit rating, I know I have a few options. What do you think?

Your credit score is increasingly important as an indicator of how well you’re managing not just your debt, but your life as well. Lenders check your credit score, of course. Homeowners can also take a look, as well as insurance companies and potential employers.

Given the importance of your credit score, it’s important to see where you stand at least once a year. For ideas on where to find your free sheet music, I asked members of my Twitter community what theyre doing. Check out the answers for a wide range of options which include:

  • Bank websites and mobile apps: Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Royal Bank of Canada are some of the banks that offer access to credit scores.
  • Equifax: This credit monitoring company offers free access to your credit score.
  • Borrowell: An online marketplace for loans and other financial products.
  • Credit Karma: connects you with financial products and receives referral commissions.
  • Verified.Me: an Interac service that helps you verify your identity online; The Toronto-Dominion Bank offers access to credit scores through this channel.

Credit scores range from 300 to 900, with 760 and above being considered excellent. Between 660 and 724 is considered good, while 725 to 759 is very good.

Use the credit scores you get for free as a rough guide to your credit rating. Lenders and others can access somewhat different numbers when connecting with Equifax and TransUnion, the other major credit monitoring company in Canada.

Checking your credit score online is considered an “informal inquiry”, meaning it has no effect on your score. A “serious inquiry,” where a lender assesses you as a customer, is a different story. Your credit score could drop if you have multiple difficult applications.

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Rob’s Personal Finance Reading List

A history of mortgage rates

Useful perspective here on how mortgage rates in the 1980s, 2010s, and today compare, with reference to house prices. Rates were very high in the 80s, but today’s high house prices have a big impact on costs.

Advantages of buying an older condo

Newer condos offer the latest design touches and appliances, but older condos have their upsides. More space and predictable fees are a few advantages.

Mickey Mouse Inflation

A sobering report on the rising costs of visiting Disney parks that are struggling to maintain the old magic.

Residential renovations for seniors

This article on renovating a home to make it accessible to aging seniors has helpful cost guidelines for various projects, including adding a wheelchair entry ramp and various bathroom adjustments.

Ask Rob

Q: Virtual banks offer good savings rates. They also offer good ways to transfer money electronically between banks. Disadvantages ?

A: The big downside is that there are no branches to visit if you have a problem. However, virtual banks can help customers over the phone and sometimes via email or online chat. Security-wise, virtual banks are like their physical counterparts in offering deposit insurance through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or provincial credit union plans.

Do you have a question for me? Send me. Sorry I can’t answer each one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

Attention Crypto Investors

Have you bet on cryptocurrencies during the pandemic? The Globe is looking to speak with new and seasoned investors who have suffered crypto losses. What is your vision of the sector? To share your story, in a judgment-free zone, email Globe journalist Salmaan Farooqui at

Today’s financial tool

The credit card locator connects you and your personal spending habits to credit cards that offer the kind of rewards you want. WhatBank claims that unlike some other financial websites, it does not receive referral fees when visitors to its site click through to a card issuer’s website.

The cashless zone

Spend 22 minutes with a great Canadian musician – Willie Dunn. This 2013 video was shot several months before his death. Dunn, also an activist and politician (he ran for the federal NDP in my Ottawa riding), was a folksinger who told Indigenous stories.

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How does a credit score affect the rest of your finances?

In case you missed these Globe and Mail articles on personal finance
  • Why am I not linking my child’s weekly allowance to household chores? ‘Cause I want her to have a healthy relationship with money
  • Major mortgage lenders let borrowers transfer unpaid interest on principal to meet rising costs
  • High returns from covered call ETFs come with hidden costs

More Rob Carrick and Financial Hedging

Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Gen Y readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

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