The Best Free Credit Score Reports in Canada

Credit scores can be a bit like voodoo when you are a young adult. You might not know what they are, or how to check one, or you might avoid checking it because you have heard that checking your credit score makes it go down. However, several free credit score check tools can help you see where your credit stands, but also look ahead for the future. And no, checking your credit score will not make it go down.  

With all the financial uncertainty many people are facing these daysfinancial advisers recommend people should be considering their financial plans for the short-term future and be making plans for how they can get there. The easiest first step on your road to your financial goals is to know where your credit stands today.  

Most people know you need to have a good credit score to get approved for a mortgage, but did you know a good credit score can be helpful in many ways? A credit score is a number based on various aspects of your credit history that helps lenders or creditors predict your credit risk to help decide terms on loans, mortgages, insurance, credit cards and more. Knowing your credit score from the two Canadian credit bureaus will let you know where you stand, and what you need to do before owning a home, buying a car or starting up your own business.  

Below, you will find our list of the best free credit score tools in Canada. 

Borrowell

Borrowell has been offering free Equifax credit reports to Canadians since 2014. Getting your free credit check from Borrowell is quick and easy. All you need is to enter is your full name, your home address, DOB and a phone number for a verification code for an added level of security. After several questions based upon your credit history for account verification, you will be able to sign in and receive a credit score in less than 5 minutes.  

Borrowell also gives you a credit report that shows you any open accounts including credit cards, installment loans including student loans, mortgages and mobile phone accounts. It is a handy resource that allows you to see what may be contributing to your current credit score, including if any payments were missed or any inquiries that were made into your account recently. 

Borrowell will take the information needed to crunch the numbers for your credit check and recommend you loans, bank accounts and credit cards that may be right for you to get where you want to be financially. Borrowell also has Molly, their AI Credit coach who can point out things that have affected your credit score and recommend products and strategies to meet your financial goals.  

Overall, we like Borrowell to easily access your Equifax credit report and manage your financial future without having to spend any money.  

Pros
  • Bank-level 256-bit encryption keeps your information safe.
  • AI credit coach.
  • Smart credit recommendations.
Cons
  • Many targeted partner products will be recommended to you once completing the credit score check.

Mogo

Mogo is a Vancouverbased fintech and mortgage loan company that has an easy, free Equifax credit score checking and monitoring of your accounts. Mogo only needs a few pieces of personal data, including your government name, DOB, your address and you can see your credit score in minutes.  

Mogo has a nice, visually pleasing dashboard with other info like where your credit score compares against the Canadian average and your month-to-month credit score updates.   

Similar to how Borrowell has products recommended to you for your money motives, Mogo has several products they themselves offer to get where you want to be financially, including Mogoprotect, an inexpensive cybersecurity app with built-in Credit score check, and Mogospend, a Visa card prepaid card paired with an app that helps you save money and reduce carbon emissions at once. You can get a loan through Mogo too, or decide to invest in Bitcoin with their Bitcoin & Rewards accounts.  

Overall, we like Mogo as a modern, all-in-one solution to get your credit score where you can prepare for your financial future as well.  

Pros
  • Easiest option for free Equifax credit score check.  
  • Easily navigable and looks good. 
Cons
  • Only Mogo apps, card and loans are available through the credit score page 

Credit Karma

Credit Karma is the only free TransUnion credit report in Canada. Like the other free credit score services, you only need to provide some basic information including name, DOB, address and in minutes, your credit check should be quickly generated for you. 

Credit Karma also recommends credit cards and bank loans based on what they think is appropriate, although often this is partnered content that they make a commission on, so it is not as forthcoming as a financial advisor would be.  

CreditKarma has a list of great credit articles that will help you become credit fluent in the processThese are often more in-depth than what is offered on Mogo’s site and were more comparable to Borrowell’s Molly AI.  

Overall, CreditKarma is the only TransUnion report available in Canada, but due to the ease of use and mindful articles, it might stay that way for a while.  

Pros
  • Only TransUnion credit report in Canada.
  • Helpful articles and money tips available.  
Cons
  • Login verification needs to be more exact than the other services.

Disclaimer

The services are not presented in any particular order

Frequently asked credit score questions

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number that indicates your credit risk, or in layman’s terms, the likelihood you will pay your bills on timeThey are calculated using different information in your credit reports, including your payment history, your credit utilization ratio, types of credit and the length of your credit history. A good credit score can be helpful down the road, unlocking more favourable terms on big loans like auto loans and mortgages, or helping you save on insurance or credit card interest rates.   

What is Equifax?

Equifax is one of two credit agencies working in Canada. Equifax collects and aggregates credit information for individuals and businesses, providing banks and other lenders the ability to check the credit risk before giving a loan. Equifax allows for one free credit report directly from them per year, which is accessible by phoning or visiting your website.   

What is the Equifax phone number?

You can call Equifax Canada at 1-800-465-7166, to request a free Equifax credit report.   

What is TransUnion?

Transunion is the second of the two main credit agencies in Canada. Like Equifax, TransUnion also offers one free credit report per year.   

What is the TransUnion phone number?

You can get in contact with TransUnion Canada at 1-800-663-9980. 

How to check my credit score?

You can either check your credit score through the credit agency directly, utilize a paid service, or use a free service like the ones discussed in this article (Mogo, Credit Karma and Borrowell.)   

How do I get a free credit report in Canada?

You can check your credit score from Equifax and TransUnion for free once per year. Additionally, Borrowell, Mogo and Credit Karma are free “soft checks” that you can access any time.  

Should I use more than one credit score service?

It is recommended that you check both scores with Equifax and TransUnion as they may be different, as many times lenders will only report to one agency.  

Does checking my score impact my credit?

There are two types of credit card checks. A hard inquiry or commonly, a hard credit check, is done by a financial institution when they are making a lending decision, and can lower your score slightly, but is often negligible. However, too many hard credit checks can add up, so we recommend against taking out too many credit cards in a short span, for example. A soft inquiry or a soft credit check is done for background checks, without a lending decision attached to the check. Soft credit checks do not affect your credit score.  A soft credit check includes when your credit card company checks your credit to see if you apply for a new credit card offer, when an employer hires a new employee, or when you are checking your credit score yourself.   

What are the differences between paid vs. free credit scores?

A free credit score generally will give you the score, without any context. Paid services are overall more thorough with the information provided, with additional features including credit analysis, credit monitoring and access to deeper proprietary information.   

How can I improve my credit score?

If you find yourself with a bad credit score, do not fear. There are a number of ways you can improve your credit score, all you need is patience and to practice smart spending. Paying off credit cards and loans on time, maintaining a credit utilization rate no higher than 30%, utilizing different types of credit and limiting the number of hard inquiries made into your credit report should see an increase in your credit score in time.   

What are the credit score ranges in Canada?

In Canada, credit scores range from 300 to around 900. Generally, you can determine how your credit is looking with the following table.  

760 – 900 → Excellent
725 – 759 → Very Good
660 – 724 → Good
560 – 659 → Fair
300 – 559 → Poor  

Does Credit Karma affect credit score?

Since Credit karma and other free credit score checks are soft inquiries, they do not affect credit score.   

What happens to my credit score after debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation may have a negative impact on your credit score initially, as credit scores reflect longer-standing debts with a history of consistent payment higher than newer debts. However, a consolidation loan may help you improve your credit score after time. If you find yourself in serious debt, we recommend talking with a financial advisor to see if debt consolidation is the right course of action for you.  

Why did my credit score drop?

Many things can influence your credit score, either alone or in a combination of factors. If you have noticed a dip in your credit score, it could be the result of a late or missed payment, a change in your credit utilization rate (the amount of credit you maintain vs. your credit limit, it is recommended you do not go above 30% on your credit utilization rate to build credit), multiple hard inquiries on your credit or even something generally positive like paying off a loan can cause your credit score to drop, among other factors. Mistakes among lenders and identity theft are other possible reasons why your credit score dropped, so it is important to keep on top of your credit score, and using free credit report sites can be a useful tool in doing so.   

What credit score is needed for a house?

It is predicted that in 2022, the minimum credit score needed to be approved for a mortgage is between 620-680, depending on the lender and other factors including the borrower’s income, debts, and the amount needed for the mortgage. Mortgage lenders will vary.   

Are free credit score apps like Borrowell, Mogo and CreditKarma safe and legit?

You have probably learned through your life that nothing is truly free, so a free credit score check might leave you skeptical. You do not want personal data attached to your credit history falling into the wrong hands. However, these apps are safe, and in our research, we have found zero users who have had security issues after getting a Credit score from these sites.  

If you are wondering how these companies can make money offering a free service, the three companies take the info they need to calculate your credit score and then will offer a range of financial products – including credit cards or loans – that you would apply for. If you decide to follow through with a recommended product, the company would get a referral commission – at no cost to the user – and if you do not, you still get a free credit score, no strings attached. There is no passing of information on to unaffiliated third parties.    

How does the credit bureau work?

Credit bureaus collect and compile information regarding credit history from banks and other financial institutions and combine different aspects of your credit history into a credit score. Credit bureaus do not make lending decisions but give lenders the tools to predict your credit risk. Creditors will often report their client’s credit information to the credit bureaus, but some creditors may submit information to only one, or even none, of the credit bureaus in Canada, so it is information to check credit scores with both major bureaus, as the score may differ.    

What is the highest credit score possible?

900 is the high range for credit scores in Canada.   

What’s the average credit score in Canada?

According to Loanscanada.ca, the average credit score in Canada is 650.  

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Updated date

May 3rd, 2022

About the author

Sam Beetham

Sam Beetham is a writer who has accomplished his childhood dream of rating things professionally. When not gazing deeply into the LCD display, he can be found cooking, designing DND dungeons or working on music with his band.
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