A credit score is a number the creditors use to determine how responsible you are with credit — in short it reflects your creditworthiness to potential lenders. In Canada, credit scores range from 300 to 900, while in the U.S. scores range from 300 to 850. The higher your score the more likely you are to qualify for better interest rates on things like mortgages, credit cards, lines of credit, car loans, and personal loans. Lower interest rates on credit cards and loans will potentially save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars on interest.
Your credit score is calculated and tracked by credit bureaus. Whenever you apply for credit, the creditor accesses your score through these bureaus to determine your creditworthiness. There are three major credit reporting agencies in the U.S., Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. But there are only two in Canada, TransUnion and Equifax. In Canada score ranges from 300 to 900, but in the U.S, credit scores range from 300 to 850.
What is your credit score? How creditworthy are you?
The chart below will help you to determine where you fall.
Canada’s Credit Score Ranges
U.S. Credit Score Ranges
Reports in 2020 show that the average credit score in Canada is 650 while 61% of Canadians have a score of 750 or greater. The average score in the U.S. is 680 but only 45% of Americans have credit scores that are greater than 750.
Whether you’re in Canada or the US, a credit score of 715 or above is generally considered good or excellent depending on your number. So try to maintain a score that is 715 or higher. A higher score demonstrates better credit decisions and can make creditors more confident that you will repay your future debts as agreed. Thus lenders may give you a higher credit limit and more favourable terms to repay a loan. You will also have more negotiating power when your credit score is good or excellent.