What is my credit rating?
Your credit rating/score is an estimation of how likely you are to pay your bills in full and on time. It is a number which ranges from 300 to 900, which is the best possible score. A poor credit rating will affect your ability to qualify for loans, get a mortgage, and sign up for certain services like cell phone plans. Missing loan/credit card or cell phone payments, for example, will negatively impact your rating.
What companies conduct credit checks?
Financial institutions or companies, and companies who offer post-paid services (e.g. wireless service providers — cable, cell phone, internet, etc.; some utility companies); Sometimes landlords/potential employers may also ask to check your credit. Generally, credit checks are done as a risk-assessment of you as a customer/client/tenant/employee. If you have a bad credit rating, some companies may refuse to do business with you, or may only do so under certain conditions.
Find out more:
Connecting Ottawa – links to legal services and information about credit ratings | CLEO – information about credit repair | FCAC– information about improving your credit score | FCAC – understanding your credit score | My Money Coach – information about improving your credit score | Ontario Securities Commission – how to check your credit rating | Consumer Protection Ontario – information about checking and updating your credit report