Credit 101

Credit reporting is not an exact science. Credit agencies use unique methods to calculate your credit score and determine its history. 

Credit 101

How It Works

Banks rely heavily on credit reporting. While some banks look at both agencies when considering a mortgage application, most subscribe to just one. Credit is essential when one is purchasing, renewing or refinancing a mortgage.

Equifax and TransUnion are the two bureaux in Canada. They report on creditworthiness but it is the responsibility of the credit issuer, such as Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, to report up-to-date information to each bureau. 

Credit agencies do not actively look for new information about each of your accounts; it is the responsibility of each credit issuer to update the information to the agency to which they subscribe. The two credit agencies do not work together or share information. It is common for one agency to have outdated information, for example, if all of your financial products (Credit Cards, Loans, Accounts, etc.) are with one bank, you may not have a credit history with both agencies. This may limit our options and one of the reasons financial experts do not recommend having all of your financial products with a single institution.

Payment History
Timely payments. 30, 60, or 90-days late will have negative impacts.
Debt Utilization
The amount owed versus the remaining available credit.
Credit Length
The credit account with the longest active history.
Each time your credit is accessed.
Types of Credit
Loans, Lines of Credit, Credit Cards, etc.


Credit scores range from 300-900. It is important to understand credit scores and their role when making a major purchase or financial decision. Speak with a broker and ensure you are in the best possible position, so if any issues arise, we can address them. Credit can be a sensitive topic, and your information is kept confidential.

Each credit bureaux will calculate its score using its proprietary method, meaning the Equifax score will vary from TransUnion’s score. It’s also important to note that not all credit reports are the same. Please read “Why Is My Credit Score Different From What Lenders See?” for more information on this.

Credit Score Range
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Equifax is Canada's largest credit bureau. The majority of lenders will subscribe and use the credit reports provided by Equifax.


TransUnion is Canada's other credit bureau. Some lenders use TransUnion as their main source for credit reporting, while others may use both Equifax and TransUnion.

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