Learning finance

Is it possible to have a credit score of 0?

Even if you pay all of your bills each month, not keeping an eye on your credit could result in you having a below-average score.

Content of the article

This article was created by MoneyWise. Postmedia and MoneyWise may earn an affiliate commission through links on this page.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

It’s always important to check your credit score, a three-digit number that helps banks and lenders decide whether or not to give you a loan.

Even if you pay all of your bills each month, if you fail to monitor your credit, you could end up with a below average score or even no score at all.

That’s what happened to Patricia Bartkiw, a retired Ontarian, who shared her story with CTV News.

“Unmarkable”

Stressed elderly married couple sitting at table at home having financial problems, bad credit score.

fizkes / Shutterstock

Patricia and her husband were looking to secure a home and take advantage of record mortgage rates while they could.

When they applied for a mortgage, the bank flatly refused them, saying Patricia either had a zero credit score or her score was unavailable.

“Everything is paid off, our cars are paid off and we pay rent which is automatically paid by the bank every month,” Patricia told CTV News.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

What Patricia didn’t realize is that it’s not just your payment history and level of debt that affect your score, it’s also your credit activity.

No matter how reliable a borrower you are, if there is no reported activity on your credit accounts for an extended period of time, you risk being classified as “unassessable”.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid this problem.

Free credit monitoring for every Canadian

Smiling asian woman looking at smartphone while holding credit card on the other hand filling information on phone from credit card.

Have a nice day Photo/Shutterstock

Staying on top of your score used to involve contacting one of the major credit bureaus and requesting a physical copy of your credit report.

But thanks to the free credit monitoring servicesCanadians can now check their credit score anytime, anywhere, using their computer or mobile device.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Signing up only takes three minutes, and once you’ve created an account, you can immediately start monitoring your credit.

These services will email you whenever there is a change in your score – good or bad – and contact you immediately if any errors or unusual activity occurs on your account.

You can also use them to track your monthly bill payments so you never miss a due date.

Paying your bills on time and in full each month will not only ensure that your credit accounts stay active, it will also help boost your score and make you appear as a better candidate in the eyes of banks and lenders.

A stress-free way to protect your credit

Portrait of a girl relaxing on a couch after work at home sitting on a couch in the living room at home with warm sunset light

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Patricia was eventually able to work with a credit bureau and fix her problem, but the situation could have easily been avoided if she had monitored her credit.

Even if you’re just curious, tracking your score is completely free and won’t affect your credit rating.

So take a few minutes to register and start protecting your credit today.

This article was created by Wise Publishing, Inc., which provides clear, reliable information people can use to take control of their finances. Millions of readers across North America rely on the Toronto-based company to help them save money, find the best bank accounts, get the best mortgage rates, and manage many other financial matters.

Advertisement 1

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. Visit our Community Rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.