Personal Finance

Ask me about Credit Scores

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 31st, 2020 2:36 am
Deal Fanatic
Apr 16, 2007
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Financial District B…
TuxedoBlack wrote: Good to know.

But I also know that my score went up as soon as one of the trades that was active was dropped off after 6 years, resulting in 6 open trades. Later on, I opened up two new accounts and it again showed up on "What's Impacting Your Score" section.
The two new trades may have triggered the average age of accts stat.
At any rate, as I mentioned above having a lot of trades is not always a good thing as there is a lot of caution from FI's when assessing for new credit.
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Jr. Member
Jan 10, 2009
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toronto
mikeymike1 wrote: Your declared income is only a small part of credit assessment and qualifying.
The biggest problem with CC churners is their average age of accounts becomes very low for the amount of cards you carry. This has a big impact on your overall score.
Also banks you apply to can see when all these accts were open. Churners usually have the bulk of their cards opened within or less than 9 months to a year. This will almost always cause concern when banks are granting more credit to you as they are always suspicious as to why someone needs so many open trades as well as tons of credit inquiries for the past 3 years and a number of closed trades from your churning. plus your payment history statistic is low as you never have the card open long enough to establish a history for it.
Have you noticed any of the new cards you recently got had unusually small initial credit limits like 1000 or 2000 or 3000? This is usually a sign that FI is nervous.
Thanks for the feedback. My last opened trade was the Canadian Tire WE with a $3k limit but I thought that was generous given that others had reported much lower starting limits. Prior to that, they the other cards gave me exactly what I asked for (usually btwn 5-10k) and the one where I did not specify, I was given 12k. But what you said makes sense and I have opened quite a few lately. I will cool it for a while to bring up my AAOA. I think I was mainly confused because the reason for my denial was "number of open TRADE LINES" as opposed to #of recent inquiries/AAOA. Maybe they consider those reasons one and the same.
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Mar 28, 2005
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I just received my credit report via Credit Karma.

I shows 15 trades, three with the last report in 2002 and 2003, others 2011 - they don't seem to drop off after 6 years.
Some of those are still open even though the company no longer exists, like Zellers (although I just read that there actually still two Zellers stores in Canada - that was news to me until a week ago)

There also a few relative new ones that were opened pretty much automatically, like aLaurentien Bank Visa when I got my mortgage and a Scotia Bank when I opened a bank account there.
I have closed those in the meantime since I never used them - never had any intention of using them, but they show up as relatively recent ones still reporting in Jan 2020 with a $0 balance.

I was wondering, do they all still affect my credit score?
Positively or negatively?
Should I try to close the old CC's that I don't use but are still open, like the Zellers one last reported in 2003?
Or do these old ones have no effect on the Credit Score?
Deal Addict
Dec 12, 2009
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Toronto
This post in another thread by @mmikeman got me to wondering. He posted:
While doing some home renovations I had it happen with two cards used to carry balances on by accident however it was never brought up afterwards nor was i denied for anything either afterwards, it shows on my transunion report as highest reported balance over the limit on both trades as well and will likely sit there for 20 years as someone warned.
Many years ago, I temporarily ran a card up to its limit when the cards limit was @ $30K. I paid it off and lowered the cards limit to $15K as I didn't need the extra credit.
Both TU & EQ show the historical high balance of $30K with the current history (last 6 years) showing a limit of $15K.
What effect, if any, would this have on my credit score?
Would this have any effect on future credit applications?
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Apr 16, 2007
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Financial District B…
ROYinTO wrote: This post in another thread by @mmikeman got me to wondering. He posted:


Many years ago, I temporarily ran a card up to its limit when the cards limit was @ $30K. I paid it off and lowered the cards limit to $15K as I didn't need the extra credit.
Both TU & EQ show the historical high balance of $30K with the current history (last 6 years) showing a limit of $15K.
What effect, if any, would this have on my credit score?
Would this have any effect on future credit applications?
Open trades and some secured Installment trade accounts usually show high-credit data.
Example: your current auto loan may show high credit of $42,000 with current balance of $10,200.
Amex is another open trade account that shows high credit data because they are charge accounts with no fixed limits.
Some utility trades like your cellphone carrier may report the highest trade balance ever reached.
Example: we usually see Telus do that. If one month you had heavy usage where there was a billing for $1200 and you paid it off that $1200 stays reported for years.

Overall high credit reporting is a good thing.
It shows future creditors that you were able to service that amount even though you never charged the card up to it.
Moreover, credit limits in general are a showing of creditor confidence in you which is always a good thing if you're applying for any new credit.
Only current limits affect utilization. Historic high credit limits do not.
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Sr. Member
Jul 31, 2017
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I had child support go into collections, and that negatively affected my score. The problem is, I didn't actually owe any money and had, in fact, overpaid by about $7000.

I got things straightened out with the FRO, but when they made the adjustments they listed my account as having been paid in January. Not a penny was paid, I simply provided them with proof that I didn't owe and had overpaid, and they then made adjustments.

Despite being closed, the account is still there as an account in collections and is negatively impacting my credit score. I had expected a jump once everything was cleared up, but that didn't happen. Maybe it will take a month or so for my score to reflect that the account has been closed, but if it doesn't I am wondering what the chances are of getting the credit bureaus to remove it from collections? Does the other party (the FRO) need to agree to this? I can see them being a pain in the arse about it.
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Apr 16, 2007
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: I had child support go into collections, and that negatively affected my score. The problem is, I didn't actually owe any money and had, in fact, overpaid by about $7000.

I got things straightened out with the FRO, but when they made the adjustments they listed my account as having been paid in January. Not a penny was paid, I simply provided them with proof that I didn't owe and had overpaid, and they then made adjustments.

Despite being closed, the account is still there as an account in collections and is negatively impacting my credit score. I had expected a jump once everything was cleared up, but that didn't happen. Maybe it will take a month or so for my score to reflect that the account has been closed, but if it doesn't I am wondering what the chances are of getting the credit bureaus to remove it from collections? Does the other party (the FRO) need to agree to this? I can see them being a pain in the arse about it.
The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) reports their collections tradeline under the Public Records and now purges like all other collection accts 7 years from DOLA.
If I remember right they never used to report like a collection acct but more-so as a Public Record which does not affect overall credit scoring.
The advisory was mainly used to adjust debt service ratios but not scoring.
FRO is known to be pretty aggressive with their reach
If you're up to date then the acct should not remain but then again like I said FRO is pretty agressive and the reporting may continue to report like all other collection trades. It shouldn't because it is not a consumer credit account.
Call them to see if they will remove it.
----------------------------Licensed Credit Bureau member, S1, FI Automotive, CCP forums most banned = x 13 and counting, guess who that is?... stomped to the curb once again
Newbie
May 13, 2006
66 posts
31 upvotes
Whitecourt
I'm just wondering if anyone has some tips to improve my credit score. Here's the long and short:

-2012 had 50k of debt, defaulted on student loans while in trade school
-got a job and signed up for orderly payment of debts (like a consumer proposal but specific to alberta and you pay 100% of amount owning)
-hustled and paid it off in 2 years. Got a secured credit card. OPD stayed on my record with transunion till 2017 and equifax 2016. Credit was mid 500s.
-Currently equifax is 750 and transunion is only 660 for some reason. Would like to see 800 on both.

I have zero debt, everything is paid off in full every month. $20k line of credit, $28k limit on credit cards (was churning them 8 months ago). The only derogatory on my account is a $55 phone bill I let slip until the next billing cycle.

In 2 years i'm looking to buy some land and build a house so I want to get my credit up as much as possible. What's holding me back right now? Should I take out a term loan just so I have something other than revolving debt? Should I cancel some of these cards? What kind of score do you need to get approved for any loan with the best rates?
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Mar 28, 2005
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therrol wrote: -Currently equifax is 750 and transunion is only 660 for some reason. Would like to see 800 on both.
Did you get these scores directly from Equifax and TU?
For some reason I found that scores reported via Borrowell and Credit Karma - and maybe others never seem to be the same as from the credit bureau directly.
Could also be the timing.

I found that the TU score (for me at least) is always higher than the Equifax score.
Did you check through all the details each one has in your account.
I found that not every creditor reports to both TU and Equifax - a difference there may explain the difference in score.

PS: One thing that improved my score a fair bit was to time the payment on my CC accounts.
I always used to pay before the due date but that doesn't really reflect properly in the score because there of course is always a balance on the statement date when the credit company reports.
Last month I checked my CC balance on line five days before the statement date and paid that plus $100 at that time.
I ended up with a negative balance in my online account, a $0 balance reported to the credit bureaus and a healthy jump in the score.
Last edited by krs on Feb 26th, 2020 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Apr 16, 2007
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Financial District B…
therrol wrote: -Currently equifax is 750 and transunion is only 660 for some reason. Would like to see 800 on both.
This is irrelevant to your current needs.
Current EQ scoring may be adequate.

therrol wrote: I have zero debt, everything is paid off in full every month. $20k line of credit, $28k limit on credit cards (was churning them 8 months ago).

The only derogatory on my account is a $55 phone bill I let slip until the next billing cycle.
Is this a late/tardy reporting or a skip account with that $55 still owing?
For most mortgage consideration this derog must be paid off with zero owing.
therrol wrote: In 2 years i'm looking to buy some land and build a house so I want to get my credit up as much as possible. What's holding me back right now? Should I take out a term loan just so I have something other than revolving debt? Should I cancel some of these cards? What kind of score do you need to get approved for any loan with the best rates?
You do not 'need' to get your credit up as much as possible.
If anything is or will hold you back from any mortgage consideration it will be your TDSR.
Your TDSR (and income) will determine the size of your mortgage so as long as there's significant credit history (min 2 years good history) from other accounts.

Your rate will be determined on whether the OPD is still reporting(not purged yet) or if the mortgage lender does a bankruptcy search and sees it.
Last edited by mikeymike1 on Feb 26th, 2020 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Talking about TDSR.
That benchmark seems to be pretty much a fixed number for any specific financial institution, somewhere around 43% max.

From my perspective, it doesn't reflect the reality of a typical families financial health over the years.
For instance, when I was still working, we had three kids at home with those expenses, all three of them ended up in university, which also cost a chunk of money for each one.
Now I'm retired, total family income, all pensions etc. is $10K less than when I was working, but my disposable income is much more than when we were bringing up the kids.
The TDSR only considers some housing costs and other debt payments, none of the other expenses - or when the kids have left home, the reduction of expenses.
Right now in retirement I would be able to comfortably handle a much bigger mortgage payment than what the TDSR indicates.

Am I missing something here?
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krs wrote: Talking about TDSR.
That benchmark seems to be pretty much a fixed number for any specific financial institution, somewhere around 43% max.

From my perspective, it doesn't reflect the reality of a typical families financial health over the years.
For instance, when I was still working, we had three kids at home with those expenses, all three of them ended up in university, which also cost a chunk of money for each one.
Now I'm retired, total family income, all pensions etc. is $10K less than when I was working, but my disposable income is much more than when we were bringing up the kids.
The TDSR only considers some housing costs and other debt payments, none of the other expenses - or when the kids have left home, the reduction of expenses.
Right now in retirement I would be able to comfortably handle a much bigger mortgage payment than what the TDSR indicates.

Am I missing something here?
TDSR only considers viewable(credit file) and verifiable hards costs and housing. No bank/FI/mortgage lender can predict when and where your kid will go to University in 2,3 4 years etc.
But if you currently have a 40k LOC that was specifically taken out for a child's Uni/College costs prior to mortgage application then we can see that and adjust TDSR accordingly.
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Aug 12, 2019
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@titaniumtux - I enjoy reading your answers for many questions! I wonder if I applied 3 or 4 credit cards this month any different days, I know it will bring down some points on our credit scores, so when we paid off before statement dates - it will bring back all the credit scores easily, right? Big Banks don't questions why we have so many credit cards for each category?

I know that's stupid, I guess the way this world is depending on each individual's credit scores for everything!
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VosGeL2 wrote: @titaniumtux - I enjoy reading your answers for many questions! I wonder if I applied 3 or 4 credit cards this month any different days, I know it will bring down some points on our credit scores, so when we paid off before statement dates - it will bring back all the credit scores easily, right? Big Banks don't questions why we have so many credit cards for each category?

I know that's stupid, I guess the way this world is depending on each individual's credit scores for everything!
short answer is that's right. big banks might ask why if you double apply for the same product. when they do a pull, they can see how much cl you have & maybe with which issuers, but it won't tell them which pruducts you have (cashback, in-house pts, partner travel pts, spacecake rewards, etc.). once you pay down or off a bt or car loan, your score will get a big boost. that's when you can go apply for more cards and may get IA :lol:
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titaniumtux wrote: short answer is that's right. big banks might ask why if you double apply for the same product. when they do a pull, they can see how much cl you have & maybe with which issuers, but it won't tell them which pruducts you have (cashback, in-house pts, partner travel pts, spacecake rewards, etc.). once you pay down or off a bt or car loan, your score will get a big boost. that's when you can go apply for more cards and may get IA :lol:
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I think that's good after I already got mortgage five months ago before applying some important credit cards for each category responsible, right? I will have 10-15 years to go before applying loans later or new car lol

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