Secured Credit Card

Why a Secured Credit Card

Living in Canada means that you now have to start building your credit score and credit strength. In some cases a secured credit card can help you do this. What does this mean? When ever you go to purchase something that requires you to get a loan, such as a car, or house, the lending institution that is considering your loan application will check to see how strong of a credit score you have. There are two credit reporting agencies in Canada; Equifax and Transunion.

For people who have just arrived to Canada, or for students who have finished college or university and are getting out into the working field, they will need to get their first credit card or line of credit. This is important in two ways. The first is that they will now have a source of credit to purchase what they like, and second, as soon as they start buying items and putting charging it to their credit card, those transactions will be reported to Transunion and Equifax. These credit agencies use specially designed algorithmic formulas to determine your credit score and credit strength (worthiness).

The lending agencies such as chartered banks count on these credit scores to make their final decision as to whether approve your loan or not due to how reliable you are with paying back your debts. The higher your credit score, the better it is.

A secondary service that we have at Trusterra Mortgage is to help individuals to build or rebuild their credits by providing them with a secured credit card.

Before we go further in this post and explain to you about what a secured credit card is, we should point out that there are individuals who have been living in Canada for many years and did in fact have credit cards, but for some reason or another, they ran into financial difficulties and throughout time were not able to pay back their loans, or paid them back very late. Because of these discrepancies their credit scores have been reduced greatly and now the major credit card company’s / banks will not approve them for any credit cards until they can show to the bank again that they have a strong an clean track record of being able to pay back their loans on time.

Now, back to what a secured credit card is. Basically it means that you will have to provide a security deposit to the credit card issuer in order for them to approved you on that security deposits amount to be your credit or spending limit. Therefore, if you provide $500.00 as a security deposit onto the credit card, then your credit limit on the card will be $500.00. You can spend up to this amount but you can never go beyond it. Also, if for some unfortunate reason you can not pay back what is outstanding on the card, the credit card issuer already has your security deposit and they have nothing to lose.

The main purpose of getting a secured credit card is so that you can start building credit activity to your name. As you use the credit card in your day to day purchase transactions, your credit score can start to move up and eventually you will be able to go to a major bank and apply for a unsecured credit card. After which point, you can cancel your secured credit card, get your security deposit back and be on your marry way.

Generally speaking, pretty well everyone who applies for a secured credit card get’s approved.

What is your Credit Score, and why you should know about your Credit Score

What is your Credit Score

What is your credit score you ask? At Trusterra Mortgage we do our best to share information that we feel would be educational and helpful to consumers in Canada. A credit score effect’s everyone and is very important that everyone knows what it is, how it works, and why is it so important.

The following excerpts are from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s publication titled “Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score”. We highly recommend you read the publication in its entirety at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s web site.

What is a credit report?

– Along with the credit histories of millions of other people, your credit history is recorded in files maintained by at least one of Canada’s three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Northern Credit Bureaus. These files are called credit reports.

– A credit report is a “snapshot” of your credit history. It is one of the main tools lenders use to decide whether or not to give you credit.

Who can see your credit report?

– You have the right to see your credit report. No one else can have access to the information in your report unless you allow it.

– Usually, when you sign documents such as a loan or a credit card application, you are allowing the organization that is giving you credit to check your credit history. Credit-reporting agencies will only give information from your credit report to someone else when you have given permission, and when the request is related to credit, collection of a debt, rental of a house or an apartment, or an application for employment or insurance.

What is a credit score and what is your credit score?

– Your credit score is a judgment about your financial health, at a specific point in time. It indicates the risk you represent for lenders, compared with other consumers.

– There are many different ways to work out credit scores. The credit-reporting agencies Equifax and TransUnion use a scale from 300 to 900. High scores on this scale are good. The higher your score, the lower the risk for the lender.

– Lenders may also have their own ways of arriving at credit scores. In addition, lenders must decide on the lowest score you can have and still borrow money from them. They can also use your score to set the interest rate you will pay.

The next important thing about what is your credit score is that one should do is to go online to or to check his or her credit information to make sure that the personal and credit information that is on there is correct, as well to see what the credit score / strength is. you should check with both credit bureaus because one could have the correct information but the other may not. We have had cases where our client’s information was not updated or erroneous and they had problems when trying to get a mortgage because of it. If you do notice any discrepancies they can be corrected. Doing this check is vital today than ever before due to the increase in identity theft and fraud.

There is a cost to doing an online check, about $23 for Equifax, and about $22 for TransUnion. Money well spent! The good thing is that when you pull your own credit report it does not affect the rating. Every time you go to a Bank or loan company or apply for a credit card, a credit check is done on you. Every time a credit check is performed it affects your credit score which if done too many times is not good, and can lower your credit score. This is why you need to be careful not to have too many credit checks done at too short an interval, and another reason why it’s better to go through a trusted mortgage professional such as Trusterra Mortgage when looking for a mortgage.

Here are the links:

Equifax credit report (click on “See My Credit Score”)

TransUnion credit report (unclick the “analysis” option, but select the “personal credit score” option as well $7.95)