How to Boost a Low Credit Score (and Qualify for a Mortgage) in Ontario?

How to Boost a Low Credit Score (and Qualify for a Mortgage) in Ontario?

Justo Team | June 14, 2019

Introduction

Credit scores while they may seem like they are just a number that companies pull out of a hat, they are more than just a simple number and they can have a huge impact on your financial future. Your credit score impacts things such as the interest rate you are able to get for loans, whether or not you are able to finance things such as a new computer, a new car, or a new phone, how much you might pay for life insurance, and more. In other words, you should know what your credit score is and take this seriously especially if you dream of becoming a homeowner one day.

Credit scores usually range somewhere between 300 at the low end and up to 850 or 920 at the highest. However, a FICO score is the credit score that most financial institutions use and take into consideration when deciding who they can give credit out are between 300 and 850. If your score is above 720, you should be in an excellent position to qualify for a variety of products including financing, credit cards, and loans.

However, if your score is below 650, you will have problems accessing credit whether this is a charge card, credit card, or a loan. It will be especially difficult for you to qualify for a traditional fixed rate mortgage if your credit score is below 620. Financial institutions and lenders do not care if you will be the next person canonized for sainthood because of the miracles and good deeds you have done, or if you have found your perfect home and need a loan from them so you can purchase it. Before any reputable financial institution, whether that is a bank or a credit union decides to lend you an astronomically large sum of money, they will need some type of guarantee that you will pay them back.

Credit checks where financial institutions and others can see your credit history which can provide a guarantee that you will repay the money that you borrowed, instead of leaving them high and dry. This is why having a solid to excellent credit score is important since a solid or great credit history can demonstrate to a financial institution that you are a solid credit risk for them, that in lending you an enormous amount of money to purchase a home they can expect you to pay it back on time.

If you are reading this article and you are considering to buy a house this year or within the next three years, if you have not already checked your credit score if you are reading this article, take a break and take a moment to check your credit score right now. Yes, check it right now, do not wait until after you check your social media or procrastinate and check it tomorrow, check your credit score now and then finish reading this article.

You might be reading this and wondering why it is so important that you check your credit score and credit report right now? Maybe in the next couple of years, you want to buy a house and do not know what your score is, maybe there are mistakes on your report or other things you need to work in order to raise your score. The time is NOW to do the work to raise your score so you have time to work on improving your debt-to-income ratio (how much money you are earning vs. how much money you owe) so you can improve your chances of qualifying for a loan and receive for a more favourable interest rate for a mortgage. Reading this guide will help you gain insight into how credit scores are calculated, things you can do to help improve your credit score, what credit score you will probably need to have to qualify for a mortgage to buy a home and the things you should avoid doing, things which will not help you to improve your credit score.

Related article: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid for a First Time Home Buyer in Toronto

How Credit Scores Are Calculated

It is important to remember that you actually have more than one credit score as crazy as that sounds. Each credit bureau has its own scoring system and score, other institutions have credit scores which vary. However, with the list below are the primary variables in your credit history that shape how your credit score is calculated and this, among other factors will influence how much credit you will be able to get. The following are the variables and criteria are taken into account:

  • Credit payment history (35%): This criterion measures whether or not you are paying your credit cards and other payments for loans (student loans, home loans, car notes, etc.) on time. If you pay these bills on time and if you can as much as possible in full this will help to boost your score and make you seem like a good credit risk for lenders and other financial institutions. In other words, if you are always making these payments on time this will help boost your score and help you seem like a good credit risk.
  • Debt-to-credit utilization (30%): This criterion considers how much debt you have with all of your credit accounts for credit cards, store cards, and charge cards. You will divide this amount (the amount of debt you have on each of your cards) by the credit limit for these accounts to understand your debt-to-credit ratio. Ideally, you want to have a debt-to-credit utilization ratio that is below 30%. For example, if the total amount you have available for one of your credit cards is $12,000, you would not want to be carrying a balance greater than $3,600, to keep your debt-to-credit utilization low. Anything greater than a 30% debt-to-credit utilization ratio hurts your credit score. 
  • Length of credit history (15%): Longer credit histories, in other words, the longer you have had credit (credit cards, store cards, charge cards, or loans) this is considered better than anyone who has had credit for a shorter period of time. You usually need at least six months to a year to really begin building your credit history and develop a credit score.
  • Credit mix (10%): Your credit score will increase if you utilize different types of credit accounts such as credit cards, store credit cards, store charge cards, student loans, car loans, etc. Accounts that you pay off in installments, such as car loans are usually considered to be better than revolving credit accounts such as credit cards or store charge cards. Lenders and financial institutions like to see a variety of credit with a low debt-to-credit utilization ratio.
  • New credit accounts (10%): Opening new credit accounts can help you since it can help lower your debt-to-credit utilization ratio. In other words, if you apply and receive a credit card with a $3,000 limit and you already had $12,000 in credit this will put you at $15,000 in available credit, which looks good to lenders. However, opening new lines of credit might not always be beneficial for you, because it is an additional inquiry on your report. Additionally, every time you open a new line of credit means that the average length of credit history is decreasing, which does not help your credit score. Therefore, before getting a new line of credit, you should be carefully considering the pros and cons of applying for additional lines of credit and whether or not you really need access to additional lines of credit.

 

What is a “Good” Credit Score?

While credit scores are usually a range from 300 (the lowest) to 850 (the highest and perfect credit score). If you are wondering how your credit score stacks ups below is a general range that can help you to figure out how your credit score stacks up compared to the others.

  • Low credit score: 650 and below
  • Fair credit score: 650-699
  • Good credit score: 700-759
  • Excellent credit score: 760-849
  • Perfect credit score: 850

Reading this breakdown you might be wondering what the average credit score is? The average credit score is somewhere in the 695 to 700 range. However, only about half of consumers have a credit score that is greater than 700.

What is the minimum credit score to qualify for a home loan?

While the minimum credit score needed to qualify for a loan will depend on the area, lender or financial institution, interest rates, credit history, and other factors. Lenders usually tend to look for a credit score of at least 660 or higher to give you a mortgage. However, you can definitely get a loan with a good credit score (above 700), in order to be eligible for more favourable interest rates for your mortgage you will need a credit score of at least 740 or even higher.

Reading this you might be wondering well a better credit score means more favourable interest rates but what does this mean for me? A 2018 report published by the credit site, Lending Tree, discovered that if home buyers are getting a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging $234,437, that homebuyers with very good and excellent credit scores (740 to 799) will save on average $29,106 in interest payments throughout the life of their mortgage than people with a fair credit score (580 to 669). If you have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and you are not re-financing or doing anything with the loan, in other words, everything stays the same with the loan, this means you might be saving on average $970.20 per year in interest if you have a very good or excellent credit score.

Also, having a higher credit score could also impact how large your down payment might be depending on your lender or financial institution, your case, your area, and more. The better your credit score is, it means that you might not be expected to have a large down payment for your home as someone who only has a fair or good credit score.

Related article: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide for Buying a House in Toronto

 

Do’s for Boosting Your Credit Score

The following list consists of things you can do, actions and changes you can make to help boost your score. If you follow this advice your score should increase and when the time comes to apply for a mortgage, it will be more likely that with your improved credit score you will be approved for one and hopefully, be eligible for more favourable interest rates. It is recommended that if you are not already doing some or all of these things that you begin doing these things.

First and foremost, make sure that you are building a credit history.

If you are 35 years old and never had a credit card before, you should look into getting some type of credit card. This will help ensure that when you go to apply for a mortgage a couple of years later that lenders see your lack of credit history as a bad sign and wonder what to do with you. Since if you have no history with credit, they (lenders and financial institutions) will have no way to predict how you will behave with credit and how you will use your credit.

You might be thinking you have to apply for a credit card with the highest possible limit and spend thousands of dollars to build a credit history, this is not the case. If you are starting with a clean record (i.e. with no credit history because you have never had a credit card before or are new to Canada), it really does not take much to start building a positive credit history. You can apply for a card and chances are you will have a low credit limit to start out with.

When you are approved for and receive this card, you can use this card for some small transactions such as paying for your monthly streaming services such as Netflix or Spotify or paying for coffee and other treats once in a while at Tim Horton’s. It usually does not take more than six months or a year for you to start to begin building a healthy credit score, assuming you are paying the bills for these small transactions on time and in full.

Pay your bills on time and always pay the minimum

Paying your bills on time and in full whenever possible or paying at the very least the minimum that is due is important action you can take on the road to building good credit. Doing this can help you to start building credit in a short time. While you should always do the best to pay any credit card bill in full each month whenever possible, do not worry if you cannot always pay your bills in full every single time. What really matters in this situation is that you are paying your bills on time, every time. If you are worried about forgetting to pay your bills on time, you can always set up online autopay for your credit card so on a certain day each month, a certain amount of money will be automatically debited from an account you have linked to this card and this payment will be made automatically on your behalf. You do not need to always make big payments, even if you are paying the minimum on time, each month this still will help you build good credit.

Learn From Any Past Mistakes

It is important to remember that if you have made late payments, if you have declared bankruptcy, have experienced a foreclosure, public records and/or have other credit issues or insolvencies will be on your credit report for at least seven years. While some bankruptcies will stay on your report for up to 10 years. Without a doubt, credit insolvencies will impact your credit score and credit history for seven years and after seven years they will be deleted from your report. However, you should not let these stop you from looking for your credit report and ignoring them will not help you move forward with building better credit. When following this advice it is important to learn from any past mistakes so you do your best to avoid making any similar mistakes so you can move forward and do better in the future.

Everyone makes mistakes and erring, this is part of being human. What is important in these situations and in life more generally is how you learn from your mistakes and how you move forward from your mistakes. Just because you have declared bankruptcy, been late on some payments, have maybe experienced other hardships and/or made other mistakes does not preclude you from being able to build good credit in the future. It might be more challenging for you to rebuild your credit and will probably take you longer than someone else with no credit history to build a solid credit history and bring up your score, but this does not mean that it is impossible.

If you follow these tips, plan strategically, are persistent, and patient, with time and effort your score will begin to increase and you will see results, they will not be immediate but keep going so you can have the opportunity to make credit something that might have been an obstacle for you to pursue your dreams into a tool that can eventually help you make your dreams a reality.

Pay off any delinquent or past due accounts or debts

If you have any delinquent or past due accounts. Charge-offs, bills or debts in collections, judgements, and/or tax liens you should be doing your best to pay these off quickly. It is important that you pay these debts off so you can bury these on your credit reports and paying them off even if you can only afford to pay a little each month will help pay these debts down and help show lenders and other financial institutions that you are committed to paying your bills on time. Lenders and financial institutions need to be convinced that you are committed to making on-time payments. While outstanding delinquencies will severely hurt your ability to get a mortgage. Before applying for a mortgage you should pay off all and any accounts or debts that in collections or delinquent.

Stop the cycle of delinquencies with punctual payments

If you want to raise your credit score and be approved for a mortgage, you will need to establish a pattern of on-time payments so you increase your credit score and can be approved for a prime (loans for people with solid credit), fixed rate mortgage with a favourable interest rate. If you have had a late payment or have paid off some delinquent debts or accounts within the past six months you should wait until at least six months after this has happened before applying for credit and/or a loan. The older that delinquency is, the better your credit will appear.

Related article: Looking for a deal? Now’s the time!

Reduce Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Another important thing you can do to boost your credit score, that will also help boost your chances of getting approved for a mortgage is reducing your debt-to-income ratio. Reading this you might be wondering what is a debt-to-income ratio? Why is my debt-to-income ratio important? How does this impact my credit score? If it is so important how do I reduce this?

A debt-to-income ratio (DTI), is a ratio you can figure out by dividing your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income (how much money you are earning each month before employer deductions and taxes). This figure is expressed as a percentage and lenders use this ratio to help them figure out how well you are managing your monthly debts, which can help to figure out if they think you will be able to afford to repay a loan. Usually, lenders and financial institutions see people with higher debt-to-income (DTI) ratios as people who will be riskier borrowers since if they encounter financial hardship they might face more challenges with repaying their loans.

You can calculate your debt-to-income ratio by adding up all of your monthly debts, i.e. rent or mortgage payments, student loans, personal loans, auto loans, business loans, credit card payments, child support, alimony, etc. and then divide the sum of all these debts by your monthly income. For example, if your monthly debt is $2,500 and your gross monthly income is $7,500, your DTI ratio is approximately 33% (2,500/7,500 = 0.333).

How high your debt-to-income ratio is important because whoever is underwriting your mortgage will be questioning your ability to make mortgage payments if you have a higher level of debt in relation to your income. You will ideally want to bring your monthly debt payments down to at most to 12% of your income, the lower your debt-to-income ratio, the better. In this case, if you were to bring your DTI ratio down to 12% you would only have $900 in monthly debts for a $7,500 gross monthly income. It is important to lower your debt-to-income ratio since once you get a mortgage, your DTI will increase exponentially. However, even with a mortgage, your debt-to-income should never be higher than 43% of your income.

So, in this scenario, if your gross monthly income (before deductions and taxes) is $7,500, if you are hitting the maximum recommended debt-to-income ratio of 43% of your gross income, your monthly debts should not be more than $3,225 per month.

When calculating your debt-to-income ratio be sure to take things such as taxes, food, medical care, and other expenses into account as well. Lenders will not be taking these additional expenses into account when deciding whether or not they are giving you a mortgage and deciding whether or not you will be able to qualify for a mortgage for a certain amount of money.

In other words, just because a lender is willing to loan $800,000 does not mean you should use all of this money or will be able to afford the monthly payments for this mortgage with all of your financial and personal obligations. When considering how much you should budget to spend for your home, you should make an itemized list of your other expenses and a budget to see how much you can realistically afford to spend on a monthly mortgage payment and property taxes.

Reduce your balances on revolving accounts (Credit cards and charge cards)

One of the things you can which will have an almost immediate impact on raising your credit score is reducing your debts, especially paying down your “revolving debts,” debts and balances you carry on credit and charge cards. If you get a bonus at work or work to reduce some of your unnecessary spendings you can put some of this money towards paying down these debts. Paying down these debts is beneficial since it will help to reduce your debt-to-income ratio and help lower your credit utilization and debt-to-credit utilization, which will help you to boost your score and chances to qualify for a mortgage.

Only apply for credit when necessary

Another thing you should consider doing is only applying for credit when necessary. You should apply for no more than three new lines of credit each month. While applying for and receiving credit can be beneficial in that it lowers your credit utilization ratio because if you receive another line of credit you are increasing the amount you have available to you. However, the more credit you have available to you if you have a low credit utilization ratio, it usually helps to improve your score.

Applying for and receiving additional credit can be great especially if you only have one type of credit, e.g. a credit card or a small loan. Being approved for and opening another line of credit, such as a store charge card, can help to improve your “credit mix,” a term used by credit bureaus who calculate credit scores, to indicate whether or not you are able to manage different types of credit accounts.

If you want and/or need to apply for more lines of credit but are struggling to be approved for a traditional credit card you can consider applying for a secured credit card. A secured credit card is a credit card that is “secured” by a deposit that you pay after being approved for the card. This deposit is used by the creditor if you default or stop paying, the initial deposit you paid will be used to help pay off any debt you owe. This deposit is beneficial for the creditor since it helps to lower the risk they are taking by giving you a credit card. This system makes it more likely for them to offer you credit if you do not have a solid credit history or a great credit score.

Become an authorized credit card user for another person’s credit card

A potentially overlooked way to improve your credit score is becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. This is especially good if you have a partner or family member who is willing to let you become an authorized user on one of their cards, who always pays their bills on time. If this person pays their credit card bills on time, becoming an authorized user on one of their cards will allow you to take advantage of their good credit history.

You might be wondering why this is the case, well when you are an authorized user on someone’s credit account, the full history of the other person’s credit account will show up on your credit report immediately. If you are being added to an older, established credit card, and you are adding this to your history, this will increase the average age of the credit accounts that have “managed” and these functions to help increase your credit score.

If you are becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card you do not actually have to this credit card, you can become an authorized user in name only and never actually use this card personally. However, if you decide to this, you need to ensure that however, you are doing this with, that this person actually is paying their bills on time and keeping their debts low, since bad credit history, as well as good credit history, will also show up on your report if they have bad habits with credit.

Check your credit report and score

If you have not already done this, request your credit report from all of the major credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax or Transunion and check your score. You can also sign up for free online services which will also allow you to gain an idea of what your credit score might be, many of these services send out regular emails and reminders for you to check for changes in your credit report and/or history. While your credit score might change slightly for unknown reasons month-to-month, your score will not decrease if you are checking your credit score.

While you might not want to check your credit score because you are afraid of what you might see, or are afraid that you will have a low score, it’s time to do the thing and check it. Checking your credit score and credit report is not fun but it is important and you should be getting in the habit of checking it regularly. You cannot improve your credit score and track changes in your score and credit history if you do not check them regularly. It is important that before you go into request a mortgage you are aware of what your score is and aware of your credit history so you are prepared to address any potential problems or explain anything negative on your report to the lender or people from that financial institution. It is also important that you check your credit report regularly to make sure that there are no errors or erroneous information here. If you are familiar with your score you will be to dispute any mistakes or errors and ensure that they are corrected, since it is not uncommon to check your credit report and see mistakes.

Do make sure to dispute any mistakes that you find on your credit report

One of the quickest things you can do to improve your credit score is to dispute any mistakes if you find any in your credit report. While you should always have an idea of what your credit score is, you should always read your complete credit report. It is important to read and stay up-to-date with your credit report since you may find errors and mistakes here that have the potential to lower your credit score and/or leave negative marks in your credit history.

When reading your credit report you might find misinformation on the part of the credit bureau, such as there was an information mixup and they confused you with someone else who has the same name. If you have been mixed up with someone else who shares the same name, their delinquent accounts or negative credit history that you never previously knew existed. These errors are quite common since creditors and others are known to make mistakes when reporting information to the credit bureaus.

If this happens to be the case and you find something on your account, it is recommended that you first seek out whoever the account was original with. If they cannot help you, you should then contact Equifax and Transunion to dispute this and have these errors removed from your credit report. When contacting the credit bureaus to dispute errors and/or misinformation and ensure that they remove errors and/or misinformation from your credit report, you will need to have evidence that there is a mistake and/or misinformation on your credit report. In order to formally dispute this, you will need to fill out some paperwork for each credit bureau, have evidence, that there is misinformation, a mistake, and/or error with your credit report and go through a dispute process.

Once the credit bureaus have determined that there is misinformation and/or errors on your credit report, they should eventually correct this information, remove these mistakes and your credit score and credit report should reflect these changes. However, depending on what type of information they are removing from your credit report, it could take some time from a couple of months or longer to see this change reflected in your credit report and credit score.

Related article: GTA home buyers and sellers are overpaying by thousands

Do make sure to pay off any outstanding debts in full, if you can.

If you are able to pay off any outstanding debts in full to avoid the high-interest rates credit cards charge their users, since this if you carry a balance this will quickly add up. Additionally, it is important to note that if you are settling accounts for less than whatever the full amount you owe the creditor actually has the potential to harm your credit score.

Settling accounts for less than what you originally owe the creditor has the potential to harm your credit score since any time when you are failing to repay a debt in the manner that you originally agree has the potential to negatively impact your credit score and history. You should be wary of any debt settlements and avoid this whenever possible. However, the negative impact of debt settlement is not as bad as the negative impact of not paying debt at all or having to declare bankruptcy.

Debt settlement usually involves someone negotiating a reduced payment to your creditors to settle your debt(s) for less than you originally agreed to pay them. This can negatively impact your credit score since creditors will usually report that you settled the account with them for less than you originally agreed. Any accounts reported as settled to the credit bureaus are usually scored negatively by all credit scoring models, negatively impacting your credit score.

You should be careful and proceed with caution with any organizations pressuring you to pay exorbitant initial fees for their services for their debt settlement program(s) or services and/promise to remove any accurate, negative information from your credit report. Accurate negative information usually cannot be legally removed from your credit report.

If you need to find a way to pay down your debts in a manner that is more favorable to you, i.e. with lower interest rates and/or lower minimum monthly payments you might be able to negotiate this with your credit card company and/or receive support from certified credit counsellors if you agree to go through their credit and financial education programs.

Do make sure to maintain a variety of debts (since this is seen as a positive)

If you want to build credit you will need to have at least one credit card.

While this might sound counterintuitive having at least one credit card is key. And having a variety of credit from different sources e.g. a car loan, a line of credit, a store charge card, a student loan, a personal loan, etc. It is important to remember that your cell phone and internet bills are usually factored in when calculating your overall credit score, so you should make sure to stay on top of these bills as well.

Don’ts: Things you should not be doing when you want to boost your credit score

The following list consists of things you should avoid doing if you want to boost your credit score. If you follow this advice, i.e. do the things recommended above to boost your score and avoid doing these things your credit score should increase over time. If you follow this advice hopefully, when you are going to apply for a mortgage you will have a better chance of being approved for one with a more favourable interest rate.

Do not always be trying to open new lines of credit

While you can apply for credit when needed, you should not be applying for additional credit (store cards, credit cards, loans, etc.) every single month since each time you are applying for credit and doing a hard inquiry this will show up on your report. Hard inquiries usually stay on your report for two years. Usually, if you are applying for a lot of open credit this can be a negative if you are applying for a loan or credit since you are essentially telling potential creditors and/or lenders that you are shopping for credit which does not look good from a lender’s or creditor’s perspective.

Do not increase your credit limit just to look good on your credit report (because this might not necessarily work for you)

This is related to avoiding always opening new lines of credit. It’s a common misconception that the more available credit you have the better their score will be. However, this might not always be the case. You might have five credit cards and your available credit with these cards is $35,000. You might have no debts but a creditor could argue that you present a credit risk since you could max out all of these cards and be in $35,000 worth of debt.

However, if you have a lot of debts, increasing your limit could help your score since it will lower your credit spending ratio if you are considering the percentage of credit you have available. If you have almost maxed out your card that has a $15,000 limit because you are carrying a $14,500 balance. And then you are approved for an increase giving you in total $30,000 in available credit, which means that you are carrying a balance of less than 50%, which will improve your score. However, this might not turn out well for you if you max out your card again. If you know you have trouble managing credit cards because you will spend your money if it’s available you should avoid doing this.

Do not take on any new debt

This one is related to increasing your credit limit because it will look good on your credit report. You should avoid taking on any new debt if you will be applying for a mortgage soon because it might make your lender question your financial stability even if your debt-to-income ratio stays below 12% of your income. If you will be applying for a mortgage in the next six months to a year, it is recommended that you stay away from any credit-based transactions until after you have secured a mortgage. You should also refrain from applying for any credit cards since credit inquiries negatively impact your score and stay on your report for two years after the fact.

Do not try to negotiate with creditors to clear your record.

It is not recommended that you negotiate with the credit bureaus to remove negative, but accurate information from your credit report since this is not how this works. However, you can negotiate for a payment plan with your lender or creditor that helps you pay down their debt more quickly, this is something you can try to do.

Do not buy into credit repair scams.

While there are many companies that claim if you pay them thousands of dollars that they can help you to repair your credit, avoid these companies since this is likely a scam. It is important to remember that boosting your credit score is something that takes time, it is not immediate. Paying down your debts, paying your bills on time, reducing your credit utilization ratio, and reducing your debt-to-income ratio over time are four ways you can rebuild and improve your credit score over time.

Related article: How to choose the right real estate agent when buying a home in Toronto?

Do not close the old credit cards that you have had for a long time.

While you may want to pay off your card and cut up the card once you have finished paying it off, you should avoid doing this. The longer you have had an active credit account the more likely that your credit score will be since credit bureaus and creditors can see a long history. When you cancel a card with a balance that you have been paying off for a while, you are eliminating your history with this card and starting from square one. If you no longer want to pay annual fees for credit cards you are no longer using, you always try calling the credit card company to see if you can negotiate a no fee or lower-fee plan.

Do not panic if you miss the odd payment once in a while.

Creditors and lenders understand that we are human, we all make mistakes sometimes. So if you have consistently made on-time payments for years and run into a couple of difficult months or forget to pay a bill this should not make an impact in your overall score. One or two missed payments on your permanent record is nothing to sweat.

However, if these missing payments become a pattern, i.e. you miss four payments in a row, it will show up on your credit report as delinquency. You should then pay this off as soon as you are able to and your creditors will be happy to see this.

Conclusion

Credit and qualifying for a mortgage can be scary and abstract things even if you have a stellar credit score and credit history. However, qualifying for a mortgage if you have a low credit score and are dreaming of becoming a homeowner one day can seem and feel even more out of reach than ever. However, credit scores and credit histories are not static, they are constantly changing and evolving, what this means for you is that today your score might not where you want it to be, that is totally normal and ok. This does not mean that there is no hope for you, plenty of people who have struggled with credit have been able to get on track, improve their credit scores, get mortgages and have eventually become homeowners, in other words, do not despair there is hope for you! If you follow the advice described in this guide, with time, planning, hard work and some patience your credit score will improve. It might take some time for your score to improve to the point where you will be able to qualify for a mortgage but if you have faith, and follow this advice, you might be able to qualify for a mortgage and realize your dream of becoming a homeowner!

Related article: Types of Houses in Canada and How to Get the Best Price for Them

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