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If you have bad credit and you have ever tried to get a traditional loan, credit card, or store line of credit, then you know repeated denials are frustrating. There are reasons why banks and financiers do not provide loans and lines of credit to individuals with bad credit, though. It is all about perceived risk. Learning about how the Canadian credit reporting system works and what you can do to improve your credit score will put you back on the road to financial freedom.
Understanding Your Credit Score
Most lenders utilize a rating system known as Fair Isaac Corporation, or FICO. In Canada, FICO scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 900 with classifications issued as follows:
You can obtain a free copy of your FICO score by visiting the TransUnion and/or Equifax websites. Each of these credit-reporting agencies issues its own FICO score based upon your credit history.
How Does One Get Bad Credit, Anyway?
Your FICO score is based on a number of factors, but the two most important are the timely repayment of debts and your debt load. For instance, if you have an auto loan, each time you make a payment (and even when you fail to pay on time), this information is reported to one or both of the credit agencies. If you make your payments on time, it boosts your score because it shows that you use credit responsibly. If you always make payments late, this decreases your credit score because you are not using the credit responsibly. What's more, if you have a very high debt load (meaning you owe a significant portion of the money you make), this can also decrease your credit score.
How Bad Credit Affects Your Ability to Borrow
A longstanding history of late payments or a very high debt load affects your ability to borrow significantly because it reflects in your FICO score. Most lenders view your FICO score as an indicator of your ability to repay your debts, and if your score is low, they view you as a serious risk and will not lend to you. On the other hand, if your credit score is very high, this shows that you utilize your lines of credit well, maintain low balances, and repay your debts on time. Financiers actually want to lend to people who have good credit because it is almost a guarantee of timely repayment.
How to Restore Your Credit Rating
If your FICO score is 599 or below, the chances of obtaining a traditional loan with a subprime interest rate are more difficult. Even individuals with credit scores between 600 and 650 have some trouble securing outstanding rates. Ideally, your credit score should be near 750 or higher. To raise your score, first look for discrepancies in your credit report that will boost you score if removed. Next, work to repay your debts. The more you repay, the higher your score will climb. Finally, if you use credit cards, maintain a balance that is between 25% and 35% of your total credit limit. This is ideal, and it will help you raise your score significantly.
If you have bad credit, lenders do not view you as a responsible borrower. In order to gain access to larger loans with outstanding interest rates, it is necessary to improve your FICO score over time with responsible borrowing and repayment.
We know the fine print can be painful, but we believe it's important you have all the facts!
easyfinancial offers a variety of financial services including personal loans, and mortgages. easyfinancial is a division of goeasy Ltd., the leading full service provider of goods and alternative financial services that improve the lives of everyday Canadians. goeasy Ltd. is listed on the TSE under the symbol 'GSY'.
* easyfinancial offers secured personal loans in all provinces, excluding British Columbia, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.
CREDIT SCORE IMPACT
While having a loan and honouring its obligations can help build credit, too many loans may be seen by potential creditors as an increased risk, and failure to meet repayment obligations will result in a negative report to the credit bureaus, which would reduce your credit score. Please borrow responsibly.
Loans from easyfinancial do not automatically renew. Customers have the option to request an increase to their loan after paying down a percentage of their current loan amount and maintaining good payment history. Such a request would be subject to the company's standard underwriting rules.
easyfinancial offers personal loans from $500 to $25,000 with terms from 9 to 120 months. The APR is between 19.99%-46.96%. Secured personal loans may be subject to provincial fees upon funding. NSF (non-sufficient funds) payments will be assessed a $50 fee in addition to fees charged by the customer's financial institution.
easyfinancial contacts customers in arrears as soon as possible through various means including, but not limited to telephone, email, postal mail and SMS. easyfinancial may work with third parties to assist in collections activities.
LOAN PROTECTION PLAN
†Loan Protection Plan is underwritten by American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida (ABIC) and American Bankers Life Assurance Company of Florida (ABLAC) under Group Master Policy Numbers EF012017, EFL012017, EF082017 and EFL082017.
** Receive approval in as little as 48 hours with complete documentation.
‡ Conditions apply. Ask branch for details. Optional service.
ABIC and ABLAC carry on business in Canada under the trade name of Assurant®.
®Assurant is a registered trademark of Assurant, Inc.
The complete terms, eligibility, benefits, limitations and exclusions are contained in the Certificate of Insurance.
Purposes for Which goeasy Handles Personal Information
goeasy collects and uses personal information for purposes limited to those which are related to its businesses, which include providing financial services and leasing household furnishings, appliances, and home electronic products to its customers under lease agreements. We collect personal information primarily from you, for instance through applications and supporting documentation you provide. We may also collect personal information about you through your ongoing interactions with us, from references, employers and other financial institutions you have identified in your application as well as credit bureaus and other third party sources. For example, we may collect personal information from credit bureaus for the purpose of locating you to collect outstanding debts. In connection with loan agreements, we may also collect personal information from credit bureaus in order to verify your current and ongoing creditworthiness and other information you may provide to us.
We may collect and use personal information for purposes such as, but not limited to, the following:
Personal Information goeasy Collects
goeasy limits the amount and type of personal information collected to that which is necessary for our identified purposes, and we collect personal information by fair and lawful means.
Personal information that we collect includes:
Transfers and Disclosures of Personal Information
goeasy may disclose personal information in a number of circumstances, including:
In addition to the above, personal information may be shared between our affiliates or subsidiaries (including those located in the United States) for internal audit, management, billing or administrative purposes including defending and bringing legal actions.
In the course of fulfilling the purposes described above, goeasy may transfer your personal information to service providers, including affiliates or other third party organizations or individuals retained by goeasy to perform functions on its behalf, such as marketing, data processing, customer service, office, security, collections, insurance, financial and taxation services. When personal information is transferred to service providers, we use contractual or other means to ensure that a comparable level of protection is provided. Some of our service providers may be located outside Canada, including in the United States, and will be subject to applicable legal requirements in the country in which they are located, including lawful requirements to disclose personal information to government authorities in certain circumstances.
goeasy may also use and disclose personal information in connection with the proposed or actual financing, securitization, insuring, sale, assignment or other disposal of all or part of our business or assets (including your loan or lease and any agreement to which it relates), for the purposes of evaluating and/or performing the proposed transaction. Assignees or successors of our business or assets may use and disclose your personal information for similar purposes as those described in this Policy.
goeasy may disclose your personal information as necessary to meet legal, regulatory, insurance, audit, and security requirements, and as otherwise with your consent or as permitted or required by law.
goeasy uses reasonable safeguards and other security standards to protect all personal information in its custody and control against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification, regardless of the format in which the information is held. Safeguards will vary depending on the sensitivity, format, location, and storage of the personal information. Only authorized employees, agents, partners and third parties who require access to personal information to fulfill their job requirements will have access to personal information.
Access and Accuracy
goeasy may establish and maintain a file containing an individual's personal information for the purposes described above, which will be accessible at our offices. Individuals have the right to request access to or correction of their personal information that is held by goeasy. Requests must be made in writing, addressed to goeasy's Privacy Officer as per the contact information set out at the end of this Policy. We will respond to written requests within a reasonable time. Copies of records containing personal information may be subject to a fee. If this is the case, goeasy will inform the individual of the amount of the fee in advance. We will use our best efforts to ensure that personal information is as accurate, complete and up-to-date as necessary for the identified purposes. If an individual successfully demonstrates the inaccuracy or incompleteness of personal information, we will amend the information as required. If we refuse access to personal information or disagree with an assertion that information held by us is incorrect, we will provide a written explanation for such refusal and a description of our complaints procedure should an individual decide to challenge such written explanation. An individual's right to access or correct personal information is subject to applicable legal restrictions. To prevent fraudulent access to the personal information stored by goeasy, we may take reasonable steps to verify an individual's identity before granting access or making corrections.
goeasy's Websites and E-Mail Communication
goeasy does not guarantee the confidentiality of any communications made by you via e-mail or otherwise through our websites. If you wish to provide information of a confidential or sensitive nature to easyhome, please contact us directly by telephone at 1-866-823-3279 or easyfinancial at 1-888-502-3279 to arrange for delivery/transmission of such information by secure means.
In compliance with Google's advertising policies, we use Google Adwords Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click) and Display Advertising (Remarketing and Google Display Network). We use Google AdWords Remarketing in compliance with the Google AdWords Interest-Based Advertising Policy, which means that you may see our advertisements on Google and other third party websites on the internet after visiting our website.
We use Google Analytics for Display Advertising, including Remarketing, Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting, Google Display Network Impression Reporting and the DoubleClick Campaign Manager integration. You have the option to opt out of Google Analytics for Display Advertising and customize Google Display Network ads. For all the currently available opt-outs, please visit https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
We use the data collected through Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting to better understand our website visitors in terms of demographics and interests, to improve our website content in order to cater to our audience, and to customize advertisements based on our audience's interests and demographics.
In certain circumstances, as permitted or required by law, we may collect, use or disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual. These circumstances include but are not limited to: personal information that is publicly available as defined by regulation; where collection is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way; where disclosure is made for the purposes of collecting a debt owed to us; or to comply with a subpoena, warrant or court order.
Inquiries or Further Information
Privacy Officer, goeasy Ltd.,
33 City Centre Drive, Suite 510
Mississauga, Ontario, L5B 2N5, Canada
If you are not satisfied with our response to a privacy-related matter, you may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at 1-800-282-1376 or at http://www.privcom.gc.ca. or in Quebec, Alberta or British Columbia, your provincial privacy regulator, as applicable.