How to check your credit score for free

Why pay $24 online when you can do it for free, with no impact to your credit rating?

Woman calculating doing math or taxes on a calculator calculating personal finance and money

Photo, iStock.

This article was originally published by MoneySense.

Usually, checking your credit score online would cost you $24. But now, Toronto-based online loan lender Borrowell has joined its competitor Mogo in providing free credit score checks that will have no impact on your credit rating.

In order to receive your credit score, you’ll have to sign up on the online lenders’ websites. Don’t worry, there’s no catch; you won’t be obligated to take a loan just because you used their service for your freebie.

Checking your credit score with Borrowell and Mogo won’t affect your credit rating because the online lenders use what’s called a “soft check,” often used by businesses in order to offer you promotional services. Contrast that with a “hard check” which is a more in-depth look into your credit history, usually done by lenders once you actually decide to take a loan from them.

Related: Find the credit card that’s right for you

“In talking to consumers everyday, we came to realize that many Canadians don’t know their current credit score, or how to improve it,” said Andrew Graham, the CEO of Borrowell, in the blog post.

The two online lenders have sprung up in recent years touting themselves as alternatives to big banks by offering lower interest rates on loans up to $35,000. This is commonly used to pay off high-interest debt with the lower-interest loan.

Borrowell provides an Equifax Risk Score 2.0, which is promoted by Equifax to businesses as a way of determining the risk of lending to consumers. The biggest factors that determine your credit score is how much debt you have, whether you’ve been paying your bills on time and how long your credit history is.

Right now, Mogo is only available in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, while Borrowell allows you to check your credit score in all provinces except Quebec.

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