glossary

Glossary

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Credit history, also known as a consumer report or consumer information, is the information a consumer reporting agency has about:

  • the money you’ve borrowed from businesses, such as credit card companies or banks
  • the bills that you pay regularly, like your rent or your hydro bill

For example, if you have a mortgage, the credit reporting agency will have detailed information about the money you borrowed and the bills you pay, including:

  • the amount of your mortgage or line of credit
  • the interest rate you pay on your borrowed money
  • the repayment schedule for the borrowed money
  • if you paid your bills in full and on time
Title: credit limit
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A credit limit is the total amount of money you can borrow from a lender. This term is most often used for credit card limits. For example, a credit card may have a credit limit of $5,000.

Title: credit rating
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Your credit rating is calculated by a consumer reporting agency. Your credit rating is based on your credit history. It tells a creditor how likely you are to pay back your debts based on how you did (or didn’t) pay your debts or bills in the past.

Title: credit repair
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Credit repair is when you try to improve your credit rating. Ways to do this include fixing wrong information on your credit report and paying your bills on time. 

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A credit repair company is a business that promises to “fix” or improve your credit score or credit report for a fee. Usually, these companies can’t do anything that you can’t do yourself.

Title: credit report
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A credit report, sometimes called a consumer report, shows details of your credit history. For example, it shows whether you have paid back money you owe or paid your bills on time. It will also say if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, or have been discharged from bankruptcy in the last 6 years. A credit report is not the same as a credit score.

Title: credit score
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A credit score is a number given to you by a consumer reporting agency. Creditors check your score to see how likely you are to pay back your debts. They use it to decide whether to lend you money. Your credit score is based on the information in your credit report.

High credit scores are good, and low credit scores are bad. Usually, the lowest score you can have is around 300, and the highest around 850. Good credit is usually considered 700 or more. Sometimes, credit scores are turned into a letter and number combination. In this system, R9 is the worst credit rating and R1 is the best.

Title: creditor
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A creditor is a person or business you owe money to. For example, this could be:

  • the bank that gave you a mortgage loan
  • the credit card company that lets you pay for things on credit
  • your landlord, if you owe rent
  • your utility company, if you pay for hydro or gas
Title: creditor
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A creditor is a person or business who is owed money by a debtor. For example, if you have a court order against someone to pay you money, you are a creditor.

Title: crime
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You commit a crime when you break a federal law. Federal laws apply in all Canadian provinces and territories. The main federal law is the Criminal Code. Things like theft and assault are crimes in the Criminal Code.

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