In a recent survey of 1200 adult Canadians, 56% of the respondents indicated that they had never checked their credit score.
The survey, which was conducted by Pollara for the Bank of Montreal (BMO), also revealed that 52% of the respondents did not know what would be considered a good credit score, with 21% believing a good score was one that is below 600. In addition, 31% of those polled said that they did not know what they needed to do in order to obtain a good credit rating.
"A good credit score is generally considered in the range of 680 – 720," explains Tony Tintinalli, regional vice president at BMO. "A poor credit rating results in significant financial limitations – everything from being approved for a loan to renting an apartment."
One fifth of the respondents also believe that checking their file will end up decreasing their credit score, and only 14% say they check their credit file annually. BMO points out that consumers can order a credit report for free from the three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year to check to see if there are any errors or problems.