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Credit Score Indifference Has Canadians Suffering

Many Canadians are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to their credit, according to a new study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Capital One Canada, with over half (57 per cent) of Canadians admitting that they’ve never attempted to obtain their credit score. To help Canadians use their credit wisely, Capital One® is launching Credit KeeperTM, a credit tracking tool that provides customers with free access to their credit score – a first among banks in Canada.

According to the study, Canadians who have obtained a credit score are most likely to acquire it from a banker, mortgage professional or financial services provider (43 per cent). This suggests that many are waiting until they are already applying for credit to assess their creditworthiness, rather than tracking it proactively.

“A strong credit score makes many important life milestones, like renting that first apartment or buying that first car or home, a real possibility. We want to help our customers reach those goals,” says Shane Holdaway, President, Capital One Canada. “We believe that personalized digital tools, like Credit Keeper, will help Canadians on their journey to build a successful financial future.”

Credit Keeper is rolling out in phases to customers as an integrated tool within the Capital One Online Banking platform, and provides users with a credit score and description of their credit health. Credit scores, which are calculated by TransUnion® and based on information from a consumer’s credit report, are automatically updated every week once the customer signs into Credit Keeper via their Online Banking account. The tool will never harm their credit score, no matter how often they use it.

“One of the key points in building a healthy relationship with your finances is knowing and understanding your credit score,” says Barry Choi, personal finance expert. “This ‘grade’ determines how creditworthy you are. Fortunately, you can make positive decisions to maintain and improve your score, which will open up many possibilities in the future.”

Armed with this information, Capital One offers the following tips to help Canadians use their credit score more effectively:

Protect: Fraud and identity theft can damage your score. Be aware of your credit score and report any changes that can’t be explained by your actions to the credit reporting agencies right away.

Monitor: A credit score can be improved, as long as you’re consistently taking the steps needed to change it. Check your score regularly, particularly if you have plans to apply for a loan, mortgage or new credit card in the coming months. This will help give you an idea of where you stand, so you can take steps to improve or maintain it.

Improve: Using credit responsibly by paying your bills on time and making at least the minimum monthly payment is integral to building and maintaining your credit score. Consider email and text alerts to help you stay on top of it all.

New features will be added to Credit Keeper throughout the year to help customers succeed with credit. Capital One Mastercard for Costco customers can expect to access Credit Keeper later this year.

For more information, visit www.CreditKeeper.Capitalone.ca.

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