Improving Your Credit Score

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

**This is a sponsored post written by me in collaboration with Capital One Canada. All opinions are my own.

Applying for a new credit card can be stressful at times. Even though you may have an excellent credit score, there’s always a chance that you could be rejected. To make matters worse, your credit score would be impacted once you apply.

However, there are resources to help you skip the anxieties of possibly being rejected, such as Quick Check™ from Capital One. Check out my review below for the full details.

What is a credit score?

Your credit score is typically a number between 300 and 900. The higher your credit score, the more creditworthy you’re considered to be. This is important because lenders such as credit card providers or financial institutions may use your credit score as one factor to determine if they should lend to you or not.

 Since having a high credit score is so important, many people try to keep it in good standing. However, When you apply for a new credit card, your credit score may drop by 5 to 10 points. This is called a hard credit hit and it happens regardless of whether you’re approved or not.

Maintaining a high credit score is a priority for many people as having a strong credit score can help you achieve your financial and life goals – whether you’re buying a new car, applying for a rental or making important purchases. Negative hits from applying for a credit card can be annoying, but that being said, not all credit checks need to be negative.

What resources are available to help?  

There are many great resources to help you navigate credit card applications, although my favourite is Quick Check from Capital One. This feature allows you to find out with 100% certainty* which Capital One credit cards you’ll be approved for before you apply. The best part is that there is no impact on your credit score.

All the tool requires is a little bit of your information and you’ll quickly find out which Capital One credit cards you’ll be approved for. How quick, you ask? It takes as little as 15 seconds to get a response!   

Capital One Quick Check Review

I decided to personally test it out to see which cards I’d be approved for. The process is quite simple and it started with me providing the following:

  • Personal information
  • Contact information
  • Financial information 

Personal and contact information is required in order to verify your identity, while financial information is used to determine which Capital One cards you’ll be approved for.

After inputting all my information, I got my results pretty quickly and was able to see the features, fees, and interest rates of each card that I’d be approved for, so I could quickly decide which one I wanted to apply for.

Capital One Canada Credit Cards

With Quick Check, you can find out which of the following cards you’ll be approved for:        

Aspire Travel™ Platinum Mastercard®

  • No annual fee
  • $1 in travel rewards for every $100 on all purchases
  • There’s no limit to the amount of reward miles you can earn
  • Reward miles don’t have an expiry date

Aspire Cash™ Platinum Mastercard   

  • No annual fee
  • 1% cash rewards on all purchases††
  • There’s no limit to the amount of cash rewards you can earn
  • Cash rewards don’t have an expiry date

Guaranteed Mastercard    

  • $59 annual fee
  • Guaranteed credit card approval – Conditions apply, visit Capital One for details
  • 19.8% standard annual interest rate on purchases and balance transfers, and 21.9% standard annual interest rate on cash advances
  • Establish or repair your credit
  • Zero Liability protection, so you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized use of your card
  • Security funds may be required

Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard    

  •  $79 annual fee
  • Guaranteed credit card approval
  • 14.9% standard annual interest rate on purchases and balance transfers, and 21.9% standard annual interest rate on cash advances
  • Zero Liability protection, so you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized use of your card
  • Security funds may be required

The Aspire Travel Platinum Mastercard is ideal for people who want to earn travel rewards. If you prefer cash back, then there’s the Aspire Cash Platinum Mastercard.

As for the Guaranteed Mastercard and Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard, they’re designed for people who are looking to build or rebuild their credit.

Tips to improve your credit score

Quick Check is a great first step to getting access to credit. If maintaining or improving your credit score is a priority, using a credit card responsibly can help. Some additional tips include:

  • Make your payments on time – Avoiding missed or late payments is ideal. You should always strive to pay your full balance by your statement due dates. At the very least, try to pay more than the minimum payment to help reduce your debt.   
  • Watch your spending – How much credit you use relative to how much total credit you have access to is known as your utilization ratio. It’s often recommended you keep this ratio below 30% as higher amounts could affect your credit score negatively.
  • Avoid too many applications – As you already know, applying for new credit lowers your credit score.

If you’d like to learn more about how credit works, check out capitalone.ca/lifeandcredit where you’ll find articles covering everything from how to manage your financial stress to overcoming credit card jitters.

Legal

*Conditions and limitations apply, visit capitalone.ca/quickcheck

† Rewards are applied to total net purchases. That means any purchase that’s charged to your Capital One credit card minus credits or returns. Cash advances, balance transfers and access cheque transactions aren’t eligible for rewards.

†† Cash rewards are applied to total net purchases. That means any purchase that’s charged to your Aspire credit card minus refunds, returns or other similar credits. Cash advances, balance transfers and access cheque transactions aren’t eligible for rewards.

Improving Your Credit Score

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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