When you’re looking for an apartment to buy, or a house to buy in Canada, your credit score and credit report determine what your options are. The Financial Customer Agency of Canada (FCAC) advices Canadian citizens to check their credit history before browsing the options.

Most financial institutions even recognize an immigrant’s credit history from their home country. However, once to get permanent residence in Canada, you will need to build a Canadian credit history. Creditors will use the Canadian credit history to determine if you’re eligible for a mortgage and a loan.

How to access your Credit Score

Canada has two main credit reporting agencies that provide citizens with copies when they need them. You can order your copy from TransUnion or Equifax to know where your credit score stands.

If you find out that the score is not good, you can start building one, in preparation for big future purchases. You need to always use your credit cards wisely because each transaction you make goes to your credit history.

Avoid taking more credit that you can afford, and make a point of paying your monthly balance. At the end of the day, your credit report and credit score explain reflect how financially responsible you are.

Should you Rent or Buy a Home?

Once you achieve a good credit score, the next step is to decide whether to rent or to buy a home? Your financial situation should shed light on the best option for you.

Whereas renting costs less than buying a home, being a homeowner is much more peaceful. Once you own a house, you cannot lose it, unless you choose to sell.

The downside of home purchases is that it takes such a long time to even find a property that meets all your requirements.

Here are questions to ask yourself as you ponder on the matter:

  • Do you have enough money in your account to buy a home, or you’ll need a mortgage to do so?
  • How much money have you set aside for monthly mortgage or rent payment?
  • How soon do you want to buy or rent your own home?
  • Do you feel confident that you have enough resources to repair a home? Or would you prefer a home that came as a finished product?
  • How long to you plan to stay in one place? Do you prefer moving to new places every few years?

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