New Credit Customer Website FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions about Credit

What is credit?

Credit is defined as the ability to obtain goods and services before payment is made, with the trust that the payment will be made in the future. In simple terms, credit allows you to make a purchase now and pay it off over time. Credit is often extended for large purchases like a car or home, but is also available in the form of a credit card that allows you to make purchases now and pay them off later.

What is a credit report?

When you apply for credit, your credit report is reviewed prior to approving your application. A credit report contains information about your credit history including total amount of debt owed on loans and credit cards, and your payment history with your lenders (e.g. Banks, Credit Card Companies, etc.). There are three major credit reporting agencies and each produce their own report about your credit. The three agencies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

What do lenders typically look for when reviewing a credit report?

Lenders will look for a variety of information when reviewing a credit report, including, but not limited to:

- What types of credit is the person using? (e.g. Credit Cards, Mortgage, Student Loans, etc.)
- - How is the person managing their credit?
- - What is their payment history with those lenders? (e.g. Have they paid late? Have they missed a payment?)
- - How much credit is currently available to the person and how are they using that credit? (e.g. Are they up to the limit on their credit cards?)
- - Credit score is often a factor that is considered when making a credit decision, but is not the only factor considered by lenders. (see "What is a Credit Score?")

How can I get a copy of my credit report?

You are able to order a free credit report directly from each of the three major bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. You can order one report from each bureau once every 12 months, for a total of three at

Experts suggest that you review your credit quarterly, so you may wish to space out each report 3 - 4 months.

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score, calculated from information in your credit report and is a rating tool used by lenders to gauge an individual's creditworthiness... There are several score algorithms that produce credit scores.

the higher the score the lower the risk. This score is based solely on credit data and provides information into a consumer's future risk. Credit score is often a factor that is considered when making a credit decision, but is not generally the only factor considered by lenders.

How do I establish a good credit history?

You can establish a good credit history by:

- Paying at least the minimum payment by the due date on all your bills
- - Keeping your balances low enough to afford the monthly payments and not overextending yourself
- - Don't apply for too much credit at one time because each time you apply for credit a creditor will obtain your credit report and each inquiry can impact your credit score

Why do I need good credit?

Establishing good credit can help you in a number of ways, from getting a great interest rate on a new home or car to getting a credit card. Credit gives you peace of mind by not having to carry cash and is often required when traveling to book airline tickets, rent cars or reserve a hotel room. Credit also allows you to budget for large purchases, unexpected bills and emergency events by paying them off over a period of time.

What are some of the main reasons applicants are declined for credit

Your Credit Score

We generally do not approve applicants who have a credit score below 600. Although having a credit score above 600 does not guarantee approval, it does increase the likelihood. In addition, to credit score, we consider other factors, such as income and debt, during the decision process. If you would like more details about your credit score, please visit

Late Payments

We do not approve applications when there is a recent history of payments made more than 30 days late. Payments are made late for many reasons, but using this information when deciding to approve or decline n application is considered a safe and sound practice by our regulators.


Bankruptcy is a process that occurs when a consumer cannot repay the debts owed to their creditors. To protect the bank and the consumer, we generally do not approve consumers whose credit file shows a recent adverse public record such as bankruptcy.

High Debt

Individuals with substantial amounts of debt compared to their annual income pose a greater risk of being unable to pay bills. As a person's debt increases, their payment amounts also increase. If a significant percentage of the income is used to pay debt (e.g. mortgage, credit card and loan balances, etc.), this indicates that the person may not have the ability to pay any incremental debt. As a way of managing the safety and soundness for consumers, credit is not granted when high debt compared to income is present.

Many Recent Credit Related Inquiries

We generally do not extend credit to consumers with an excessive number of credit inquiries shown on their credit bureau within the past year. These consumers have historically exhibited greater risk of defaulting on their loans. Such behavior could be indicative of over-reliance of credit due to financial distress.

Limited Credit History

Historical credit performance is considered a major (but not the only) indicator of future ability, stability and willingness of consumer to keep their loan in good standing. We rely on credit bureaus as source of such information while reviewing credit eligibility. As a matter of safe and sound lending practice - credit is not generally granted to consumers with limited credit history.