Credit Checks…

Q. Is it true you have to pass a credit check now to get a student loan?

A. When you apply for a student loans in Canada now (provincial loans included), they will do a credit check if you are 22 years of age or older and you're applying for a Canada Student Loan for the first time. Naturally, this does not apply to the average student.

If it would apply to you, check your credit report before you apply for student loans. Try to leave lots of time in case you need to correct mistakes in your record – or you need to resolve some issues by making payments.

Q. What kinds of things will the credit checks look at?

A. Anything that got reported to a credit bureau. That could include student lines of credit, car loans, credit card payments, emergency cash advances from university or other sources, and bills for regular items such as utility, rent and phone bills. The works.

However, the bar is quite low so most people should pass their credit check. Still, if your record shows you as missing payments three or more times on three different accounts, you'd better make sure your total outstanding debts are less than $1,000.