Build Wealth Canada Podcast (Debt)

Your credit score is a very important thing to manage as it lets you get the lowest possible rates on your mortgage, car loans, lines of credit, and any other debt that you may wish to take on now and in the future.

In Canada, the best loans with the best terms are reserved for people with high credit scores. So, even if you don’t need any sort of loan now (like a mortgage, car loan, or a line of credit), it is something that you should keep an eye on and strive to improve, as you don’t want to be overcharged on interest payments if you ever do need some financing.

Even though we no longer have a mortgage or any debt, I still use a free tool to monitor my own credit score, just to ensure that the best loans are available to me in case I ever need them, and to help protect myself against identity fraud.

For example, if somebody got a hold of my credentials and tried taking out credit cards or loans in my name, I can quickly catch that and report it, instead of letting them gradually destroy my credit score over time.

I like sharing the apps and tools that I personally use on the podcast and the free tool that I use to do all of this is called Borrowell. So today on the show, I brought on the CEO of Borrowell, Andrew Graham so that I can ask him some questions after using his tool for almost a year.

We cover things like:

  • How to increase your credit score
  • The key things that can cause our score to decline
  • How to read the credit report so you can see if there are any issues
  • How to fix issues on our credit report that are negatively impacting our credit score
  • and much more.

Resources and Links Mentioned:

  • The tool that I use to check and monitor my credit score for free is over at Borrowell.
  • You can learn more about Borrowell Boost here.
  • Free tickets to the Canadian Financial Summit: To get the free tickets, just sign up anywhere on the main page of and I'll email them to you once they are ready.

Questions Asked:

  1. Your company offers free credit scores and reports from Canada’s largest credit bureau, Equifax. For anybody completely new to all of this, who is Equifax and why should we care? 
  2. To help further answer the question of why we should even care about our credit score; from your experience, how big of a difference have you seen in the interest rate offered to Canadians who have a low vs a high credit score?
  3. Many of us have heard about how if our credit score gets checked too much by companies, it can actually lower our credit score. This leads us to the subject of hard vs soft inquiries. Can you talk about what those are?
  4. If we need a loan and are shopping around, how do we ensure that we don’t get too many hard inquires?

  5. I’ve been using your tools for a while now and one of my favourite time-saving ones is how you automatically calculate our credit utilization score. Can you explain what that is and what credit utilization score we should aim for?
  6. Does our credit score improve the lower our credit utilization percentage is to 0%? Or do we really just need to ensure that we’re under the specific number?
  7. When we receive our credit report (whether it’s through you guys or someone else), what specifically should we be looking for and analyzing while going through it?
  8. I realize your tool actually does custom suggestions on how to improve our credit score once it pulls our information, but what are some best practices that anybody can apply when it comes to increasing our credit score?
  9. At what point is our credit score in that top tier where we are already getting the best possible rate and so it’s not worth the effort in trying to improve it any further?
  10. How important is it to close down accounts that we still have open but don’t use anymore? (ex. credit cards, lines of credit, etc.)
  11. If there is an error or discrepancy on our credit report, what’s the best recourse that we have as Canadians? Ex. do we contact Equifax? Do we contact the company that put that blemish on our credit report and ask them to fix it?
  12. If somebody has no loans and doesn’t use credit cards, is that actually bad if you ever do need a loan since lenders want to see that credit history? (ex. A homemaker where their spouse does all the purchasing and their debts are under the working spouse’s name?)
  13. I’m a big fan of online tools that help me optimize and manage my finances, and you guys have one coming out that I’m pretty excited to try out. Can you talk about the new Borrowell Boost app that you have and what it does?

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Direct download: How_to_Get_the_Lowest_Rates_by_Optimizing_Your_Credit_Score.mp3
Category:Debt -- posted at: 5:58am EDT

In this episode, we cover the types of debt tools available to us Canadians, and how to get the lowest rate on them. In other words, what debt options do we have in our Canadian toolbox that we can potentially use, and what are the pros and cons of each?

My goal for you is that by the end of this episode, you'll know what your options are in Canada so that if you ever do need a loan, you know exactly what's available to you, which types of loans have the lowest and highest rates, and which ones are the easiest and hardest to qualify for. 

And Sure, we've all heard of mortgage and credit cards, but what other types of loans are out there that we could potentially use?

Today's Expert:

To help me answer these questions, our guest for this episode is Scott Satov. He’s a CA, a CFA, and the founder of which was Canada's first and today’s largest online loan search and comparison platform. 

So I figured, if we want to know what types of loans are available to us Canadians, then why not get the first and largest Canadian loan search and comparison provider to help us with this since it’s clearly their job day in and day out to know what’s out there.

Links and Resources:

  • You can do your loan comparison shopping over at Scott's company: They also have a lot of educational resources on the site so you can definitely learn a lot there, even if you aren't looking to immediately take out a loan.
  • The top personal finance and investing tools guide mentioned on the episode can be received for free by signing up on the main page over at
  • The how to invest videos mentioned during the show can be found at

Questions Covered:

  1. While ideally, we as Canadians want to have no debt, the reality is that most Canadians don't have enough money on-the-side to just buy a car or house with cash, or to fund some expensive unforeseen emergency (whether it's an expensive home repair, something medical that you have no coverage for, or something else).

    We've all heard of mortgages, but what are the other tools available to us, and can you cover the pros and cons of each along with which ones are the least expensive options here in Canada?

  2. What are the different things that are within our control that we can do, to get the lowest rates on loans?

  3. Most don't have the cash to buy a new or used car outright, so what have you found to be the best practices for getting the best loan for a new vs used car? Ex. Going through dealer vs the bank vs sites like yours that can pull the rates from different providers.

  4. If you need money for an important expense, have you found home equity lines of credit (HELOC) to be the least expensive way to raise the funds required?

  5. If someone isn't a homeowner and can't get a HELOC, what type of loan is the least expensive?

  6. How do you go about getting a loan and securing it against your car for example (or some other asset) so that it becomes a secured loan giving you the lowest rates?

  7. What are the most effective ways of building your credit score?

  8. If you have an average credit score, is it worth the effort to try to improve it? In other words, how large are the savings you can get if you do actually work on your credit score and improve it?

  9. What are your thoughts on debt consolidation? When should somebody consider it vs not? 

  10. What are your top strategies for getting out of debt? Especially for those that are struggling or feeling the pressure from the loans that they already have outstanding.

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Direct download: What_is_the_best_type_of_loan_for_you.mp3
Category:Debt -- posted at: 9:34pm EDT