Why Are My Credit Scores Different Across Different Sites?

Your credit score may be the single most important piece of financial information about you, as it often decides whether you qualify for loans, credit cards, and a mortgage. If you check your score regularly (as you should!), you may have noticed discrepancies between Equifax and TransUnion scores. Don’t panic! There are a variety of reasons your score may differ slightly between credit bureaus, and most of them are benign and won’t hurt your score.

However, if you notice large discrepancies, always contact your credit bureau to rule out credit fraud.

Reasons Why Credit Scores Vary

Types of Data & Information Provided to Credit Bureau

Credit bureaus primarily base your credit score on information they receive from lenders, and not every lender or creditor sends reports to all credit bureaus. Sometimes a lender will only provide data to one bureau, or they will send reports to bureaus at different times. This can lead to discrepancies between various credit bureaus.

Differences in Credit Checks

In the world of finance, there are two types of credit checks: “soft” and “hard.” When you check your credit score through an online report, this is considered a soft credit check. Soft credit checks do not affect your credit score.

Hard checks, on the other hand, are formal requests from credit bureaus to examine your credit score and history. These checks are usually conducted when you apply for a loan, credit card, or mortgage.

Multiple hard checks at once can damage your credit score because bureaus monitor these checks to learn about consumers who may have a higher debt load than they can handle or may be short on funds. These consumers are a higher risk for lenders, and their credit scores will reflect this reality. As a result, it’s best to only apply for credit that you truly need.

Differences Between Credit Scoring Models

Not all lenders or creditors use the same scoring models, and this can lead to discrepancies in your credit scores. In Canada, most lenders use the FICO scoring model, but there are dozens of other scoring models out there, all of which evaluate criteria slightly differently. There are even variations between different FICO models!

Date of Comparison

Not all credit bureaus update scores at the same time. Depending on when you view your credit report, you may notice discrepancies between bureaus because one score has not been updated as recently and is outdated. Try checking again at a later date to see if the discrepancy corrects itself. If it doesn’t, contact the credit bureau directly.

Build Credit Towards a Home with JAAG Properties

If you are struggling to qualify for a mortgage due to bad credit or no credit, we can help! Our Rent to Own program was designed with you in mind, allowing you to live in your new home while you build good credit and save money for a down payment. Apply online today or contact us for a consultation!

Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

People have credit issues for a variety of reasons. Divorce, job loss, and other financial hardships can wrack up debt quickly. Whatever your reason, it’s never too late to improve your credit score, and we’re sharing our top tips for bringing up those numbers, allowing you to qualify for mortgages, loans, credit cards, and more.

Understanding Your Credit Score

You can’t learn how to improve your credit score if you don’t know what the numbers mean! Familiarize yourself with credit score ratings, including what is considered low or high. In Canada, there are two credit bureaus that report your credit score: Equifax and TransUnion.

Credit Score Ratings

300 to 560: Poor
561 to 659: Fair
660 to 724: Good
725 to 759: Very Good
760 to 900: Excellent

It’s recommended you maintain a credit score of at least 660, since most lenders won’t approve you for credit cards, mortgages, or loans with a lower score. Of course, the higher your score, the better financial services you’ll have access to, including lower interest rates when you go to purchase a home.

How is Your Credit Score Calculated?

Put simply, your credit score is a measure of how you use credit. It’s calculated based on a variety of factors, including how much credit you have, how much debt you’re carrying, and your payment history.

Tips on How to Improve Your Credit Score

Pay Your Bills on Time

Your payment history is a major consideration for any lender. If you consistently make payments on time, especially if you often pay in full, it reflects well on your ability to manage your credit responsibly. If you’re forgetful, set up automatic payments to ensure that you still make payments on time.

Keep Your Credit Utilization Score Low

Maxing out your credit signals to lenders that you have difficulty managing your debt load and you may struggle to make payments on new loans. In general, you should try to keep your credit usage under 30% of your total limit.

Limit the Number of Credit Applications You Submit

When you apply for credit cards or loans, choose wisely. Each application results in a hard inquiry, which can lower your credit score. Limit how often you apply for new accounts and don’t send out more than one application at a time.

Review Your Credit Reports

Knowledge is power! Review your credit score regularly and check for evidence of identity theft or fraud. Any inconsistencies should be reported to your financial institution immediately.

You should also look for unpaid balances or accounts that have gone into collections. Clearing outstanding debt is one of the easiest ways to improve your credit score.

Beat Bad Credit & Rent to Own a Home with JAAG Properties

If you’re struggling with no credit or bad credit, you don’t have to abandon your dreams of homeownership. Our Rent to Home Solution is designed to help you build positive credit, increase your credit score, and own your home faster!

Contact us today to learn more about how we can guide you through the homebuying process.

Options for Getting into Homeownership with Bad Credit

Some might think that having bad credit means they can only rent and will never be a homeowner. No need to fret. There are solutions for getting into homeownership with bad credit. Read on to understand ways that homeownership is accessible despite financial challenges.

Partner Up for a Mortgage

This might be done with a partner or relative prepared to co-sign the loan agreement. By pooling your resources with another person who has strong credit, you can access a loan with better terms and interest rates, turning the challenge of bad credit into an achievable goal of homeownership.

Explore Private Lender Options

When it comes to giving money, private lenders are usually more open than banks. They may be willing to look past your credit score. Use caution and do your research since private loans may have greater costs and interest rates.

Boost Your Credit Score

One of the key actions that you can do to get a mortgage, is to raise your credit score. First, look over your credit report for mistakes. If you find any, fight them. Your score can slowly increase if you pay your bills on time and get rid of debts. Long-term benefits include better borrowing choices and cheaper interest rates, but this method takes time and discipline.

Increase Your Down Payment

Another option is to save up for a bigger down payment, so the loan amount goes down. In this case, loan terms might improve, like interest rates decreasing. A big down payment can also show lenders that you know how to handle money well, which could help if you have bad credit.

Consider Rent-to-Own Agreements

Rent-to-own agreements are an additional option for those with poor credit, to become homeowners. You agree to rent the residence for a certain period (usually for 3 years). When this period is completed, you purchase the home for the agreed upon amount. Often, a portion of your rent is used for a down payment or deposit. With a rent-to-own agreement, you can purchase a home, and raise your credit score simultaneously.

Stepping Stones to Homeownership

Each option needs careful thought and research. Exploring these options opens the door to potential homeownership, breaking down the barriers imposed by credit challenges. It’s about matching the right strategy to your financial situation and moving forward with informed decisions and steadfast determination. JAAG Properties can be a valuable resource in this journey.

Are you ready to turn your homeownership dream into reality with JAAG Properties? APPLY NOW

Understanding Your Credit Report

An understanding of what is included in your credit report is essential for navigating complicated financial decisions.

Explore the specifics of a credit report to better understand how it affects your opportunity for homeownership.

What is a Credit Report?

A credit agency creates detailed credit reports of people’s credit history. Creditors, landlords, and certain employers use this financial statement to assess creditworthiness. Understanding your credit reports is the first step to financial management. Credit history includes late payments, defaults, and bankruptcies.

How is a Credit Report Used?

A credit report helps creditors determine your borrower risk and set loan terms, including interest rates. Real estate companies examine buyers’ and tenants’ credit to ensure trust and financial stability. Better loan conditions, lower interest rates, and faster housing approval might make buying your dream home easier and more attainable after credit repair.

However, bad credit can lead to higher interest rates or loan denials, limiting purchasing power and real estate market options. Knowing how your credit report affects you and taking steps to improve it can improve your financial future.

What Information Appears on Your Credit Report?

A detailed account of your financial stability and reliability can be found in your credit report information. What’s usually included is as follows:

Personal Information

Name, address, date of birth, Social Insurance number, and job details. This data provides a solid basis for your financial records by confirming the authenticity of all credit information about you and assisting with your identification.

Credit Accounts

This section lists your mortgages, school debts, auto loans, and credit cards. It includes account type, opening date, credit limit or loan amount, balance, and payment history, giving a thorough overview of your credit commitments, both past and present, and your credit management skills.

Credit Inquiries

Each credit card or loan application requires a credit report. Lenders may view a high volume of inquiries as a sign of increased risk.

Public Records and Collections

This includes lawsuits, wage attachments, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, and foreclosures. Your credit score may suffer significantly due to these entries, demonstrating the seriousness of financial hardship or unfulfilled obligations.

Empower Yourself with Credit Knowledge

Understanding your credit report is vital for making informed financial decisions. Reviewing your report helps identify errors, understand your credit history, and see how your actions affect your score. Remember, your credit report is key in shaping your financial future as a foundational element in your homeownership and financial stability journey.

Ready to take control of your financial journey? APPLY NOW

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Rent-to-Own Housing

Rent-to-own homes, also known as lease-option or lease-to-own homes, are an appealing housing option for Canadians looking to buy a home. These types of homes allow renters to live in a property while they work on improving their credit or saving for a down payment, with the option to purchase the home at the end of the lease period. However, many people have questions about this type of housing option and its specifics. Here, we will list and answer the 10 most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the rent-to-own housing industry in Canada.

1. What is rent-to-own housing?

Rent-to-own housing is a type of agreement where a renter can live in a property while they work on improving their credit or saving for a down payment. At the end of the lease period, typically three years, the renter has the option to purchase the home at a pre-agreed price. This type of housing option is beneficial for renters who may not currently qualify for a traditional mortgage, but wish to become homeowners in the future.

2. How does rent-to-own work?

In a rent-to-own agreement, the renter pays a predetermined monthly rent, which will include a portion of the rent being applied towards the down payment credit. The renter will then have the option to purchase the home at the end of the lease period, typically three years, at a pre-agreed price. This allows the renter to save for the down payment and work on improving their credit score during the lease period, making them more likely to qualify for a traditional mortgage by the end of the lease period.

3. Who is eligible for rent-to-own housing?

Rent-to-own homes are often a good option for renters who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage. Renters can use the time during the lease period to improve their credit score, save for a down payment, or address any other issues that may be preventing them from obtaining a traditional mortgage. However, it’s important to note that rent-to-own may not be available in all areas, so it is important for buyers to research their options in their desired location.

4. What are the benefits of rent-to-own housing?

Rent-to-own homes offer more stability and flexibility than traditional renting. Those who choose to enter a rent-to-own agreement are able to establish roots in a community and may even be able to make improvements to the property, such as painting or landscaping, that can increase its value. Additionally, rent-to-own homes can provide an opportunity for renters to become homeowners who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage.

5. Are there any downsides to rent-to-own housing?

Rent-to-own agreements may not be available in all areas, so it is important for buyers to research their options in their desired location. Additionally, rent-to-own homes may require a higher down payment or higher monthly rent payments than traditional rental properties. It is also important to note that rent-to-own agreements are typically more complex than traditional rental agreements and it is important for both the renter and the homeowner to fully understand the terms of the agreement before signing on.

6. How much of the monthly rent goes towards the down payment?

The amount of the monthly rent that goes towards the down payment is typically predetermined between the renter and JAAG Properties. JAAG Properties will determine the amount needed to save enough credit to build the renter’s down payment. It’s important to agree on this amount before signing the rent-to-own agreement, to ensure that you are comfortable with the amount being set aside each month towards the down payment.

7. What happens if the renter decides not to purchase the home at the end of the lease period?

If the renter decides not to purchase the home at the end of the lease period, the agreement can stipulate that the renter must vacate the property or extension terms. Any option fee or portion of the rent that was applied towards the down payment could be forfeited or a portion returned minus costs associated with selling the home. It is important for both the renter and the homeowner to fully understand the terms of the agreement before signing on, so that both parties are aware of the potential consequences if the renter decides not to purchase the property.

8. Can rent-to-own agreements be broken?

Rent-to-own agreements can be broken, but there may be penalties for doing so. It is important for both the renter and the homeowner to fully understand the terms of the agreement before signing on. This will ensure that both parties are aware of the potential consequences if the agreement is broken. It is also important to consult with legal or financial professionals to help understand the terms of the agreement and potential consequences of breaking it.

9. How can I find rent-to-own homes in Canada?

There are a few ways to find rent-to-own homes in Canada:

  1. Online real estate listing websites: Websites such as Realtor.ca and Zillow allow you to search for rent-to-own homes in your desired location.
  2. Rent-to-own companies: There are companies that specialize in renting homes with an option to purchase. These companies may have listings of properties that are available for rent-to-own. With JAAG Properties, the client picks the home based on approval amount. 
  3. Private landlords: Some private landlords may offer a rent-to-own option on a property they own. This can be found through online classifieds or local newspapers.
  4. Real estate agents: Real estate agents can help you find rent-to-own homes in your desired location. They may have access to listings that aren’t publicly available and can help you navigate the process.

It’s important to research your options in your desired location and consider factors such as price, location, and condition of the property, as well as the terms of the rent-to-own agreement. It’s also advisable to consider consulting with a financial professional to make sure the Rent-to-Own agreement align with your goals and financial situation.

10. What are the differences between renting from a rent-to-own company and a private landlord?

There are a few key differences between renting from a rent-to-own company and a private landlord:

  1. Structure: Rent-to-own companies typically offer homes that are specifically designated as rent-to-own properties and have a set process in place for the rental period, option fee, and purchase price. However, with JAAG Properties, you can choose any home within the agreed purchase price. Private landlords may offer a rent-to-own option on a home they own, but the terms may vary and may not be as structured as with a rent-to-own company.
  2. Resources: Rent-to-own companies may have more resources and experience in handling the unique aspects of a rent-to-own agreement compared to a private landlord.
  3. Flexibility: Private landlords may have a set of terms and conditions that need to be followed, whereas with a Rent to Own company, the terms may be more flexible and open to negotiation.
  4. Support: Rent-to-own companies may have a dedicated team to support you throughout the process, whereas a private landlord may not have the same level of support.

11. How much of a down payment do I need when renting to own?

We require that you have at least a 3% down payment, as well as an annual household income of at least $100,000. 

12. Can I choose my home?

Absolutely! Once your application is approved, you’ll receive a purchase price for your new home. You’re welcome to choose any home within the agreed range. We’re also happy to recommend properties within your price range that will meet your needs.

13. Who owns the property in a rent-to-own agreement?

JAAG Properties becomes the property owner. We purchase the property and you can then rent it from us. You make payments to us each month, which include rent, property taxes, insurance, and savings for your future down payment.

14. Who pays for property maintenance in a rent-to-own agreement?

You are responsible for maintaining your new home. Prior to move-in, we’ll ensure that your new home is inspected by a Certified Home Inspector so that you are aware of any essential repairs and the essential repairs can be completed before you move in.

15. Can I make improvements to my home?

Of course! Unlike in a traditional rental agreement, you are free to renovate, decorate, and make your home your own.

16. Can I qualify if I have bad credit or no credit?

Yes! Our Rent to Home Solution is intended to help you raise your credit score, pay down debt, and generate savings so that you can later qualify for a mortgage. Our team is eager to help you build a more positive financial future!

17. How long is the Rent-to-own term?

Typically, our Rent-to-own terms last 3 years. However, we may offer longer or shorter terms depending on your unique circumstances.

18. What if I don’t qualify for a mortgage at the end of the rent-to-own term?

If you can’t qualify for a mortgage at the end of your term, there are options to extend your Rent-to-own agreement until you can qualify. We designed the program to help you become a homeowner, and we’re dedicated to working with you towards that goal.

JAAG Properties: Supporting You Throughout The Rent-to-own Process

It’s important to thoroughly research and understand the terms and conditions of any rent-to-own agreement, whether it’s with a company or private landlord. It’s also advisable to seek legal or financial advice to make sure that the terms of the agreement align with your goals and financial situation.

Unintended Credit Problems: They’re More Common Than You Think

If you’ve ever had problems with your credit score, you know all too well how frustrating it can be. Whether you’ve been denied for a line of credit or you’ve had difficulty getting approved for a mortgage, life can get complicated as a result of credit issues.


There are a variety of reason why someone might run into credit problems. Most are unexpected! Unforeseen circumstances, such as job loss, divorce, or property damage, can quickly strain finances, leading to missed payments and increased debt amounts.

Credit problems can happen to anyone, and they’re more common than most people want to let on. In some cases, inexperience and a lack of credit education can contribute to credit issues early in life. In other instances, credit issues can arise well into adulthood, stemming from a variety of unpredictable circumstances.

It’s important to know that credit issues are solvable. With education, budgeting, and time, it is possible to rebuild your credit, get your finances in order, and even get approved for loans and mortgages.

JAAG’s Rent to Home Solution includes a Credit Education Service that helps you build financial stability through consistent and flexible monthly payments. And we offer a Credit and Education Service tailored to your specific situation.

What is Rent-to-Own Housing?

In real estate, the term rent-to-own (RTO) typically refers to an innovative homeownership solution, wherein a potential homebuyer enters into a lease-purchase agreement.  The process usually consists of four main parts:

  1. Finding and moving into a home today.
  2. Renting for a predetermined period of time (typically 36 to 48 months).
  3. Strengthening credit and finances to qualify for a mortgage.
  4. Purchasing the home at the end of the contract for a predetermined amount.

Rent-to-own agreements are designed to help get people get into homeownership sooner by offering an alternative financing solution. Someone who is struggling to qualify for a mortgage can enter into a lease-purchase contract with a trusted rent-to-own company, like JAAG Properties, enabling them to move into their future home today. [*]

Potential homeowners have the option to enter into a rent-to-own lease agreement for a set period of time (typically 36 to 48 months), with the option to purchase the home at the end for a predetermined price — (The final purchase price is agreed upon at the beginning of the contract. And the house will be sold at the agreed upon price, regardless of fluctuations in the market by the end of the deal). [*]

During the lease period of the rent-to-own contract, the “tenant” is required to make monthly payments. A portion of the monthly payment is credited towards the future down payment on the home, while the remainder is collected as monthly rental fees. [*]

Potential homeowners are expected to use the lease period of the rent-to-own contract to improve their chances to qualify for a mortgage at the end of the agreement. This could mean working with credit teams to improve finances and address credit issues. [*]

A successful rent-to-own contract results in the tenant having enough funds for the down payment, getting approved for a mortgage, and purchasing the home at the end of the predetermined time period. [*]


Learn more about JAAG’s Rent to Home Solution at JAAGPROPERTIES.COM.

To get started, call us at 1-866-JAAG-NOW (that’s 1-866-522-4669).

Have a question? Email us at INFO@JAAGPROPERTIES.COM.