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Finding the right, car, at the right price can be a stressful proposition and often shoppers come out of the experience feeling like they have been taken for a ride. Knowing what common car buying mistakes Nanaimo, Duncan, and Victoria make when financing a new or used car can help you avoid them and get a better deal when you're ready to make your investment. Read all about it here, then come visit us at Harris Mazda and get started on your journey to car ownership today.


At Harris Mazda, we help auto buyers with low credit scores all over the Nanaimo, Duncan, and Victoria area. The first step to helping rescue your credit score is to understand your credit score and how you can change it. Get the info with this handy guide from Harris Mazda.


A credit score is a numerical representation of your credit health. It measures your credit history and how likely you are to pay back your debts in full and on time, based on what you've already done. When you apply for a line of credit with a merchant or credit card agency, a loan such as a car or house loan, a bank account, or even for some jobs that require you to handle money, the person who's approving you will want to know how responsible you are with money and how likely you are to settle a debt correctly or to default. It's a way to measure a risk that an employer or lender will be taking by providing you with a job or a loan.


A credit score can mean the difference between getting what you want and not getting it. When you apply for a loan on a car, a house, or even a small business, your lender will check your credit score and see how likely you are to pay back the loan. When you buy insurance for your car or other properties, your credit score can affect the rates at which you'll buy your insurance.

A credit score or credit report can also help you understand your own finances. When you get a credit report from one of the three credit agencies, which are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, you'll get a report of all the credit actions and statuses that are current in your history. You'll be able to check to see if you have outstanding loans that you owe or may have defaulted on, as well as if there are any lines of credit in your name that you do not know about. Getting a regular credit report every year can help you catch identity theft.


There are five general categories of credit scores. A bad credit score usually falls below 600, and frequently indicates a financial catastrophe in your past. A poor credit score is usually between 600 and 649. A fair credit score is usually between 650 and 699. A good credit score is more likely to secure you a job or a loan, and usually runs from 700 to 759. A credit score of 750 or above is excellent.


Exactly how your credit score is calculated is proprietary information held by the three credit bureaus. However, there are some factors that definitely go into credit scores, such as:

  • Credit transactions such as credit cards and lines of credit with companies.
  • Secured loans, which are loans backed by an asset like a car lease or a mortgage.
  • Banking history, such as bad checks that may have been passed or checking and savings accounts that have been closed "for cause" (i.e. because of fraud or the owing of money)
  • Collections of debts that have been sent to collection agencies, whether those debts have been paid off in full or not.
  • "Hard" credit inquiries, which are recorded when lenders, employers, and other parties access your credit report in order to ascertain whether you're a bad credit risk.
  • Legal judgments against you in public records.
  • Items that are publicly registered, like a lien against you or your property.
  • Bankruptcy, which is a legal proceeding that's used to settle your financial history if you're unable to repay all of your debts.
  • Debt management programs set up by a credit counseling agency in order to help you create a plan to play your debts.
  • Other variables, such as consumer statements, fraud alerts, or identity verification alerts.


Harris Mazda wants to make sure that you get the car you need, whether your credit score is good or bad. When you get a car loan and pay it off on time and in full, your credit score will increase. Check out our inventory of used cars to find one that's in your price range, and then contact our finance department to help get you the loan you need.


For more information on Island Car Credit's payment plans or inventory, contact us today! You can call us at 1-844-977-3419, or visit our offices at 2525 Bowen Road Nanaimo, BC V9T 3L2 to learn more.

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