Borrowell Review: Credit Monitoring, Personal Loans, and More
Building and maintaining good credit is one of the best things you can do for your financial health throughout your lifetime. Having good credit ensures access to the lowest possible interest rates when you borrow and can improve your standard of living by making it easier to get a mortgage, car loan, or rent an apartment.
One way to ensure that your credit stays in good shape is by regularly keeping track of your credit score and credit report. Of course, you could order credit reports on your own through Equifax or TransUnion, but regular reporting can be costly over time.
Thankfully, companies like Borrowell exist that make the process both easy and free. In this Borrowell Canada review, I’ll cover all of the services they offer and let you know how they can help you maintain strong credit. I’ll also give you some things to watch out for.
What is Borrowell?
According to their website, Borrowell exists with a “single goal in mind: to help people make great decisions about credit.” To help achieve this goal, they offer customers a free monthly credit score and report via Equifax to help Canadians stay on top of their credit. They also act as a lending platform by connecting borrowers to credit products, making it easy to apply for credit cards and personal loans.
Summary of Borrowell Features
- Free weekly credit score and monitoring
- Personalized product recommendations from over 50+ partners
- Credit Education via AI-powered Credit Coach
- Tips to help you improve your credit
- 256-bit, bank-level encryption keeps your information safe
Getting Started with Borrowell
Borrowell is 100% free, and signing up only takes a few minutes. To get started, you’ll need to provide your email and create a password. From there, Borrowell will gather some personal information to help them verify your identity.
You will not be required to provide your SIN number, but they will ask questions that will help them connect you to the right Equifax credit report. As soon as the signup process is complete, you’ll receive your first free credit score and report.
Get Your Free Credit Score and Report with Borrowell
Borrowell will send you a free credit score and credit report every week, and in my opinion, it’s the most valuable service they offer. The best part is that they email it to you, saving you from having to remember to log in and check it on your own.
Will Borrowell’s Credit Inquiries Lower My Credit Score?
There are two different types of credit inquiries that happen on your credit bureau: hard credit inquiries and soft credit inquiries. Hard inquiries are used by lenders when you apply for credit. Every time a hard inquiry is made, it lowers your score slightly and is recorded on your credit report where lenders can see it.
Borrowell uses soft credit inquiries to check your credit score. Soft inquiries are not shared on your credit report, and they don’t lower your score. As such, you don’t need to worry about your credit score being impacted by a Borrowell inquiry.
Borrowell Bill Tracking
Bill-tracking is another free service offered by Borrowell. Connect your bank account to Borrowell, and they will let you know about upcoming bill payment due dates. With so many other things on your mind, a reminder is always nice.
Borrowell Product Recommendations
The other major service offered by Borrowell is personalized credit card and loan recommendations. They deal with over 50 lenders to bring you offers based on your credit score. Generally speaking, the better your score, the more attractive the interest rates you’ll be offered.
You may be wondering why a company trying to help you improve your credit would constantly offer you new credit? Well, the answer is simple. It’s how Borrowell makes money and can offer you a free credit score. When customers sign up for credit cards and loans through Borrowell, they earn a small affiliate commission.
The good news is that you do not have to accept any of these offers. You can ignore them and continue to get your credit report every week. Of course, there may be a time when one of their recommended products makes sense, and if that’s the case, they make it incredibly easy to apply and receive approval.
Borrowell Personal Loans
When you apply for a personal loan, Borrowell is not the one lending you the money. Instead, they are acting as an affiliate partner for the lender. This means that they get a small kickback for customers who signup through their website. While loan details vary depending on several factors, here is some of what you can expect:
Personal Loan Features:
- Must be a Canadian citizen or resident to apply
- The credit score should be over 660
- Most common loan type: debt consolidation
- Other loan purposes: business loan, car loan, home improvement
- Loan interest rates range between 6% and 30%
- Loan amortization periods: 3-5 years
- Loans funded in as little as 2 days
A Caution About Credit Card Debt Consolidation
Using a consolidation loan as part of your plan to get out of debt can be a good move, but you need to be careful. This strategy only works if you can break the cycle of debt accumulation, which is often due to overspending.
Before you consolidate your credit card debt, make sure you have changed your financial habits so that you live within your means. You don’t want to consolidate your credit card debt and rack up new debt using the cards. That puts you in an even worse position.
Also, be wary of closing credit cards after paying them off using a Borrowell loan. Closing your credit cards can impact your credit score and make it harder to get the credit you need for a car or home loan down the road.
However, if you don’t think you have the self-discipline to keep using credit cards, it’s probably better to close them. The idea is to improve your situation and be out of debt in three to five years, not make the situation worse.
Borrowell vs. Credit Karma
Another company in Canada offers a similar service to Borrowell. Credit Karma Canada works much the same way by offering customers a free credit score and credit report. The main difference between the two is that Credit Karma sends you your TransUnion report, while Borrowell deals with Equifax. Both services are valuable, and if you don’t mind the extra emails, it might make sense to receive both credit reports.
Is the Borrowell Credit Score Accurate?
The credit score provided by Borrowell is the Equifax credit score, which is the primary credit bureau score used in Canada. So, it is a perfectly accurate score. However, keep in mind that your credit score with Equifax may be different from what’s reported by Canada’s other credit reporting agency, TransUnion.
There are three reasons for this. For starters, Equifax and TransUnion use slightly different methodologies to calculate your score. Second, they may be using different information. Not all credit issuers report to both Equifax and TransUnion; some opt for one or the other. The credit bureau is calculating your score based upon the information that’s been provided to them.
Last but not least, the reporting dates might be different. Because your credit data is constantly changing, so is your score. There is no need to worry about minor fluctuations in your score or that the two credit bureau scores are different. The important thing is that you manage your credit responsibly by avoiding high credit utilization and making your payments on time, among other things.
Is Borrowell Safe?
Anytime you’re sharing your personal information online, you have a right to ask whether the company you’re dealing with is going to be able to maintain your privacy by keeping your information secure. According to Borrowell, they operate with the same or higher levels of encryption as is used by Canada’s big banks, which are all highly secure. In other words, Borrowell is safe, and you should not need to worry.
Is Borrowell Right For Me?
I’m a firm believer that every Canadian adult should be proactive in how they manage their credit. And the cheapest and easiest way to do that is by signing up for programs like Borrowell and Credit Karma. In fact, it’s probably not a bad idea to sign up for both, as long as you don’t mind the extra emails in your inbox.
Just be careful when it comes to credit card and personal loan offers. If you need a credit card, and Borrowell has an offer that makes sense, then you may find one to your liking. Or, if you are already paying high-interest credit card debt, a debt consolidation loan through Borrowell consolidation loan might be ideal for lowering your interest and getting your debt paid down in a manageable fashion.
Otherwise, I would steer clear of obtaining new credit. Remember, this is how Borrowell makes money and can offer its free credit monitoring service. But if it’s not right for you, stick with their credit score monitoring service.