The most common ratings, called North American Standard Account Ratings, being with “R,” which indicates “revolving” credit, such as credit cards or lines of credit. They’re coded from 0 to 9, with zero being the most desirable, best score and 9 being the least desirable, worst score. Here’s what Equifax, one of Canada’s two major credit bureaus, says:

  • R0 Too new to rate; approved but not used
  • R1 Pays (or paid) within 30 days of payment due date or not over one payment past due
  • R2 Pays (or paid) in more than 30 days from payment due date, but not more than 60 days, or not more than two payments past due
  • R3 Pays (or paid) in more than 60 days from payment due date, but not more than 90 days, or not more than three payments past due
  • R4 Pays (or paid) in more than 90 days from payment due date, but not more than 120 days, or four payments past due
  • R5 Account is at least 120 days overdue, but is not yet rated “9”
  • R7 Making regular payments through a special arrangement to settle your debts
  • R8 Repossession (voluntary or involuntary return of merchandise)
  • R9 Bad debt; placed for collection; moved without giving a new address


TransUnion, our other big credit bureau, uses a number system that encompasses payment history, outstanding debt compared to credit available (balances above 50% of your limit harm your credit score), credit account history, recent inquiries, and the types of credit you use (a healthy profile uses a mix of credit accounts and loans). A score of more than 650 means you will likely qualify for a standard loan; under 650 means you may have trouble getting credit.