Is There a Minimum Credit Score for Renting an Apartment in Canada in 2022?

Most landlords and rental companies check the credit scores of potential tenants as part of their application process. But is there a minimum credit score requirement for renting an apartment in Canada? Here’s what you need to know about credit scores and renting in 2022.

Credit scores in Canada

As a number between 300 and 900, your credit score shows lenders and rental providers how well you manage credit and debt.

In Canada, a credit score of:

  • 660 to 724 is considered good
  • 725 to 759 is considered very good
  • 760+ is considered excellent

Having a good or above-average credit score generally means landlords will see you as less of a risk when it comes to making your monthly rent payments.

Credit scores and renting

When you complete an apartment rental application, the landlord or property management company will typically check your credit score—along with your income and credit report—to satisfy themselves you can pay your rent consistently and on time.

Since your credit score is just one indicator of your creditworthiness, there’s no specific score requirement for renting an apartment in Canada. That said, landlords typically prefer tenants with good or better-than-good credit scores to minimize financial risk.

What credit score do you need to rent an apartment in Canada?

Most property rental companies agree that—all else being equal—these are the credit scores you’ll need to rent an apartment in 2022:

  • 600 or above – You likely won’t have a problem renting an apartment in Canada (unless you’re carrying enough debt to make a landlord worry you won’t be able to afford your rent payments)
  • At least 660 – You should have a good chance of securing a rental
  • Above 670 – You’ll likely find it relatively easy to get your rental application approved

What sometimes makes things less-than-equal however, is that the minimum credit score needed to rent an apartment can very much depend on the state of the rental market in your area. 

In competitive markets like Toronto or Vancouver, for example, you might need a higher credit score than you would in a region with more apartments to rent. 

In other words, with rental requirements frequently based on market conditions, you’ll likely need a different credit score to rent an apartment depending on where you want to live.

Credit score breakdown by province

Because landlords and rental agents take multiple screening factors into account, there’s no true way to define a minimum rental credit score. What we do know, however, are the average credit scores across Canada’s major cities in 2022.

Based on that breakdown, here’s what the minimum credit score requirement is apt to look like when you go to rent an apartment in a particular province.

Alberta: 625-650
British Columbia: 679-687
Manitoba: 638
New Brunswick: 628
Newfoundland and Labrador: 664
Northwest Territories: 637
Nova Scotia: 638
Nunavut: 644
Ontario: 629-679
Prince Edward Island: 636
Quebec: 663-676
Saskatchewan: 642
Yukon: 619

Can you still rent an apartment with a low credit score?

There’s no question that the higher your credit score, the more reliable you’ll appear to prospective landlords and rental companies.

If your credit score is considered low or below average for the area you want to rent in, you might still get approved as a tenant if you can demonstrate your reliability in other ways.

Here are six additional items you should consider making available when you complete your apartment rental application:

  1. A letter of reference from your last landlord (or their contact information if they’ve agreed to provide a verbal reference)
  2. Receipts or other evidence of payment for previous spaces you’ve rented
  3. Proof that you’re gainfully employed (the longer you’ve been at your current job, the better)
  4. A bank statement showing sufficient money in your savings account to cover your rent and other livings expenses for a period of time
  5. An indication that you’re willing (and able) to pay several months’ worth of rent upfront if need be
  6. The name, contact information, and credit score of a friend or family member who’s willing to act as guarantor and co-sign your rental agreement (a word of caution: this individual will be responsible for paying your rent if you miss any payments)

Remember—while improving your credit score can give you an edge, the bigger priority for many landlords is finding a trustworthy tenant they can count on to pay their rent and take care of their property.

Bottom line

Your credit score plays an important role any time you’re looking to rent a new home. While a low score will make it harder to get your rental application approved, the good news is that there’s no hard-and-fast minimum credit score requirement for renting an apartment in Canada. The more you can do to show a prospective landlord you’re reliable, the more success you’re likely to have apartment hunting in 2022.

Frequently asked questions about credit scores and renting in Canada

How important is my credit score for renting an apartment in Canada?

Your credit score is important, but most landlords recognize it only tells part of the story. Since they’ll also consider your credit report, employment, references, and personal situation, a low credit score doesn’t always mean you won’t be able to rent an apartment in Canada.

What else, besides a low credit score, could prevent my rental application from being accepted?

Common deal-breakers for landlords and rental agencies include a debt-to-income ratio that’s too high, a history of late payments or collection issues, and any recent bankruptcies or past evictions.

Is there any way to give my credit score a quick boost before I try to rent an apartment?

Measures that can positively impact your credit score in the short term include paying down existing debt—but keeping older loans or lines of credit open—and avoiding any new credit applications.

Do I have to pay a fee to share my credit score or credit report with prospective landlords?

While you can get a free copy of your credit report from Equifax or TransUnion, it won’t typically contain your credit score. You can either pay to get your score from one of the credit bureaus, ask your bank about free credit scores for customers, or look for free credit score offers online.

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Leanne Armstrong

Leanne Armstrong is a HubSpot-certified freelance content writer specializing in business, technology and finance. As a former entrepreneur with a background in accounting and social psychology, she writes for a wide range of globally recognized organizations. Her work has appeared in publications like Forbes, Huffington Post and CanadianSME Magazine.