Borrowell Review 2021

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If you’re unsure where your credit score stands, this Borrowell review might be helpful.

One of the most vital figures to keep track of is your credit score. It will come into play and affect your chances of acceptance when applying for a mortgage or a personal loan. Additionally, certain employers may consider your score when deciding whether to hire you.

Although you can get your credit score from one of the credit bureaus, the service is not free. The good news is some alternatives won’t cost you anything. Borrowell is a Canadian financial technology company that provides free Equifax credit scores, reports, and monitoring. They also offer brokerage services for mortgages, insurance, and personal loans.

It wasn’t until I considered buying a car that I learned how important my credit score is. Most lenders will look at that number to establish your risk level. And if your credit score is low, you’re not likely to get approved for a loan.

When I discovered I could get my credit score for free via Borrowell, I figured it was worth the try.

In this Borrowell review, I’ll go over all their products and services. I’ll also discuss the benefits, drawbacks, and costs of using Borrowell.

Let’s get started with the Borrowell review.

The Reputation of Borrowell

To begin my Borrowell review, I’ll give a brief summary of what sets them apart from the competition. And I’ll discuss the company’s overall public perception.

Borrowell is a pioneer in Canada’s financial technology industry.

They were the first company to offer free credit scores in Canada by collaborating with Equifax. In addition, they developed the first AI-powered Credit Coach called Molly.

Since their inception, they’ve helped millions of Canadians make better credit decisions.

When writing this Borrowell review, they have gained an average rating of four out of five stars on Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company’s app has also maintained a high rating on both the Google Play and Apple stores.

Several Canadians who have relied on Borrowell have found their free credit monitoring service superior to that offered by their closest competitors.

They provide a wealth of educational material, written in simple terms, that has assisted many in improving their credit scores.

Borrowell has also received numerous accolades in recognition of its philosophy and mission. Recently, they were named one of Canada’s top growing companies of 2021 by The Globe and Mail.

The next section of this review of Borrowell will explore the benefits and drawbacks of the company.

The Pros and Cons of Borrowell

Here’s what customers really liked about Borrowell.

The Pros of Borrowell

Now that you’re aware of their reputation, you might wonder what benefits they provide. I’ll detail the advantages of using their services in this portion of my Borrowell Review.

Free Services and Resources

Borrowell’s main appeal is that they provide all their services for free.

Unlike the two major credit bureaus, they don’t charge you to access your credit score. What’s more, you can get your credit report and monitor your credit activity without paying a dollar.

You can also brush up on your money knowledge by using the financial education resources on their blog. These materials are accessible regardless of whether you’re a customer or not.

Their AI-powered Credit Coach, Molly, offers real-time tips and advice at no cost to help you improve your credit score.

Another AI-powered feature is Alex, which Borrowell provides access to for free for all of their customers. Alex is a mortgage expert that can find you a home loan that best suits your needs and situation.

Consumer-focused Product Line

Borrowell acts as an intermediary between consumers and lenders, helping them find personal loans, credit cards, and mortgages.

They can help you find a new bank, insurance provider, and feasible investment opportunities as well.

And you won’t have to pay to use any of the services mentioned above.

Extensive Network of Financial Product Partners

Compared to other companies in its industry, Borrowell has several partners in multiple industries.

They work with over 50 financial institutions, credit card companies, credit bureaus, and insurance providers.

Their partners include Scotiabank, Capital One, Equifax, and American Express.

Credit-building Available

Borrowell emphasizes the importance of your credit score with every product and service they provide.

Therefore, they offer advice and tips on how to improve your credit score and suggest products to help you build your credit score.

Device Accessibility

They have an online platform you can use on any device, including your computer, mobile phone, or tablet.

Their mobile application is accessible to both Android and IOS users, allowing you to monitor your credit on the go.

Obligation-free Recommendations

You will receive suggestions that you aren’t obligated to accept when you utilize their service. These recommendations relate to which credit cards, personal loans, or mortgages you qualify for. And this allows you to shop around without having to commit to a specific product.

High-quality Safety Standards

All personal data entered on their website is protected by bank-level security. They also use 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

User-Friendly Dashboard and Mobile App

They offer a mobile app and an online platform that is easy to use. Which provides a convenient way to keep track of your credit score.

Regular Credit Report Updates

They update your credit report every 1 or 2 weeks.

This is advantageous, especially since online fraud is becoming more sophisticated.

You can assess indicators of fraudulent activity on your credit report. Also, you can determine if there are any errors.

The Cons of Borrowell

Although there are plenty of upsides to Borrowell, there are some drawbacks worth considering. In this section of my Borrowell review, I’ll walk you through them.

Bill Tracking Device Limitation

Despite their convenient way of helping to manage your bills, this feature is not available on your PC. You’ll need an Android or iOS smartphone to use it.

Limited Customer Service

They don’t have any contact information on their website, so you’re out of luck if you want to chat with someone over the phone. Their help center and blog may be adequate, but this provides less of a personal experience.

No Guaranteed Approvals

While they provide you with plenty of tailored product recommendations, approval is not guaranteed.

Your credit score plays a huge role in how they match you with products. Lenders, on the other hand, don’t just look at that number. They will also consider your salary and any existing debt, among other things.

Possible Credit Score Discrepancies

When a lender runs their own credit check, your credit score may be slightly higher or lower. The same applies if you get your credit score from TransUnion.

TransUnion and Equifax use distinctly different scoring models and criteria, which explain the disparities in credit ratings.

However, since most institutions like Scotiabank, BMO, and Capital One use TransUnion’s credit score, a 40-point discrepancy can be problematic. An excellent Borrowell credit score might only be a good rating in another party’s eyes.

Excessive Third-party Product Suggestions

Although they are dedicated to finding you the best products for your credit profile, the recommendations on their mobile app can be a little overwhelming.

Borrowell Service & Product Quality

A Borrowell review wouldn’t be complete without assessing the quality of their offerings. I took to the internet to find out how others perceived their products and services.

Numerous reviews on several online platforms and app stores indicate that Borrowell’s service is among the best in the industry.

Their high customer satisfaction scores are partly due to users’ positive experiences with their mobile app.

Over 15,000 Borrowell reviews on the App store have contributed to a rating of 4.8 out of 5. They have a rating of 4.7 out of 5 from more than 8,000 users on the Google Play store

Reviewers on the Google Play and Apple stores provide mixed insights about Borrowell.

On the one hand, consumers commend them on how simple the mobile app is to use and set up. It also provided an incentive for numerous individuals to pay their debts. And it has assisted others in getting back on their feet financially.

Some users found it convenient to check their credit scores at any time and from any location. Many others praised their weekly email updates, which they claimed helped them stay on track with their financial goals.

Several reviewers praised the app’s educational features for assisting them in improving their financial literacy. The advice on how to increase their credit score was also quite helpful.

On the downside, several customers’ expectations were not met. And some reviewers underlined the need for a dark mode setting in the app.

Reviewers had similar things to say as on the Google Play and Apple stores.

However, several clients spoke about their brokerage service. They claimed it was much more efficient than searching for a home loan themselves.

Their current customer satisfaction rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB) is 4.26 out of 5 from 125 reviews. They also have an A+ rating.

On Google My Business, Borrowell currently has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 from 388 reviews.

Borrowell maintains a high standard of quality based on thousands of consumers’ experiences. This coincides with their mission of assisting Canadians in making better financial decisions.

Range of Products and Services

In this part of my Borrowell review, I’ll go over all they have to offer in-depth.

Borrowell caters to a diverse clientele. They also broker various products, including mortgages, insurance, credit cards, and investments.

While they aren’t direct providers of these products, they work with top names in multiple industries. These include Equifax, Sonnet, BMO, Scotiabank, and Meridian.

They operate in a similar way to comparison websites, except they have a more personalized approach.

You’ll complete an application, then you can receive tailored product recommendations. These suggestions are highly reliant on your credit profile. As a result, they’ll match you with financial products that you’re more likely to be approved for.

They offer ways to improve your credit score to unlock better rates with most products. Their credit improvement guidance includes personalized recommendations, tips, and education.

Below are my reviews of Borrowell’s individual products and services.

Credit Score

Knowing your credit score is crucial. It will be the deciding factor in whether you can obtain any credit product.

A car dealership or a potential employer may check your credit report to see if you pay your bills on time. Also, they could use it to determine the extent of risk you pose.

Without good credit, you will struggle to get a car loan or a personal loan from some lenders.

You can also try to borrow from alternative lenders with a low credit score. But it’s still a good idea to know where your credit stands.

Borrowell allows you to check your credit score for free. And they are partnered with one of Canada’s credit bureaus, Equifax.

Your credit score won’t be affected through this process. Also, you don’t have to make any financial commitments to Borrowell.

They retrieve your credit report from Equifax every week to keep it consistently updated. Therefore, you can track your progress as you work to improve your credit score. And you can monitor any fraudulent activity and flag errors on your credit report.

They have integrated an AI-powered Credit Coach called Molly into their service. Molly offers guidance, such as:

  • Tips to enhance your credit score.
  • Product recommendations that can help you improve your credit score, like credit cards and personal loans.
  • Credit score comparisons with other Canadians so you can evaluate how you’re doing.
  • Encouraging messages that let you know you’re on the right track with your financial decisions.
  • Credit information, such as enquiries and late payments.

How it Works

It’s easy to get your credit score and report with Borrowell.

They use the Equifax Risk Score (ERS) 2.0. This gives you a credit score ranging between 300 (very poor) and 900 (excellent).

All you’ll have to do is sign up on their website by filling in your personal information. Then you’ll have to answer some identity verification questions.

Afterwards, you’ll be able to download your Equifax report and assess your credit score.

Bill Tracking (Borrowell Boost)

With several financial obligations, it can be challenging to keep a handle on all of them. You might pay one bill on time and end up late on another.

Having an efficient way to track all your bills can be beneficial. Especially since your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score

Borrowell’s mobile app makes it simple to keep track of your spending. But Borrowell Boost is more than a bill tracker.

You’ll have access to forecasts for your upcoming bills. These are created using your historical bank account transactions. These predictions work best for payments that aren’t of a fixed amount.

The app’s algorithm also estimates your bank balance after making a payment. This can be a great way to determine your cash flow as bills become due.

You’ll receive payment reminders and alerts when your bank balance is predicted to run low.

If you can’t pay an upcoming bill, you can apply for an interest-free cash advance of $75 via Borrowell Boost. This can keep you afloat and help you avoid an overdraft.

Staying on top of your payments can help improve your credit score.

Every payment you make on a credit product reflects on your credit report. Therefore, paying your bills on time consistently can transition your credit score into a higher bracket.

This feature is available in all Canadian provinces, excluding Saskatchewan and Quebec.

Credit Cards

It can be challenging to choose a credit card provider in Canada because there are several.

Borrowell can help you find the right credit card for your needs and situation, including:

  • Credit builder cards
  • Cashback cards
  • Low-interest cards
  • Rewards cards
  • Travel cards

You’ll receive personalized credit card recommendations from over 60 providers based on your credit profile and goals.

Their network of credit card providers includes American Express and the Bank of Montreal (BMO).

Comparisons of credit card features, annual fees, and interest rates are readily available when you sign up for this service.

You’ll also be able to fill in and submit an application for a credit card through your Borrowell account.

Personal Loans

Finding the right lender for your needs and personal situation requires shopping around for days, if not weeks.

It can be a time-consuming process. And you could harm your credit score with several lenders when pulling your credit report.

A more efficient way to find a personal loan might be through Borrowell’s matchmaking service. They work with over 50 financial institutions to help consumers find the financing they need.

You’ll receive recommendations for personal loans based on your credit profile. Also, you can view your chances of getting approved for a specific loan.

You can submit an application directly from Borrowell’s website once you’ve settled on a loan. And paying back your loan can be done bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly.

Borrowell provides the following types of personal loan solutions:

  • Debt consolidation: Combine all your debts into one easy-to-manage loan that you can pay off monthly. A debt consolidation loan allows you to borrow from one lender and pay off multiple lenders at once. This type of financing typically comes with a low interest rate.
  • Credit card consolidation: Much like debt consolidation, you can combine all your credit card debt and make it more manageable to pay off.
  • Home improvement: Based on your credit profile, borrow the money you need for home repairs or renovations.
  • Vehicle Financing: Compare multiple auto loan lenders in Canada to get the finances you need for a new car.
  • Major purchase: Finance a sizeable purchase and get the funds without much hassle.
  • Business loan: Obtain the financing you need, personalized to your credit profile to help you grow your business.

Mortgages

Much like finding a personal loan that’s the best fit for you, getting a mortgage with reasonable terms is vital. To find the best home loan terms, you’ll need to look at numerous lenders, which can take some time.

Using your credit profile and a brief questionnaire, Borrowell makes finding a mortgage a time-saving and straightforward process.

They give you recommendations from their vast network of over 50 lending partners. You’ll then be able to compare the terms they offer.

Borrowell mortgages are slightly different from what comparison websites offer. They offer more of a personal touch. You are assigned a human mortgage expert that will help you through the home loan process.

This expert will typically advise you while comparing what different lenders have to offer. And they may provide guidance as you’re closing on your property.

Mortgage Coach

A quick way to determine which mortgage rates you qualify for is through Borrowell’s mortgage coach, Alex.

They’ll comb through over 5000 financial products offered by more than 40 lenders to give you suggestions based on your credit profile.

Mortgage Calculator

When it comes to buying a home, a home loan calculator can be a helpful tool. You can figure out how much your monthly payments will be and fit them into your budget.

You can also calculate the principal and interest you’ll pay for a specified term using Borrowell’s mortgage calculator.

Banking

It’s essential to choose the right financial institution to store your money.

The bank’s reputation is just as important as the quality of its service. A dependable and transparent institution will be beneficial down the line.

Considering these matters, Borrowell can help you find a bank account that’s the best fit for you.

They provide a quick and easy way to compare chequing and savings accounts offered by Canada’s foremost financial institutions.

Their banking partners include Scotiabank, Wealthsimple, BMO, and motusbank.

Insurance

Getting coverage for life’s unexpected events is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Whether you’re looking for home, life, or vehicle coverage with the best rates, Borrowell can help you find the right insurance provider.

They work with the best brokers to provide you with recommendations that you may analyze and compare. Their insurance partners include Lowestrates.ca, Apollo, Square One, and Sonnet. 

Investing

Making investments is a great way to grow your money and provide for your future. However, you might be unsure of where to begin your search. Borrowell offers an easy way to find viable investments.

They give you recommendations for different investing products available on the market based on your financial profile.

All you’ll have to do is compare what’s available and make the investment. Their investing partners include EQ bank, Meridian, and Wealthsimple.

Cost of Using Borrowell Products and Services

You might be wondering what it will cost you to use Borrowell’s products and services. I’ll go over their fees in this part of my Borrowell Review.

Borrowell offers its services at no cost. This applies to getting your credit score, as stated previously. It’s also the case if you’re interested in receiving recommendations for investments, personal loans, mortgages, or credit cards.

Since Borrowell isn’t a direct lender of these financial products, they provide a matchmaking service for free. And they don’t charge you because their partners pay them a finder’s fee whenever they refer clients to them.

Borrowell Boost

While the basic features of Borrowell Boost are free, additional digital tools come at a cost.

You’ll have to pay for premium features such as monitoring of your chequing account and bill forecasting.

Borrowell charges a monthly subscription fee of $4.99, including applicable taxes. You may also be charged overdraft fees, over-the-limit fees, or late fees.

Since you’re paying for this service, it’s wise to consider whether you need it. You’ll be paying for something you can do for yourself. And it may not be essential if you don’t have a lot of bills.

Borrowell boost is ideal if you’re just starting out in business or learning to budget. Otherwise, it’s best to find another way to manage your bills.

How Safe and Legitimate is Borrowell?

Borrowell’s reliability and security are crucial considerations, especially since you’ll be entrusting them with your personal information.

Therefore, in this section of my Borrowell review, I’ll provide you with an overview of the aspects related to their safety and legitimacy.

Borrowell was founded in 2014 to help millions of Canadians better their credit standings.

They’re a multi-award-winning company with a team of technology and financial experts.

Their partnerships with some of the top names in various industries, from banking to insurance, have helped several clients build their credit.

Borrowell employs security measures at the standard of Canada’s big banks to protect your personal information. According to their website, they use 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

They don’t rent, sell, or share your information with third parties either, without your consent. Any information you provide will be used solely to provide the service you request.

Borrowell is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited company. And since their accreditation, they have gained an A+ rating.

These rankings depend on specific aspects, such as the number of complaints a company receives and their response.

In the next section of this Borrowell review, I’ll detail how you can get in touch with them. And what kind of support they offer customers.

Borrowell Customer Service and Support

While exploring Borrowell’s website, I found that there isn’t a direct way to contact a customer service rep. They don’t provide any contact information for their customers, such as phone numbers or email addresses.

This is an aspect I discussed earlier in this Borrowell review that is absent at this otherwise leading company. But they make up for the lack of direct customer care by providing sufficient support.

You can find answers for any of your credit score-related queries through the help centre on their website. Information is categorized, so you can find anything you’re looking for, from general questions to bill tracking.

They also run a blog called “The Well”. Not only can you find posts about credit scores here, but budgeting and mortgages too.

Their blog posts are beneficial if you want to brush up on your personal finance expertise. You could find a technique or strategy to use in your daily life that might enhance your overall financial health.

Following this part of my Borrowell review, I’ll give you a quick rundown of their dashboard and mobile app, which is where you might use their services the most.

How Is The Borrowell Dashboard and Mobile App?

Their dashboard and mobile app are one aspect I couldn’t leave out of my Borrowell review because I had a great experience with both.

The dashboard is simple to use and pleasant to navigate. It boasts a practical design that is both simple and modern. You can see your credit score on the homepage. Below is a handy graph that shows the changes in your score over time.

You can move from one tab to the next without experiencing any difficulties or significant wait times. This does depend on your device and internet speed, though.

The Borrowell mobile app is straightforward, user-friendly and has an excellent user interface. I used it more often than the desktop dashboard because it’s much more convenient and accessible.

There are tabs on both your dashboard and mobile app to view your credit report and browse recommendations. You’ll also be able to chat with Molly, the Borrowell credit coach, and receive insights on how to improve your credit score.

Borrowell’s credit score tracker is much more accurate than its closest competitors, in my opinion. They also update your score every 1 to 2 weeks so you can keep track of any suspicious activity.

You should be aware that the mobile app features some advertising. Because there is a decent balance between informative and promotional content, I didn’t find it invasive or unreasonable.

I’ve covered all the features related to their website and app interface. Now, I’ll move on to the sign-up process in this Borrowell review.

How to Get Started with Borrowell

Borrowell claims that signing up for their services takes about three minutes. And they are accurate in stating so. But I believe this refers to creating an account because the other steps took me longer.

You’ll begin by creating an account with your email address and a strong password. You can read their privacy policy at this time to be sure you understand what you’re signing up for.

At first, you’ll only have access to the most basic features. And you’ll need to provide additional personal information to use their free credit score service. This includes your:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Current residential address
  • Phone number
  • Salary range
  • Financial goals for the year (whether you want to invest, settle debt, improve your credit score, etc.)

This information is necessary to match users to their Equifax credit profiles.

You won’t need to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or bank account information. This is especially useful if you’re hesitant to give out personal information over the internet.

During the final screening stage, you will have to answer some multiple-choice questions. These are linked to your credit history for Equifax to confirm your identity.

If you’re interested in Borrowell Boost, you can’t use this feature on a computer. You’ll have to download the mobile app via Google Play or the Apple store to access it.

Alternatives to Borrowell

Perhaps you’re considering looking into other companies at this point in my Borrowell Review. The good news is there are plenty of alternatives to Borrowell.

Borrowell pioneered the concept of providing free credit scores to Canadians, and numerous companies followed suit. As a result, getting your credit score for free is no longer such a novel concept.

While Borrowell’s nearest competitors also provide credit monitoring, the credit bureaus they work with differ. They also offer a more diverse range of products compared to Borrowell.

If Borrowell doesn’t seem to be a good fit for you, here are some alternatives to explore.

Mogo

The senior of Borrowell, Mogo, has been offering Canadians a suite of personal finance and money management services since 2003.

They work with Equifax to provide free credit scores as well. But there’s a catch.

Unlike Borrowell, your free credit score is only available for 90 days. If you have a Mogo card, you have unlimited access to this service.

They also broker mortgages and offer services and products that are more diverse compared to Borrowell. These include identity fraud monitoring and Bitcoin investing.

Mogo provides a mobile app where you can track your credit score and get advice on improving it.

They update your credit score every month as opposed to weekly, as Borrowell does. If weekly credit score reminders aren’t something you want, you might look into Mogo.

Lastly, Mogo’s emphasis on environmental protection is a factor that may appeal to you.

Credit Karma

From monitoring your credit score for free to receiving personalized recommendations, Credit Karma offers almost everything Borrowell does.

Except, they provide credit scores and reports from Equifax and TransUnion. This is a plus because you can see both scores and try to improve them separately.

You can also prevent being surprised about a different credit score when applying for credit.

Although some of Credit Karma’s services are similar to Borrowell’s, there are significant differences between the two companies.

Credit Karma is a company founded in the United States that expanded to Canada in 2016.

They don’t provide their services in all Canadian provinces. This includes the Yukon, Quebec, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories.

They use 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, which offers slightly less security.

Their website and mobile app have a more traditional look compared to Borrowell’s youthful and fresh interface.

Borrowell and Credit Karma work with the two major credit bureaus. So, I use Borrowell to get my Equifax score and Credit Karma to keep an eye on my TransUnion score. It has worked well for me thus far.

Breezeful & Homewise

If you’re searching for an alternative mortgage brokerage, you might consider Breezeful and Homewise.

They both work with over 30 lenders to match consumers with a home loan that meets their needs and requirements.

With both companies, you’ll be assigned a ‘human’ mortgage expert who’ll guide you through the home buying process. They’ll remain with you from the moment you’re comparing mortgage terms up until you close on your property.

Borrowell Review Conclusion

Knowing your credit score can help you avoid negative feedback from lenders, as you may have learned from this Borrowell review.

A low credit score can keep you from getting the house of your dreams. Or buying a vehicle that can make your commute to work easier.

Borrowell has helped millions of Canadians avoid these situations. And their credit-monitoring software can be a helpful tool, mainly because it is free to use. Also, there’s so much more you can do in one place besides keeping an eye on your credit score.

You can compare recommendations for credit cards or insurance. And you can use Borrowell’s brokerage service to find a mortgage that suits your needs.

Another advantage of Borrowell is that your personal information will only be shared with one person. Even to a small extent, this decreases the risks of disclosing your personal information to multiple people.

If you don’t wish to sign up for their service, you should still take advantage of their educational resources. You can learn about managing your personal finances. As a result, you might make more informed financial decisions.

To conclude this Borrowell review, I have to give them my stamp of approval. I recommend their services and products to anyone who wants to take control of their finances while saving time and effort.

That said, I recommend that you still get your credit report from Equifax or TransUnion from time to time. The reason for this would be to confirm exactly where you stand. Although Borrowell offers free credit scores, it’s best to verify their accuracy with your credit bureau occasionally.

This Borrowell review highlights how to get a free credit score & report. And details all you need to know about their vast brokerage services.

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October 9, 2021
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