Financial Fitness 101

Similar to your physical health — weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. — you should keep track of your financial health too. One key area to stay on top of is your credit score.

What is your credit score?
In Canada, a credit score is a 3 digit number that shows how well you are at managing credit. It is also used by lenders to indicate how risky it would be to lend you money.

Credit scores generally range from 300 to 850. Your credit score is calculated based on information in your credit report. A credit report is a summary of your credit history — payment history, amount of debt, and the length of your credit history.

What is a good credit score?
A higher credit score indicates you have been a responsible borrower. This in turn can make potential lenders more confident when it comes to considering lending to you. According to Equifax®, one of the largest consumer credit reporting agencies in the world, credit scores generally break down like this:

  • 580 to 669 are considered fair
  • 670 to 739 are considered good
  • 740 to 799 are considered very good
  • 800 and up are considered excellent

How do you improve your credit score?
At a high level the typical strategies for maintaining the health of your credit score can be summarized like this:

  • Don’t miss payment — make the minimum payments at the very least
  • Avoid opening too many credit accounts
  • Maintain a variety of credit types — credit cards, lines of credit, loans through banks, and mortgages, etc.

One of the not so obvious tips for maintaining your credit score comes from Trevor Bowie of Capital Direct Atlantic. “Keep as much room between your balance, and your limit as you can”, says Trevor. He also says that being a “credit seeker” can hurt your overall credit score.

You can easily find out what your credit score is by going through Equifax or TransUnion. Requesting your credit score will not have a negative impact. Knowing your credit score is an important step towards improving, or maintaining your overall financial health.

If you find that your financial health is being impacted by too much debt, then consider a home equity loan to consolidate debt. Debt consolidation is when you transfer all of your debt to a single loan. Not only can this simplify things, and lower the amount of interest you’re paying, it can help to improve your overall financial health — your credit score.

Health & Wellness

A salad is such a simple dish to add to any meal plan. Not only are they delicious, they can deliver maximum nutrition! The greek salad is a classic, and it’s a salad that can be easily personalized. Start with this basic recipe as the foundation and then try adding dates, or pecans to add your own special twist.

Greek Salad

    Key ingredients
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, sliced in half-rounds
  • ½ pound feta cheese, ½-inch diced (not crumbled)
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted

    Vinaigrette dressing:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup good red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup good olive oil


  1. Place the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
  2. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables.
  4. Add the feta and olives and toss lightly.
  5. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Tip: serve at room temperature

Bon Appetit!

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September Sudoku

Did you know?
The name “September” comes from an old Roman word “septem”. It actually means 7. In the old Roman calendar September was the seventh month of the year. It did not become the ninth month until the advent of the Gregorian calendar.

3   5
9   2
4   3
4   9
2 3  
6 2  
  5 4
  4 7
6   5
7   8
1   8
5   8

Click here to view the solution

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