Truthfully, a large number of Canadians – especially Alberta currently in 2017 – have some credit blemishes.
Blemishes can be high credit card balances, slow or late payments, past due amounts on utilities that report to the bureau, or a mixture of all the above.
1 recent late payment can put you into a higher risk category if there is still a balance or payment due on the credit card and your credit applications can be declined until they see signs of better financial times.
You may have had perfect repayment your whole life, but carry debts on credit cards above the 50% of limit, 80% of limited, maxed out at 100%+ of limit… any of these will affect your credit score.
Banks expect people to have debt, or some form of credit that gets utilized to show an ability to borrow-then payback.
Just because you carry a balance doesn’t mean your necessarily subprime, but how you handle your debt load is VERY important.