Your Credit Report
Request Your Free Credit Report Once Every 12 Months
Review Your Credit Report
A study by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre showed that 18 per cent of Canadians find inaccuracies on their credit reports – incorrect late payments, accounts that should have been closed, other people’s debt information and more. Report mistakes right away; errors could lower your credit score, costing you money.
You’re the one who has to ensure your report is correct. If you find an issue:
- Check the last page of your report for instructions for claim disputes.
- Contact the credit bureau and report the error immediately.
- Put it in writing – if the issue remains unresolved, provide a letter of explanation and request that it become part of your report.
Reading Your Credit Report
Every day, Canadians purchase goods and services using credit. There are two main credit bureaus in Canada: Equifax Canada Inc.,and TransUnion Canada.
A credit-bureau report contains basic identifying information, such as your name, address and social insurance number. It also includes records of:
- Your recent place(s) of residence
- Your employment history
- Your current debts
- Whether you pay your bills on time
- Whether you have been denied a loan by a financial institution in the past
- Your history of bankruptcy, if any
Each of their credit reports looks a little bit different. Your credit report will have many codes on it. You will get a glossary with the report defining such coded terms as "DLA" (Date Last Activity) and "OPD" (Orderly Payment of Debt). It's important to study it and determine exactly what the report is saying.
It may surprise you to see the level of activity on your report. For example, car dealers may have made inquiries of you when you were shopping around for your Honda last spring. And the department store whose offer of a 10% discount for a card application had to check you out, too. Indeed, sometimes a creditor will turn down a person for "excessive inquiries," on the assumption that she has been recently applying for a lot of credit and been turned down.
To see what a typical credit reports look like, and tips on how to read them, click here.