Since your credit report and score can change from day to day, it is to your advantage to learn what is impacting your score and where you rank among Canadian consumers. Your credit report may be the first indication of identity theft, so it is of critical importance to be alerted when new accounts, address changes, and potential fraud patterns appear in your file. Since your debt affects your financial picture, you will find it revealing to see graphically what portion of your income is going toward your debt, the way potential lenders may see you.
Canada residents can get a free credit report by mail. To do so, you'll need to provide photocopies of both sides of two kinds of ID, such as driver's license, health card, birth certificate or passport. If your current address is different than what's on your identification, you'll need to provide proof of your new address from a phone bill, credit card statement, utility bill or bank statement. You should also provide your Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.) to help Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada to correctly identify you.
Identification information. Name, address (and previous addresses), Social Insurance Number, telephone, birth date, driver's license, passport number, employment history. The completeness and correctness of this information may vary, depending on when and how it was provided to the credit bureaus by the companies with whom you've applied for credit.
Credit history. Your credit accounts and loans with retail stores, banks, finance companies, credit unions and others. For each account the report shows balances you owe, credit limits, late and on-time payments and dates when the accounts were opened. Closed accounts are also shown. Cell phone and Internet accounts might also appear.
Public records. Judgments, bankruptcies, registered items.
Inquiries. A record of who has seen your credit report.
In short, your credit report shows lenders and other approved entities much of what they need to know in order to evaluate the risk of granting you credit. In many cases, they use a mathematical calculation to summarize important factors into a single "credit score", but it is important to remember that all the credit scoring factors originate on your credit report, so it's important for you keep a watchful eye on it. Free credit reports obtained by mail don't include your credit score. To see your credit score, get your credit report online.
Your Canadian credit report does not include medical history, nor does it include any of the following:
Chequing and savings accounts are not normally shown, except in cases where they have been "closed for cause" because of fraud or unrecovered negative balances.Though they could be important considerations when applying for a loan, your income and assets are not on your credit report.
Items that you pay on a month-to-month basis, such as rent, phone and utilities, generally are not considered credit accounts, since you pay as you go and the services could be quickly shut-off. They will probably not show up on your credit unless unpaid amounts have been written off, or sent to a collection agency.
Listings of accounts with derogatory information must be removed after a period of time. It's usually 6 or 7 years, depending on the type of account, and the province or territory. If you have multiple bankruptcies, they may be shown for up to 14 years.
In the news: Bank and retail security breaches pose an identity theft risk. Government officials differ over legislation needed to protect consumers from the credit fraud that may result.
TransUnion Canada says get your credit report "once a year or three months before a major purchase," and tells why it is important to do so.
Copyright (c) 2017 Canadian Credit Report